The Nifty Fifty: 50 Things I Think About When Writing a Her Campus Article

I wish I could properly explain what writing means to me, but I guess a good word would be ubiquitous. From an early age, I took to writing as a tool for self-expression and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I took to journaling my feelings, I write poetry when journal entries are too mundane or commonplace, I write papers in college, I’m a Journalism major, and the list could go on. So with all that in mind, it should come as no surprise (especially for those who have known me since I started my love of words) that I would gravitate to a writing group when coming to college. Before joining Her Campus, I was aware of my own personal writing voice, but the group has allowed me so many creative freedoms. It also afforded me with a best friend for the ages, Hailey. Both of us are girls with so much to say… some may argue too much sometimes. Last year, she shared a lofty goal with me of writing 100 articles by the end of her senior year, and so I saddled up with her and linked in that goal. Peeps…  I wrote my first article in September 2017 (the 24th, to be exact). And now, in December 2018 (the 4th, to be exact), I am writing #50!

 

I realize this may seem like a long-winded intro, but I wanted to say I wholeheartedly appreciate everyone who’s read any of the last 49 articles because you’re all a huge part of what keeps me writing. If this is the first or 50th article you’ve read of mine, I appreciate that I got to share my voice with you! I have loved each and every chance I’ve had thus far to share my voice, which brings me to the reason for this article: sharing my process of how I’ve written the past 49 articles and how I’ll probably write the next 49, and heck, maybe the next, next 49! Without further ado, here are just 50 thoughts that cross my mind as I embark on a creative journey each week.

 

1. Another week, another writing opportunity!

2. Alright, so the very first step begins with thinking about how should I formulate my ideas this week. Should I go rogue and think of one on the spot, or should I pull from a curated idea in my ever-expanding muse list?

3. I usually tend to go with a pre-formulated idea, unless I’m really moved by recent events or hit a spurt of creative energy that perfectly aligns with the free time to pursue it. That second method is very rare in my day-to-day college life.

4. Because my portfolio is growing more extensive each week, I also remain cognizant of the idea that no two articles should read like repeats.

5. I don’t shy away from drawing inspiration from ideas and concepts I’ve touched upon in past articles, but the world is FILLED with muses; so I want it to sound fresh!

6. Whenever I decide on an article concept (or two), my next favorite part is the TITLE.

7. Because titles mean… PUNS! As dubbed by Alexa Jo, I am the “Queen of Puns.” I will wear my crown proudly.

8. Would you believe me if I said I had a document full of common words and corresponding puns?

9. Because I do. It’s a punderful time.

10. After consulting those resources I’ve made for myself and typically a thesaurus website, I craft the title.

11. It’s VITAL to me that the title sounds like me because it may be the only thing someone reads before they decide they want to get drawn in by the writing itself.

12. Sometimes, the title comes to me instantaneously; other weeks, my spark is sparse.

13. I’ve also noticed I have a penchant for colons in my titles, but a wordsmith knows no bounds when labeling the piece!

14. I have turned to title generators in the past if I’m REALLY in need of some assistance. Sometimes, I’m on those websites just for fun.

15. After I have an idea, I like to utilize my free time and prewrite ideas so I’m not pressed to finish homework and craft a piece all together.

16. I typically also have two to three stockpiled, pre-written articles that I can plug wherever need be. These come in handy if I’m having writer's block OR no blocks of free time to write during the week.

17. This also helps me in my quest to be my personal best as the editor-in-chief… a stockpiled body of work relieves my mind of my own editing to do and can help me dedicate my efforts to bettering the rest of the girls’ works.

18. After I develop my idea, I approach my second favorite part of the process before the actual writing: getting to pitch my idea to my Her Campus peers!

19. Usually, my hand is one of the first to bolt up in a meeting because my brain is overflowing with ideas. Other times, however, I like to ruminate on the best way to explain this week’s writing.

20. Getting to do that helps me figure out if others would be perceptive to read my work instead of me just being excited to write...

21. Because I’m always excited to write!

22. I always leave meetings feeling full of creative potential with words unfurling on my empty word documents.

23. Depending on my homework, I tend to get to the keyboard and write a very, very, very, very rough draft.

24. After I write the rough draft, I edit two to three times before uploading to our shared document drive for peer editing.

25. I highly anticipate all the edits that my other writers suggest because improvements sometimes go unnoticed through my own fine tooth comb, and I love additional insight.

26. After assessing the peer edits, I go through again and readjust my piece.

27. I can’t tell you how many times exactly I go through because it depends on the material.

28. If it’s a short little listicle, I tend to shy away from excessive revisions because I don’t want it to sound too contrived and meticulous.

29. But, if it’s a piece that is very near and dear to my heart, like about my family, my friends, my tattoos, or any of my Hannah-LYZEs, I devote concentrated amounts of time to really make it as close to perfect as I can. Not that I don’t do that with the rest, but Hannah-LYZEs usually mean a very great deal to me.

30. Along my path of write, pitch, edit, revise, edit, and edit, I find photos or GIFS (you know, those funny looped pictures) that accent the individual voice of the narrative.

31. Do I get sidetracked by stints of laughter? Yes, absolutely. That’s part of the fun, though.

32. Picking photos, for me, is also a good time because as much as my words mean something, you know the saying: a picture’s worth 1,000 words.

33. I try my darndest to pick photos that truly encapsulate what I’m writing and aid my work visually so that together, my words and photos make a creative fusion.

34. I take great measures to make sure my photos, as well as everyone else’s, follow the HC guidelines and are cited.

35. I also really like to incorporate my own personal photos because it makes it that much more personalized.

36. Once I have assessed the title, actual piece, photos, and source material, I’m ready to begin final editing that week’s articles.

37. As I edit, the anticipation grows for the audience response to all our work.

38. It’s a feeling like no other to know your biggest responsibility is polishing some pretty astounding writing from equally astounding women each week… I LOVE it.

39. I do a cursory edit to make sure all the girls have seen their peer edits and taken them into consideration before making my own rough draft edits.

40. I then like to post in our chapter Facebook group as a reminder of when my goal is to get all edits finished by. This serves as a reminder to look at my initial edits or comments that I may have made. I really want the basis of the writing to be their own with me acting as a resource for only fine tuning.

41. After each girl has reviewed my comments, I go through for final, final edits.

42. Then, I get to put my “Edited and ready for publishing, HH” stamp of approval.

43. I do this for each article, each week, and then Hailey publishes them.

44. Sundays are such a fun time because I get to see not only my own articles posted, but also all the other works up for everyone to see!

45. Sunday may be post day, but the excitement isn’t over yet!

46. We can share our personal stories on our Facebook's and other socials when they go live on our chapter Facebook page, Her Campus at Winona (go toss it a like so you don’t miss some stellar content).

47. Throughout the week, articles are shared and that’s what I wait for the most!

48. Because sharing it to my Facebook allows me to get feedback from my loyal readers!

49. I get to grin ear-to-ear hearing what you all thought of my most recent work and then...

50. I do it all the next week!

 

If you’re still here, thank you for sticking through a trip through my mind! I really do think and work like this, week in and out, but I love it oh, so much. This may be article 50, but I have so much on the horizon and an abundance of ways to express it! I really am grateful that I found my home in Her Campus and can’t wait to celebrate the next and next 50… I hope you’ll all be here alongside me.

 

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