Tomorrow, my article for USA Today College will run at 8 A.M. EST. I had a week to submit my article with all the appropriate paperwork. Here are some things I learned in this short week.

1. Writing For Someone Else Is A Whole New Experience

For as long as I’ve been writing my book, I’ve had the luxury of setting my own schedule. I can choose when I want to have a section done and edited, and how long I want to spend on it. My experience with this opportunity showed me that even though working on a real deadline packs on a lot of pressure, it also forces me to get down to business and not get distracted.
2. I Actually Do Well Under Pressure

I never thought that I would do so well under pressure, but I did. I knew that, considering the importance of the situation, I would not be able to take long breaks to binge-watch Netflix and shop Kate Spade merchandise online (yes, guilty). I had to seriously keep focused. I took ten minute breaks to read a Jeannette Walls novel and then continued. 

3. This Was NOT Blog Writing

My favorite thing about my blog is that my writing style doesn’t have to have a sense of formality or seriousness. I can infuse things like, ‘y’all’ and ‘what up?’ with the occasional curse word without it being such a big deal. My more relaxed writing voice comes through on this platform and that’s how I like it. With something like this article, which is probably the most important thing I’ve written thus far, my voice is a lot less sassy and sarcastic. 
4. Do Not Force Anything

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s still very true. Although I wrote for a bigger publication medium and strived for my ideal perfection, I didn’t want this to be inauthentic at all. I am accustomed to using big words anyway, but instead of cracking open the thesaurus every five minutes looking for the greatest, most worthy word, I just let my ideas come to me as I started typing so none of it was forced. I didn’t let any of this intimidate me. 

5. Trust My Talent & Have Fun With It

At one point during the last five days, I had a bit of a mini meltdown. Here I am, 20-years-old, still trying to improve my skills as a writer, and then here comes USA Today asking me to write an article for them. It’s a bit intimidating, to say the least, and I found myself getting a bit worried. Worried about what? My ability to pull this off? But, in the course of writing the article, I realized something very important: I know my talent and I trust myself. That sense of belief in myself helped me write it and get the most out of the experience. 

I am so beyond blessed to have been given this opportunity and I am excited for you all to read it! 

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