Anyway, I ended up essentially teaching a class on profile writing, going through the process of how I find ideas, prep for interviews, conduct interviews and write.
It went pretty well, I think. No one fell asleep.
Since I only had one chance to talk to these kids, I wanted to also share random bits of knowledge that I've picked up in my 2+ short years on the job. I called them "Corey's Nuggets of Wisdom." Seriously. I printed out a sheet of paper with that in bold and underlined at the top of the page. It ended up getting copied and passed out to the class.
It's nothing earth-shattering, but I thought I would share. There are nine. I'm sure there are some I forgot. Is there something you would add? Throw it in the comments and I'll update it.
Corey’s Nuggets of Wisdom
- Read. A lot.
- The best way to become a better writer is to read other writers and see what they do that you like and don’t like.
- Write. A lot.
- Practice, whether it’s just for yourself or on a blog.
- Always have a notebook and pen with you.
- Be versatile.
- Journalism is changing and jobs are scarcer. Rise to the top by being able to do more: write, take pictures, design, shoot video.
- You don’t have to be an expert, but have some knowledge and be open to it.
- Get to know -- and love -- new technology.
- Learn about blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+.
- Build your brand.
- What comes up when you Google your name?
- Make sure it’s something that represents you.
- Buy a URL, use your real name on social media and blogs.
- If you get an opportunity to cover something, take it.
- Don’t be scared of new experiences. You might learn something new.
- Plus, bosses might start to give you the good assignments.
- Respond to emails/tweets/calls immediately.
- If someone compliments your work, thank them.
- If they recommend an idea -- even if it’s the worst -- thank them.
- If they hate your work, respond. Usually they don’t expect you to, so they might end up liking you before it’s all over.
- Own up to your mistakes.
- If you did something wrong, apologize and correct it. Don’t try to blame someone else or make excuses.
- Spend as much time -- or more -- out of the office than you do in.
- It’s much harder to find stories at your desk.