Addison Schultz improves writing skills
“What? You get to go to New York because of journalism?!”
This was the conversation I had with my sister after she told me that she would be traveling to New York for a week with her journalism team to compete in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association annual critique. Ever since that time I knew I needed to join The Feather.
So far, The Feather has exceeded my expectations. It is the hardest writing class I have ever been in, and I’ve grown because of that. Everything I’ve done has stretched me as a writer and taught me how to be a journalist. I never knew the stress a helping verb could cause someone until this year.
The process of learning the ropes and how to write articles has not been easy. Every new step is a challenge and it isn’t always fun. But with the encouragement of adviser Greg Stobbe and my sister in the class, the first couple of months brought my writing farther than I ever thought it could.
My sister, Kamryn Schultz, ‘19, joined The Feather staff her freshman year. It is a unique experience to have her alongside me as I learn the ropes of being a part of the team. Most journalists don’t get to say that they had a sibling there to help them get through a class as challenging as publications. This opportunity is special and my time on staff has become much smoother because of it.
A big part of holding a spot on The Feather team is taking ownership. The paper doesn’t work unless we do. Many times taking initiative is uncomfortable. The first time I interviewed someone while recording them, I was shaking and thought I’d say the wrong thing. But in the end, the article got published and the paper benefited from it. These experiences continue to teach me that it’s OK to get out of my comfort zone. Getting out of my bubble actually, makes my writing better.
Learning to be vulnerable also comes with writing for The Feather. It’s necessary for you to be willing to let people read your work.
I realized during the first few weeks that the whole school could read my articles. That definitely scared me. However, I came to realize that criticism only refines writing, not discourage it. Putting my articles out there for everyone to see feels like a huge accomplishment.
Stobbe takes control of the journalism lab. He makes every day seem like a new challenge that we should seize and make the most of. My writing benefits because of his passion for publications. His drive is contagious and it gets everyone in the room motivated to write.
Sometimes writing becomes hard when you want to satisfy Stobbe’s high expectations. I thought this would make me want to quit writing altogether. But instead, it made me raise my standards higher.
When I wrote my first article, I shook as I asked Stobbe to come and look it over. I feared criticism. I came to learn that evaluation from Stobbe is some of the best I’ll ever get. His corrections make writing the best it can possibly be.
I intend to continue journalism through the rest of high school. My writing is already better than it was when I started the class. By the end of high school, I believe my writing will be better than it’s ever been.
I’ve heard many say that publications is too hard and that they don’t want that kind of stress. But I disagree. The Feather runs like a job. Pressure, communication skills, and ownership all play a part in being a member of this team. I say that the pressure of this class gives me experience that I need for the rest of my life.
For more articles, read FC alumni exposes campus to AmeriStudent, international students. For more columns from freshmen journalists, read COLUMN: Journalism through the eyes of a freshman.Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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