The more I live, the more I realize just how complicated this world can be and just how very busy most everyone is. With this being the case, the need for good communication is essential. In my experience at this internship, communication needs to be efficient and flexible. Especially when trying to interview local artists, who are usually quite busy, it must be understood that there will be scheduling conflicts and patience and flexibility are imperative. This also goes for the management.
Writing on the job was definitely a trial and error learning experience. As a writer in the legal world, there was not much guidance or guidelines for my day to day writings. If I came across a question of formatting or legal terms, it was mostly up to me to research and find my own answer. I feel like this experience of being responsible for my own learning has helped me greatly in the professional world. While it is important to ask questions, sometimes it is good to just give something your best shot and see how it turns out. Sometimes a little risk can have a large reward.
Fitting in with the writing style at my internship has not been too difficult so far. One thing that was very helpful was that the place where I work has their writing style almost down to a science. They have their own sort of miniature style guide that they showed me when I first started there which I have had access to. I also got help and feedback from my supervisors about how I could change what I had written for them in a way which would fit in more cohesively with their own house style.
I think the hardest part of adjusting my writing for my internship is writing in their “voice”. Before I started working for them, the voice was extremely promotional and I was not used to writing like that. After analyzing their old social media posts and getting to know their audience, I thought it would be more beneficial to create a more informational tone rather than a promotional tone.
There have been a few big challenges regarding my slipping into the organizational voice here at Spider Marketing Group (literally just changed from Rev Web). The biggest involve my ongoing struggle with abandoning linking verbs, and the push to embody a certain financially-incentivized bias in the portrayal of different topics.
I honestly haven't had too much difficulty writing the way they would like so far. I haven't been asked to write too much of my own content, so I've gotten off easy in that regard. I definitely wouldn't have a problem with writing in my own words, but most of what I've done so far is really technical and narrow in nature. The tone is pretty clear-cut for most of the writing I've done and a lot has had to do with me sorting text and piecing things together from existing information.
I definitely had some difficulty figuring out what was expected of me during the first couple weeks of my internship.
At a digital marketing agency that works with many clients, I have had to adapt the voice my writing to not just one, but several different established tones in industries of varying seriousness and technical complexity. However, the biggest challenge had little to do with this and had more to do with writing in a way that’s congruent with SEO best practices—which, as I’m sure I’ll frequently reiterate on this blog, are frequently changing.
I haven't found workplace writing with my particular organization to be anything more difficult than my expectations, but the Katz study does help pinpoint where and why some challenges occur. With the writing process, I find that there have been few challenges in the planning process of my documents, mostly because my supervisors have made the purpose and audience of said documents so clear to me. The flyer I created for an event was the most difficult document to plan because it was the only one that I did not have something of the past to reference.
The biggest challenge that I have encountered with writing in my internship is learning what feedback is valuable when evaluating manuscripts. To a certain extent, my classes at Grand Valley have prepared me for that aspect. I learned through workshop classes how to talk about writing and what vocabulary to use. I know how to say more than just I liked it or I didn't like it types of feedback. The challenge came with the type of writing I was evaluating. The manuscripts I look through are meant to be literary fiction.