My former A students are my favorite to invite back to guest lecture for a class.
Yesterday, one of my journalism students from the fall semester stopped by and spoke to the new journalism students about the different between writing and journalism: “The writing is how you tell the story. The journalism is the story,” he said.”
The class heard how “lucky” they are to have deadlines since he took this semester off and has been freelancing. “It sucks not to have deadlines,” he told them, encouraging them to write every day. “The biggest thing that is going to stop you from reaching success is not trying,” he said. He also spoke about finding work, using Twitter to learn about news, and how “there are jobs for money,” and journalism is not one of those, really; it’s about passion, he said. “You figure out what you want to do and then you figure out how you’re going to get paid,” he said.
The most powerful thing he said, in my opinion, was always have a dream. “Keep moving those goal posts until you die,” he said. I like bringing in guest speakers who say essentially the same thing that I’ve been saying but in different ways that may speak to students in a way that I can’t. For instance, having a male speaker might reach the male students more than I ever could.
This weekend I added another goal to my bucket list – the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. I believe studying there would help me become a better writer.