I spent 2013 re-shaping myself as a writer. I perfected each style of writing. I enrolled in an assortment of classes that tested each skill. I acquired some new skills. I edited. I developed relationships with professors and other students in the journalism school. I worked at an unsuccessful student-led publication. I worked at a successful student-led publication. I earned awards and scholarships for my work in journalism. I interned at a publication. I made mistakes. Still, I find myself with a passion to write.
The most important trial of 2013? Finding what style of writing I enjoy best.
It wasn’t until these past four months that I started to realize the beauty of feature writing. I was forced to write features over the summer. I was forced to write features for classwork. And I had been forced to write features in high school when I was part of the yearbook staff.
So, as my journey begins — and by journey, I mean soul-searching — I reflect on my influences, and tip my hat to 2013. I’m thankful for the countless stories I’ve read this year that may have influenced my writing. I’m thankful for the opportunity to write.
Here’s a recap of my favorite reads from 2013 (with links):
This story about Johnny Manziel shaped my views about him: he’s crazy, but he’s also similar to a large population of the college student body. He’s struggling to balance fame and a quiet life. My professor had Wright Thompson in class at the University of Missouri.
After balling at my computer screen for five to 10 minutes at Billy Baker’s Twitter timeline, I continued on to read his story from a few years ago. It’s a great read, and it makes me want to become a journalist even more.
One of the long-form stories I read. Fantastic… It is part of the Best American Sports Writing 2013.
Update: the fact that I can only find three bookmarks on my computer is sad because I read so many great stories this year. Cheers to a more organized 2014.