Some further thoughts on writing

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Despite my affirmation for horror writing in my last post, I must add that I am not limited to writing fiction alone. I am a student at a small community college in Southern Oregon, and my transfer degree is journalism. I have written multiple articles for the local paper, and I am also now a senior staff writer for the college paper as well. And, obviously, I blog.

I want to make my living as a writer. I no longer have as many dreams of grandeur as I did when I was young, but now I see myself being happy making a modest living as a writer and being satisfied with that.

It is a new era for writers. The field of traditional journalism seems to be fading, while the age of independent writers and bloggers is gaining strength. I rarely agree with Sarah Palin, but she made a statement about the idea of ‘citizen journalists’ being a new area of strength for our country, and to some extent I believe this could be true. Could. Unfortunately, a lot of bloggers out there don’t seem to understand the principles of journalism or good writing, but at the same time you have writers who are not tied to a newspaper (who, in turn, are tied to their parent companies and are often limited about what they can write about) and can do investigative research about important stories without interference. The flip side of this is that with a newspaper or a magazine there is a certain amount of clout and influence that allows these journalists to gain access to sources and information that are not available to the everyday writer.

The Poynter News University has free and low-cost journalism courses available to everyone and I have already signed up for a series of classes. It is a great resource for anyone interested in journalism. They also have certification available for writers.

I also aspire to write my blog professionally. I have been blogging regularly for a handful of months now, and I have been studying different on-line blogging courses that have been most helpful.

I think, for me, the key to making a living as a writer is diversification. I can write about a wide variety of subjects, and write about them with intelligence and skill. I know that goes against the normal manner of thinking, that one must specialize in a subject and write just about that, but I think in today’s high-paced, information-driven world, being adaptable and able to communicate on a variety of ideas in a range of media is the key to success.

We shall see. I have a lot of training and learning left and while I believe in my ability to turn a phrase or communicate in a clear, concise manner, I still need to find ways to write much, much more than I do right now.

 

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