It seems to be fairly logical that if you want to write well, you must write often. And yet so many people who want to be writers never seem to actually write. Listed below are examples of some different areas I have used to strengthen my own writing ability.
I spent three semesters of my college career writing for my university newspaper, The Liberty Champion. For two of those semesters I also served as a copy editor. Two of the pages on this site (Feature and Opinion) are expansions of articles I wrote for the Liberty Champion. Here are a few more of my favorite published articles:
– a quirky profile of a Liberty University alumnus and employee
– a lighthearted feature story about the university’s production of “Mary Poppins”
– a cautionary opinion piece on the state of affairs in Ukraine in the fall of 2014
– a conversational response to Pope Francis’ stance on evolution and the Big Bang theory
– a thought-provoking opinion piece about how society views Down Syndrome
Outside of the professional realm, I also do a great deal of work on original projects. I am currently working on several larger ones that I hope to someday publish as full novels. Most of the stories I write are fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian, although I occasionally dabble in other genres as well. I would prefer not to post my work on the internet in case I ever try to publish it. However, inspiration boards for my two largest projects can be found here and here if you would like to get a feel for them. The former board actually contains short snippets of my writing in many of the post descriptions. Samples of my fiction work can be obtained upon request if they are desired.
Personally, I find fan fiction to be a great way to keep myself constantly writing. I have written everything from short pieces to multi-chapter stories, from lighter tones to more depressing ones. By providing a world with pre-existing rules and characters, fan fiction lets me focus solely on flexing my plot muscles or experimenting with various elements like descriptions, using different voices, extended metaphors/analogies, and even different writing styles, such as a stiff academic tone versus a more casual one. There are also some more tangible benefits. A four-part piece I wrote last spring went on to win its category in a Tumblr contest. One of my most popular stories received just over 100 reviews, and I have had readers request permission to translate my work into multiple languages as well as an audio format. I also edit all my own work, so any errors or lack thereof are due solely to my ability. A full list of my fan fiction stories can be found here.