Tag Archives: Jobs

SHR, Graduation, and All Things Stressful.

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-vintage-book-childrens-thumbelina-illustrations-floral-1Today in my capstone course Aaron Alford, the Managing Editor for Southern Humanities magazine, came to speak to the class. Southern Humanities is the quarterly, literary, journal staffed by graduate students based right here in my beloved Auburn University, and until today I had no idea it existed. (That last statement isn’t entirely true, I had heard of the journal in passing but I didn’t really know much about it.)

Mr. Alford offered advice on everything from following your dreams of editing literature, to how he got started. The discussion was something that I very much needed to hear. Everyday I get just a little bit closer to graduation and the closer the day gets the more stressed out I become.

I appreciated the talk that Mr. Alford gave today. He mentioned different experiences that he has had working for Southern Humanities and I found comfort in the fact that I have had some of the same encounters working for the Circle. The biggest takeaway that I got from today’s talk was to be confident going out into the workforce.

Most people don’t really understand my major or what I can and intend to do with it. Everyone usually tries to persuade me to pursue something more “practical” a technical writing job to follow my technical writing degree.

That’s exactly what I’m doing people!

The day to day for a technical writer/editor might seem dull to you when I explain that in a job I will codify information and write and or edit it for the consumption of an audience, but that is exactly what I plan to do. I work with all forms of writing technical and otherwise. What I have learned over the years is that people don’t typically associate non-technical writing with monetary success, unless of course the writer in question is on a bestsellers list. There is the starving writer character, such as portrayed by Bradley Cooper in The Words that struggles to make ends meet that I can see pop into the mind of a person when I tell them what I do. That reaction can be discouraging, especially when it comes from those who are already secured in their careers. Mr. Alford was the opposing voice today, telling us to trust our capabilities as writers, and assuring us that they are not only sufficient but highly seemed after in the professional world.

The point is not every young writer/editor struggles to find work. I am confident that my skills in technical writing and editing will lead to success, and thanks to Mr. Alford I can stress a little less and focus on graduation and applying for positions. Maybe it’s corny but the follow your dreams talk is one that I firmly believe that everyone should hear, especially those of us who are just leaving the comforts of college.

Today was a good day.

Stop! Write a minute.

Boardwalk

With graduation looming closer and closer everyday, this week I have made it my mission to reach out to people who hold job positions that I would like to one day have the privilege of holding myself. This afternoon, as I wrote letters and questions to ask these people I found myself becoming sidetracked. I have to admit, I did find myself veering off to Facebook once or twice but what really stole my attention were the multiple opportunities that I found to complete Artist residencies. Artist you ask, like drawing? I draw, not well enough to make a living off of, but the opportunities weren’t just for that sort of artist. There are organizations that provide days and weeks of training to people looking to better perfect their craft. Artsmith for example offers an up to four week residency where artists can write, paint, and sketch their hearts out on Washington State’s San Juan Island. Yes I did just imply that a writer is an artist, because we are! This lavish residency might sound more like a retreat or vacation but the truth is I think it is, the best vacation ever! Think about it, doing what you love and at the same time getting things accomplished, in a beautiful and relaxing setting. Sounds amazing right?

Like most of my fellow senior students, I have been stressing over finding a job, and making connections in preparation for graduation. I have been emailing editors, researching publishing companies, and in doing so have neglected to do the one thing that well makes me, me. Going through Brevity and Rock & Sling reading all of the amazing works reminded me that the one big success that I hope to one day achieve is to write something worthy of publication. I don’t really have the luxury of being able to attend such a retreat as the one offered by Artsmith, so as hinted at by the very cheesy title of this post, I have resolved to take out a minute of every day to write something for me. Of course a novel can’t be written in a single  minute but dedicating myself to at least a minute of personal writing everyday will form a habit that I hope to carry with me long after I graduate and get a job, and that is to never stop working towards achieving my dreams in writing.