How To Be A More Confident Writer

8 Ways To Be A More Confident Writer

How confident are you about your writing?

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One of my biggest challenges has always been getting past how I see myself, including not always recognizing what my gifts are. During my freshman introductory course, I was surprised when my advisor told me that I was a greater writer since I did not have confidence in myself as an academic and writer. She pushed my boundaries by encouraging me to write for a blog and I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone.

As I became more comfortable with putting my authentic voice in my writing, I then joined the Dayton Odyssey community as a content creator. My old fears began to resurface: Do I have anything important to say? Does anyone want to hear what I have to say? Do I even write well?

After writing for Odyssey for over a year, I have found that I have grown in my ability and confidence as a writer. This summer I even had the confidence to apply to a summer research program at UD and got a head start on my thesis. While my journey is not over, I have learned a lot about being a writer and how to be more confident in my writing.

I wanted to share what I have found helpful and advice I have been given that may help you build confidence as a writer.

1. Practice makes perfect. 

If you want to master any skill or build a habit, you need to practice. A great thing about writing for The Odyssey is that every week I have to write an article and now I have written close to 50 articles! The more I have written, the more I have learned what works and found my own writing style. Set time aside whether it's every day or weekly to just write. In the words of Epictetus, "If you wish to be a writer, write."

2. Start small and set goals. 

Build up your writing endurance. Don't start out trying to write a whole novel. Consider using small writing prompts to help inspire you and start small. Try setting goals at first like only writing a certain word count or for a certain amount of time and slowly increase the amount. Most importantly, also finish what you start. This is a great way to keep track of your accomplishments and can give you a sense of pride in your work.

This works for both creative writing and for writing for school. If you have a big paper or project you need to write, chunk it down and set writing goals for yourself like write a paragraph of the paper a day. You can make an outline to help you achieve this and then check off parts as you go.

3. Write what you know and what you like. 

It's a lot easier and you will probably feel more comfortable when writing about something if you already know a lot about it and or have a passion for it. It will make it easier because you won't have to do as much research and won't have to worry about messing up the facts.

Odyssey encourages us to write about "How's [my] identity tied to what's going on in the world?" Try writing in a way that incorporates more of your identity or opinions to make it more authentically you. Think about where you're from, your beliefs, your political views, your hobbies and talents, what you consume or like (e.g. media and brands).

4. Get out of your head. 

A professor once told me that I should never go longer than 20 minutes staring at my laptop without making some progress writing. If you're stuck, try stepping away and coming back to your work with some fresh eyes. Go for a walk or sleep on it. Don't let yourself get frustrated and don't worry about having the 'perfect' words. Just write what comes into your thoughts and edit later.

5. Always proofread and edit. 

None of us are perfect. Proofreading can often be the extra step needed to make sure your paper seems professional by catching mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Being concise and having a good flow to your writing is key. After just letting your thoughts and writing flow, go back through to make sure everything flows and take out any unnecessary parts.

In an academic paper, make sure all your points support your argument and are cohesive. Remember that the first draft should never be the final draft.

6. Don't compare, but do learn from others.

Your writing voice is your own and in the process of trying to become a better writer don't become a different person as well. If you find someone successful who has a similar tone and style as yours, don't compare but rather read their works and think of how you can apply their expertise to your own work.

7. Try different writing styles and following a writing formula. 

Find what works for you and what style you feel most comfortable writing in. Although writing gives you space to be creative, there are some loose rules on structure for some genres or types of writing. Consider looking at formulas to help guide your writing, especially if you are stuck.

For academic writing, consider looking up suggested templates or example essays for suggestions on how to write in that subject or style. For example, there are outlines you can use to fill in your information and help you organize your points like this outline for a persuasive essay. Consider looking up examples of words and phrases for transitions and making points that you can incorporate into your writing style like Oxford Royale Academy's and Smart Words' lists.

8. Share your work. 

This has always been the hardest part for me. I would recommend starting small. Share your work with the people you trust and respect the most, like your friends, family, and significant other. These people know you the best and care for you, so any feedback you receive will often be given in a gentle way and it's easier to remind yourself that they are telling you because they genuinely care and want what's best for you. My boyfriend is super supportive, and I used to have him proofread all of my Odyssey articles before I even submitted them for review and editing. As I grew in my confidence, I have depended on him less and tend to just submit to Odyssey itself.

If you're working on an academic paper, ask friends or classmates to read your paper. Take opportunities to meet with your professor because even if they won't read your paper you can often discuss your ideas and see if you are in the right direction. If your school offers it, take advantage of services like at the library that will sit down and help you review your work. Your paper will not only be proofread and edited, but these sessions can also help you realize tips and develop the skills needed to be able to review your paper on your own.

I hope these tips will help you to improve in your writing skills and build your confidence. As Markus Zusak wrote in The Book Thief,

"I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right."

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21 Reasons You Should Date Someone Who Was A Camp Counselor

Spouse and parent material, all wrapped up in an animal shirt, Nike shorts, and Chacos.
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1. They shop at Goodwill mostly... low maintenance you could say?

SEE ALSO: The ABC's Of Summer Camp

2. They are pretty awesome at talking to parents... opening days have given good practice for them. Give them 15 minutes and they will become best friends with your parents.

