I have always been told that I was a pretty good writer. Throughout the several writing-based classes I’ve taken in high school and college, teachers would always say that I knew how to get my thoughts out in an efficient way. While that may have been true, I never enjoyed it. I still don’t. I’m not sure if I’m just lazy or feel that people don’t care what I have to say, but the whole process would just irritate me. With that being said, I didn’t exactly hate this class.
When I signed up for COM 370, I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed it would be an easy class and that I would be able to breeze through it. I was wrong.
This class turned out to be one of my most demanding classes between the writing and other assignments that were due every week. Early on, I still felt that I could coast my way through most of the semester with my writing skills. I was wrong again.
Our professor, Dan Connolly, is pretty familiar with the field of digital journalism and sports writing. He tried his very best to mold us into successful writers. He would constantly tell us that if you could write well, you could basically do anything. Of course, making us into good writers came at a price. Our work would constantly be torn apart with every dropped word and cliché we included. It was tough at first, but soon for me, it became almost a personal challenge to see if I could write something that was completely up to his standards.
We were then introduced to a legendary sports writer named Gary Smith. We never formally met him, but we read a book that had some of his best pieces in it. It was interesting to read his stories, because that’s exactly what they read like. Stories. You forgot you were reading about sports for a moment as Smith expertly set scenes and forced the readers to feel what the characters felt. It was eye-opening to me. I realized that sports writing was so much more than play-by-plays or game stories. From that point on, I wrote every piece with Smith’s writing in the back of my head.
By raising my own bar so high, I feel that I actually did improve my writing, and with some minor corrections or style changes, I had some of my best work come out of this class.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I ended up taking this class. It was really interesting to see another side of communications that I hadn’t thought of. I never thought I wanted to be a writer at any capacity, but this class made it at the very least not seem as terrible as I previously thought. I am going to take the things that Professor Connolly taught us throughout the semester and continue to work on my skills.