Here we are! Yet again, it is time to write an article and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT.
How in the WORLD do journalism majors come up with these ideas every week?????
How in the world does EVERYONE ELSE get really interesting stuff to write about per week?????
It is a talent, a skill, and a gift that I have not received.
To this, one might think, ‘But Audrey, Her Campus really encourages you to write about anything! Isn’t that the whole reason why you joined in the first place? You wanted to get better at writing and you’re not restricted to one section for the rest of the year? Also, what about your plan of slowly getting into writing at the newspaper was ruined by the fact that they ghosted your photography application?
For starters, if someone did actually think that, that’s incredibly creepy and they should keep their mind reading to themselves.
It’s all true though. As a Computer Engineering major, I knew that my opportunities for working on soft skills would be limited in college, and I knew that having a strong base in skills like writing might give me an edge over others while job or internship hunting in the future.
And contrary to what you might think, I’m glad I’m still here! The shirts are neat, and it feels like the other writers and editors are here because they genuinely care about writing and journalism and putting words on paper for other people to read.
But is it hard?
hOW DO YOU WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING NEW EVERY SINGLE WEEK?
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
I tried writing about things that I was really into, I really did. Having the freedom to literally write about anything has its pros and cons: the main pro being, I can write about anything and Her Campus would accept it, but it can also be a bit overwhelming because it’s anything at all.
I knew that eventually my well of ideas would run dry, but I didn’t expect it to be this early on.To scrounge around for some golden ideas, I decided to scroll through the Her Campus website incessantly. That’s when I came across another issue regarding article ideas, right next to the problem about the ocean of ideas being too large for my plankton brain.
I’m not someone who seems to be Her Campus’s primary demographic.
I don’t know how to give fashion advice or look out for this season’s style trends. I’ve never put makeup on myself before, and my daily skincare routine consists of washing my face with soap and water. I’m no self-care guru, I can’t invent new workouts, and I don’t drink water. I’m a virgin who cannot pick up on hints whatsoever, and I don’t know how to flirt. Stocks are one of the most confusing things in my life, and I don’t have any internship experience where I feel confident enough that I could write an article on the topic. The lifestyle section just confuses me in general, and everything that I bake or cook is either not my own recipe, or it’s not convenient at all for a college student. My room decor is consistently made up of a few posters on the wall, an unmade bed, and a desk overflowing with clutter. I’m not someone who is super passionate about politics, and no, I’m not interested in who got kicked off ‘The Bachelor’ last night.
The point I’m trying to make (and the point that you hopefully understand) is that I’m not someone whose interests and hobbies lie explicitly in Her Campus’s material.
The obvious thing that you might have in your mind could be, But Audrey, you have to break the boundary now! You gotta be your true self and let your inner self shine! Also, the website and multiple people have emphasized that you can literally write about anything you want!
I’m pretty sure these kinds of thoughts were running around my head somewhere during fall quarter. But when you see a good majority of articles and content pander toward someone who is, apparently, more of a college woman than you are, you unconsciously feel like you have to start writing your material toward this kind of vibe. You see the articles up on the website like they’re examples of what you should write.
So, I looked at them and thought to myself that I could potentially work with this. There were really so many topics to derive from, and maybe I could combine some of my own interests in the future. Maybe I’ll even grow to like some of the stuff I’m writing about!
It has been a full quarter later and that hasn’t been the best course of action I could have taken. It took so much effort to write the articles and to look up background information on the topic to write about them, and not because I was interested in them.
Then, a little more than a week ago, I finally decided to bite the bullet and ask the writing committee how everyone else was pulling these stupendous ideas out of their cerebrums (That’s Latin for “brains”).
Their messages really helped to put things into perspective. I genuinely, wholeheartedly did not have to write about what I thought I should write. I could put words down on paper about “Legit ANYTHING that interests you!” (That’s a quote from my editor.)
I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but it really did not get into my cranium (Latin for “skull”) until I asked the committee that day.
And it didn’t really sink in until I sat down yesterday to do work and mulled over that little conversation in the GroupMe.
And here I am, the day that first drafts are due, pouring all of my thoughts on this whole debacle down on this document.
At this point, I feel like I’m supposed to have a nice conclusion where I suddenly have All The Ideas™, and that I will actually make my deadlines every week from now on. That’d be cool, except it probably won’t happen, because I STILL don’t have all these incredible topics to write about jumping around my cerebrum.
But you know what? I’m a little more ok with that now. Compared to before, I don’t feel as pressured to write about something that “fits” within the typical stories on Her Campus. In fact, from now on, I’m going to try to write about stuff that my editors have probably never heard of before. Stay tuned!