All I remember is seeing blood. My heart beat faster as I tried to figure out what was wrong. Did I cut myself? Were my insides disintegrating? Tears started to fill my eyes as I did the only thing I could think of: shoving toilet paper into my underwear in the hopes it would stop the bleeding. Fifteen minutes had passed since I excused myself from a large state-wide standardized test due to intense pain. My guts felt like they’d been flipped to the outside and ravaged by a pair of garden shears. Shaking like a leaf, I managed to pull myself together and schlep myself back into my seat to make it through the rest of the test and the remainder of the school day. It wasn’t until days later that I was told that I had my first period at nine years old.
When you go to the store, a bunch of flashy packaging and labels jump out from the shelves in unison. One box shows an enticing picture of the food inside. Another product has a big red “new” on it. A bottom shelf contains a package in an interesting shape. With all of this information blasting, how can you possibly pick an item to put in your cart and take home?
In this Pecha Kucha Presentation, learn how I’ve developed my personal and professional self after graduating from TCNJ.
Every morning at around 7.30 AM, I’m greeted by the friendly – although somewhat anxiety-inducing – ping of my Outlook inbox. As I struggle to keep my eyes open, around 35 new emails demand my attention with their little blue unread bubbles. While sifting through my inbox, I notice how different each piece is. From long, detailed notes to agency stakeholders to internal newsletters to large corporate announcements, each communication has a particular style. Some have a very stuffy and detailed voice while others are more conversational. Although all of these pieces have a different purpose and voice, they all are forms of business writing.
Digital media has changed the way we create and communicate stories to one another. From Snapchat blips to WordPress blogs, content creators need to conform their message to the stipulations of the platform. Natively, shorter more impactful content has been shown to perform better with audiences. Although long-form pieces have been regaining their popularity and effectiveness, not every reader will want to dedicate the time to mull through a 1,500+ word article.
Although we live in an era where 280 characters can recount an amazing moment, it is impossible to beat a full-length story. Long-form content, or content that is more than ~1,200 words, is steadily coming back into the limelight as an important form of digital storytelling. Social media and technology have skewed our attention spans to be short and obsessive. The shorter the content, the zingier (and more popular) it was, but with that came fatigue. Now, we are seeing traditional long-form content sneaking back into content strategies – and with great success. Readers are becoming increasingly more invested in what they are engaging with and who is writing.
When crafting an important piece, it is likely you will become intertwined in the classic writer’s dilemma: who are you writing for? According to author William Zinsser, you should be writing for yourself. Although he is the self-proclaimed evangelist of brevity and simplicity, Zinsser emphasizes that the audience – or the idea of who your audience is – should not have an effect on your writing. In chapter 5 of his book On Writing Well, he describes this paradox. A good writer should be a master of the ground principles of writing and confident in their personal style. Here, the difference between technical craft and unique attitude is key.