3. Their best friends actually are long distance...so you can wait a while to meet their besties who will want to know everything about you and make sure your intentions are good.

4. They have learned how to look decently presentable without showering for a week... maybe two...you may or may not like this one.

5. They are always down for adventure... sure let's hike for eight miles uphill in the middle of the week!

6. They know what it is like to be woken up at 2 a.m. because someone wet their bed... mom training.

7. They also know how to give the "modest is hottest" talk to the teenage campers... and will help give you a classy future daughter.

8. Building fires is their hidden talent... if you ever get stuck on a deserted island with them they can help you.

9. Animal shirts are a common clothing item... they know how to have fun.

10. They throw killer dance parties... ones your grandma would approve of.

11. They are used to being publicly embarrassed for others (their campers') enjoyment... and usually can take a joke or prank well.

12. They also know how to prank you back... summer camp prepares you for awesome prank wars.

13. If you want to see her with no makeup on just look at her camp photos... natural beauty?

14. They actually love children... they chose to spend a whole summer loving other people's kids; imagine how awesome they will treat their own.

15. Chances are they are a really fun person and will bring out your inner child... yes, climb that random tree and paint your face because it is Wednesday.

16. Their "real job" will come later in life... they will end up being successful. Most employers love to hire former counselors, so it is not a waste of a summer.

17. They know how to hide their favorites in life really well... so if they choose to date you they are basically saying you are their favorite and that is a big deal to them.

18. They have learned how to eat unhealthy food every day for a whole summer and stay in shape... or try to at least.

19. They also are obviously not a diva when it comes to material needs...they went a whole summer without even air conditioning and never complained.

20. If they love you anything like they love their campers your needs will always be put first...they are some of the most selfless people you will ever meet.

21. They love God, living for Him, and have already made a difference in many children's lives... they are the real MVPS.

If you are still looking for a place to work this summer and love adventure, Jesus, and children, apply for Camp Crestridge for Girls; they still have many positions available. I'll be there so you should too!

If you are a boy apply for Camp Ridgecrest for Boys!

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Looking for a fright? Try "Dying Light."

Good night, good luck.

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"This is Jade, get to the nearest safehouse and wait until dawn... Good night, and good luck." The radio goes off as your watch beeps. It is now 21:00, and you are in danger. In the night, things are never the same...

Dying Light is one of the most iconic zombie games of this era, featuring never before seen concepts in its genre. It also features one of the most scary features of all, drawing inspiration from Minecraft. Here are all the things that makes Dying Light terrifying. Beware, violent images ahead.

A better "Dead Island"

"Dying Light" was developed by Techland - a company famous for its prior zombie game: Dead Island. Dead Island was a hit due to its new mechanics involving heavy emphasis on melee combat and weapon crafting. This put players in a tough spot because unlike its predecessors of "Left 4 Dead" or "Killing Floor," guns are a rarity and survival depends on resourcefulness.

After the failed release of "Dead Island: Riptide" - a low effort expansion - Techland parted ways with their publisher Deep Silver, in pursuit of a game that they can formulate on their own.

Dying Light - Launch Trailer | PS4 Youtube

Flash forward to 2015, and "Dying Light" was released with massive success. It featured functions not available in "Dead Island" while debuting a new feature: parkour. Yes, you read that right, parkour.

Parkour?

Parkour was an interesting system to be implemented in a zombie game, but it would make total sense when you think more about it. Imagine the streets being filled with mindless zombies. One bite, and you're infected. Leave untreated, and you're gone. The rooftops is the only safe option, and you need the athleticism to scale buildings and run away from danger. In Dying Light, you're not a hunter. You're the hunted.

The night

Fear not the day, for night is your true enemy. In "Dying Light," zombies are infected with a special virus. This strain of virus is afraid of UV light, meaning that during the day, the zombies' motor functions are extremely suppressed, making them sluggish and dumb. But when night comes, the virus unleashes its full potential, turning slow zombies into athletic and crazed chasers that can pursuit you for miles at incredible speeds.

Run and pray they don't catch you Giphy

Other than that, at night, a special mutation of zombies appear called "Volatiles." They are athletically superior, incredibly strong, and are terrifying. They usually emit a gargling sound and makes clicking noises, both of which join together for a scary combo. Plus, in the night, you are vulnerable. Sneaking while watching out for monsters in the dark isn't exactly easy.

Equipped with a UV Flashlight with limited battery life, you are left with only one weapon for self-defense if you ever find yourself in a pursuit. And in all cases, just run.

Noises

"Dying Light" has an interesting approach to noise. Zombies are very sensitive to noises. A gunshot, an explosion, a car alarm, or a loud crash onto a crumbling building could attract hordes to your position. In this game, noises determine your survival at night. Know when to throw a firecracker for distraction or when to trip car alarm traps could mean the difference between surviving a night and not seeing the day.


Dying Light Noise Attracts Virals www.youtube.com


Closing words

"Dying Light" promises a unique zombie experience different from most games. It's gritty, it's scary, and it's fun - these standards are those that game developers could only dream about when designing a zombie franchise. Nothing is more bone-chilling than hearing a volatile scream as the night comes, an explosion going off nearby, or when the sun sets gently behind the slums of Harran. But zombies aren't the only threats. Humans are an entire different ball game, but that's up to you to explore.

Good night and good luck...

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