Productive Writing Projects for Young Writers

Productive writing projects for ambitious young writers and college students

Guest Post By Nancy Wood

Many new writers approach their craft with sense of urgency. They expect to produce great work immediately, and they aspire to publish that work even faster. Likewise, some college students don’t want to wait for graduation to start realizing their potential. They want to test the entrepreneurial waters here and now while they're in school to determine if they're pursuing the right field. This na├»ve ambition can be a powerful impetus to propel both college aged writers and beginning authors.

Personally, I salute those who have the drive to test their skills in the real world to see what happens. Writing is no easy profession to take on full time, and the shaky US economy only complicates the issue of employment after graduation. It's a smart move to try out projects while in the stability of a college environment. It allows for entrepreneurial writers to take big risks without worrying too much about the consequences. If a writing endeavor falls through, a student can always rely on their classes and academic network to determine a viable career path.

I have a few suggestions for starting professional writers and young writers who want to embark on their own personal projects while attending college. Check them out below!

Start a blog based on your greatest passion

Starting a blog may seem like the most obvious option available to the entrepreneurial writer, but that shouldn't deter someone from trying it out. The web offers the most visibility for unknown authors and writers than any other venue for trying to get noticed by a publisher, a magazine, or a hiring employer.

One of the most appealing aspects of starting a blog is the freedom that it lends to its creator. As the webmaster, writers can turn their blog into just about anything that they want, from a how-to cooking blog to a running commentary on college life to a glorified portfolio of recent clippings. I've seen author blogs that combine photo collages with their prose, drawing on powerful images to inspire impressionistic short form writing. I've also seen blogs that serve as a platform for publishing an author's novel in episodic form.

In short, a blog's potential is only limited by a writer's imagination.

Form a writer's group among your peers

A writer could also start a writing group among fellow writers at school (for college students) or in their localized community (for career-level writers). Sometimes the most important relationships that a writer can make during college are the ones made among peers with whom they've shared their work.

A writer's group can help students overcome thematic and structural obstacles that they might have in their writing just by virtue of sharing it with someone on their level.

Likewise a career-oriented writer could definitely benefit from a support structure of their peers when they're just getting their feet wet in the industry. There's an intimacy in sharing one's work with their peers that a writer simply can't find often with professors and more established authors. I highly suggest this option for struggling writers.

Write stories, poetry, or essays for submission to small and large publications

This point applies to young writers and college students with writing ambitions. No matter what kind of writer someone aspires to be, they won't get any credit unless they can show that they've published their work in a reputable publication. Clippings are everything to a writer, and the earlier that someone cuts their teeth in some publication—even an obscure one—the better chance they'll have at getting more work in the future. I heartily suggest that ambitious writers spend some time crafting works for submission at various publications, both large and small. A publisher or general employer looking for new hires will definitely take notice of a writer if they published anything at all during college. After all, it is a considerable feat!

Nancy Wood is a freelance education writer. Nancy loves writing about technology in the classroom, and she often muses about what the classroom of tomorrow will look like. She also gives business tips to entrepreneurial writers such as herself. Feel free to send some comments her way!

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Heidiwriter said...

This is good advice. We all get in a hurry to put our "baby" out there, but most of the time, it's not quite ready to show the world. Patience, as well as persistence, is key!

Karen Cioffi said...

Heidi, you're so right. It's all about patience and perseverance!

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