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10 Things I've Learned from Publishing 29 Articles

Books & Writing

May 21, 2023

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

I have been writing pretty much my entire life. From the time I was about four or five, I started falling in love with stories — both real and fictional. When I was in high school, I started taking writing seriously. I wrote a book (which hopefully no one will ever read), and I even did a semester-long internship at a local newspaper.

I thought once I graduated, I would take some time off and study writing at college. Well, thanks to Covid, my plans for college fell through. During that time, I was frustrated, trying to find someplace where I could work on further developing my writing skills. Then one day I ran across an ad for The Teen Magazine on Facebook and the rest is history.

Over the past few years I have learned so much about writing and myself. These are just a few lessons I've picked up.

1. Writing Can Help You Grow As a Person

Even if you aren't writing about something personal, it is still a journey of self-discovery. Writing pushes the limits of your mind and imagination, allowing you to grow not only as an artist, but also as a person.

Through my years of writing I have found that it has helped me mature and become my own person. Writing has become a part of who I am. I think this is because so much of what we write and how we write is based on our personalities.

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2. Every Article Is Different

I have written about a lot of different topics in the nearly three years that I have been writing for The Teen Magazine, and every time I sit down to write an article, the process is a little bit different.

Sometimes I sit down and know exactly how the article is going to go. Other times, I have no idea what I am going to say, so I just make it up and edit it down later. Sometimes I can write it in a day or two, other times it may take a little longer to find the right words.

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3. You Can Only Do Your Best

Don't expect your work to be perfect, because it will never be. The only thing you can do is try your best and work on becoming a better writer. Like it is said, there is always a room for improvement.

You won't publish everything you write, and that's okay. There will be grammar mistakes that you miss. Some days you'll look back at something you wrote and say, "What was I thinking?"

But what matters is that you do your best every time you sit down to write. Your best might be a little different each day, but the point is that you're trying.

4. There Is No Better Feeling Than Seeing Your Work Published

When my first article was published, I bounced around my house, so excited to see my name on the by-line knowing my words were out there for everyone to read.

Now when I publish something, I don't jump up and down anymore, but I do get excited. There's something so fulfilling about seeing your name on the by-line.

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5. Writing Isn't Always Easy

Writing isn't always as easy as sitting down and typing out a bunch of words on your computer. In fact, some days this seemingly simple task proves to be too difficult.

There have been days where I cried when I sat down to write. I used to feel bad about not being mentally able to write some days, then I realized even famous writers talk about having bad writing days. When those days happen, it's important to be kind to yourself and take a mental health break. After all, we all deserve an opportunity to reset and rebuild.

6. Write What You Enjoy Talking About

One piece of advice that seems to have appeared somewhere around the same time as writing became a viable career option is: write what you know. However, I have always found this advice rather constricting. Instead, you should write what you enjoy talking about.

So, if you enjoy discussing fashion and beauty trends, those are the things you should write about.

But if there's a topic that you don't know much about that you would like to write about, research it. That way, you get to explore ideas new to you, while also expanding your areas of expertise.

7. Lifestyle Topics Are Just As Important As Hard News

Before I started working for The Teen Magazine, I had always envisioned myself as a reporter who covered politics, or world news. I didn't see myself writing about cooking tips or time management. But after I started writing here about those things, it was like a whole new world opened up.

I realized that these kinds of topics are just as, if not more, important than hard news. Lifestyle topics are relevant to most people and they serve as a common ground for everyone.

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8. Having A Community Of Other Writers Is So Important

While the act of writing is something we often do alone, it is so important to have a community of other writers.

When you have other writers around encouraging you and giving you feedback on your work, it makes the process of writing easier and can even inspire you to create more.

9. Life Events Can Fuel Your Writing

There have been so many times when something in my life has prompted me to write an article. This is because personal events have a deep impact on us and writing about them is a great way to process. In other words, writing can become an excellent medium of self-expression.

10. Experience Is The Best Writing Teacher

As I mentioned above, my college plans didn't pan out quite how I wanted them to, so I ended up not getting my degree. I tried for a long time to work towards that goal without much success. I even wrote that I was going to attend college in my bio when I first started here, because that was my plan.

But even though that didn't happen, the experience of working on a magazine staff like this has taught me so much that I would have never learned in in a classroom. Writing for The Teen Magazine empowered me to take control of my future and even inspired me to start my own blog.

I don't know if I will get my degree in the future (time will tell), but even if I never do, I know that what I've learned by doing will carry me through my career as a writer.

Final Thoughts

I can honestly say this magazine helped jumpstart my writing career in a way that nothing else has. And I am grateful for that.

Cassandra Stinger
50k+ pageviews

Writer since Jun, 2020 · 31 published articles

Cassandra Stinger is a journalist, aspiring author, and preschool teacher from central Kansas. When she's not writing or working, she can be found reading, cooking, or pursuing photography.