17 responses to “8 dumb things I did in college that helped my writing career”

  1. Jay Bryant

    For me it was probably going to SIU-Carbondale, which at that time was know as one of the top party schools in the country. Grades suffered, but the bonds I made with classmates and the SIU alumni network in Journalism really helped my career and life.

  2. Susan Johnston

    Speaking of Hemingway and writing with a hangover (which I have no interest in doing, btw), you might like Woody Allen’s new movie, Midnight in Paris. Some beautiful cinematography and lots of dialogue about writing, especially commercial vs. creative writing.

  3. Tia Bach

    Funny and informative post. I headed to my school’s journalism department much like you did, and ended up writing all four years for them and even being an Editor for the university’s yearbook.

    I went on to do business writing (as I was a business major). It’s amazing how many people had a mind for business but couldn’t write a well-thought out letter much less marketing material. Every place I worked appreciated my ability to manipulate numbers AND words! (and now I get to finally focus on creative writing!)

    I’m enjoying your blog, and still can’t thank you enough for my Blogathon experience.

  4. Jennifer

    Our college experiences were very similar. I also learned that rubber cement burns well and you can paint a stripe of it from the newspaper office to the student government office and light it. All hell breaks loose.

  5. Julie

    Can’t say I ever wrote for our university’s newspaper. Gosh, I don’t think it even had one, but I did do two “volunteer” internships that were priceless. One for the local newspaper and the other for a downtown revitalization organization. They both gave me a step up to get my first job that paid peanuts but again provided unbelievable experience. And I pulled a LOT of all-nighters for both educational and social reasons…many would make my list of “dumb things I did in college.” Although I never made it to the annual Halloween bash at SIU-Carbondale (Carbondale was close to the school I went to in Southern Indiana), I’m sure I have several friends that ran into Jay! 😉

  6. Sandra

    There’s just so many things you learn that you don’t pick up in school, huh? I was thinking about going for a masters degree in like English (since I am a writer,) but then I figured why should I when I already AM one with two published novels? I think my professors were right: the degree doesn’t get you the job, the work does.


  7. Anjuli

    Really enjoyed this post- I loved the way you told what you did or didn’t do- and then what you learned from the experience or how it helped you. Great insights!

    Looking back it is interesting to see how everything we do or don’t do definitely set a course for us…it is great to see the course which you have set for yourself and continue to remain on!

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  9. Jessica Chapman

    Completely Fill My Days: I (mostly) paid for school on my own. My family, kindly, did not charge me rent. So while getting my degrees, I worked and went to school. Getting my AA, each day I would go from school from 8-12 then to an office job from 1-5, then to a coffee house in the evenings and weekends. When I transferred to get my BA, it was a coffee house and jewelry store in the mall. Then I had study work, and of course some hang out time with family and friends. My days were completely packed.

    What it taught me: Be thoughtful with my time and money. I was able to get my school work done, meet my work commitments and pay my bills because I kept my eyes on the goal and kept my work and school work organized. For a creative soul and brain like mine, it took small simple daily practices to do it. A lot of those practices stay with me today. I’m able to get more results packed into a shorter amount of time because of the pressure cooker I put myself in while at college. I know how to prioritize and quickly eliminate tasks that don’t serve the end goal.

  10. Mary McNally

    Wonderful post! I learned a couple of things as a result of attending college:
    1) The person you ultimately compete against is yourself; don’t worry about what others are doing–strive to improve your own writing. 2) Learn the difference between constructive criticism that is meant to make you a better writer and criticism that is just aimed at tearing you down.