We’ve all written essays for classes. Some were only four pages long, and others were 12 page long monsters that took weeks to plan. We learned to cite properly (whether it’s MLA, APA, or Chicago) and the formula Intro, Body, Conclusion. We were marked down for using contractions and unprofessional language. That style of writing is Academic Writing, and it’s something most of us loathe.
On the complete opposite side of the writing spectrum is Creative Writing. There, the rules are malleable. Words can be loose and colloquial, we can write poetry or prose, and while the rules of grammar and spelling are consistent we can push the boundaries by trying to sprinkle accents and slang. However, for some, creative writing is like trying to walk through a maze blindfolded. There are few guidelines to show you where to go, and those with an analytical mind, it can be treacherous territory.
Then, somewhere in the middle, is Journalism. The strange love child between creativity and academia. With journalism, you have to be concise and precise. You must cite your sources and give credit where credit is due. It’s facts and numbers and news. However, it’s can also be imaginative and enlightening. You can choose your topics, ranging from discussing a $2 million investment fund for Managing Investment Funds students to the Top 10 reasons to see your school’s latest Broadway production. With journalism, the sky is the limit and it all depends on how far you’re willing to go to get the scoop.
I had the pleasure of working for The Oakland Post, Oakland University’s Student Newspaper, while I was studying for my B.A. in Creative Writing. Originally, I applied as a photographer. It was a paying job that allowed me to spend more time on campus and get involved. Eventually, I started to get more involved by writing my own articles. Soon, I became the Photo Editor and continued to tackle big events and stories on my own.
Although journalism wasn’t my chosen career path, I loved working for the paper and getting the chance to explore my creative and educational side. It also helped me step out of my comfort zone to get the interesting photos and to interview a wide selection of people.
For those who want to write, but don’t feel quite creative enough to write books, give journalism a try! It may be the perfect solution for you.