When I tell people that I want to go into a career in journalism one of the many different pessimistic or sarcastic reactions I often get is,
“So do you want to start a blog or something?”
Well, kind of, yes.
The first time I wrote for a blog was when I studied in Madrid last semester and started a blog to document my experiences. I know what you’re thinking, it’s the inevitable and basic “girl goes to Europe and starts a blog about it” story. Part of that is definitely true, however I’d be lying if I said that experience didn’t have a positive impact on my writing and my experience as a journalist.
As journalism major, I had grown accustomed to always removing myself from my writing. Throughout my college classes I learned the importance of being objective and refraining from inserting my own opinions and experiences into my writing.
Writing for my own blog was a much-welcomed change of pace, one that helped me to exercise my long neglected creative writing skills. I rediscovered how to add voice and character to my writing, something that has continued to help me even as I transition back to more traditional and objective stories.
When my family (my blog’s primary fan base) commented on my posts, or called me to talk about all the adventures I was having abroad, they often told me they felt like they could hear me reading my writing aloud to them — that it actually sounded like how I would tell them my stories in person. This is a skill I’ve tried to utilize in my writing whenever possible. After all, wouldn’t you rather read a story that sounds like a conversation with a friend rather than a teacher reading out of a textbook?
Additionally, writing on a regular basis about whatever was on my mind at the moment was not only therapeutic, but helped me come up with new story ideas and brainstorm topics I wanted to investigate further.
So to all the haters out there who sarcastically ask, “So you want to be a blogger?” There is really no shame in my answer being an unequivocal, “yes.” I’m not exactly advocating being a blogger as a primary source of income (sorry to say, but it’s probably not going to pay the bills) — but it has definitely been a positive way for me to develop my writing. Being able to publish your own stories is liberating, knowing that people will indeed see what you write, even it’s only a select few (and by few I mean mostly my grandparents).
Yet, the hesitation that surrounds that unequivocal “yes” is due to a certain stigma attached to blog writing. People assume that bloggers aren’t credible or reliable, that we sit in our pajamas staring at a computer screen all day eating a tub of ice cream (so what if I’m doing that right now…?), or that our sites are basically just diaries gone digital. Sometimes these assumptions are true, I’m not saying that your roommate’s Tumblr should be taken as gospel, but what I am saying is that reading and editing all of Daily Trojan’s blog posts the past month has only reinforced my belief that a little bit of blogging would do everyone some good.
Emily Goldberg is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. She is also blogs editor of the Daily Trojan.