This article was written by Monica Woodhams for the HonorSociety.org Elevate e-magazine. This series features top featured writers from the HonorSociety.org writing program. The original article can be found here.
HonorSociety.org created the Featured Writer program in 2015 as a way to encourage HonorSociety.org members to engage with each other while allowing them to expand their writing portfolio to help them land a career in the area of their choosing.
The featured writers for HonorSociety.org are committed to the program and developing their writing skills, which is why we have created a spotlight series to recognize these hardworking students.
For today’s spotlight, we spoke to Reggie Peralta, who is currently studying Political Science, Radio and Television/Video Production. You can find all of his published articles for HonorSociety.org on his member page.
Why did you decide to be an HonorSociety.org writer?
When I first heard about the opportunity to write for HonorSociety.org, I had just started attending Fullerton College and started thinking seriously about writing as both a hobby and a profession. By taking the position, I figured I could gain valuable experience as well as pursue an interest of mine.
What experience have you gained from being an HonorSociety.org writer?
I have learned what’s it like to have certain expectations be required of the work you submit and making sure that your work meets them. Having a generous amount of independence in what I wrote, I developed a sense of responsibility and accountability to myself to make sure I completed and submitted my articles on time.
How has this experience helped you in your academic career and how can it help you in your professional career?
Writing for HonorSociety.org has helped me clarify my academic interests and general approach to education. I have scrutinized my study habits and gave thought as to which ones serve me well and which ones I should change or alter. As for my professional career, the biggest way it has helped me is by giving me a reliable supply of articles on a variety of topics to add to my personal portfolio and present to potential employers.
What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
The best thing an aspiring writer can do is read, read, read. Not only does it expose you to other people’s perspectives, but it also makes you question your own as well as want to share them with others. This is the single most effective thing you can do to nourish your desire to write and refine your craft.
What advice do you have for incoming freshman this fall?
I would advise incoming freshmen to make the most of their time in the fall. Think really hard about the classes you’re taking and whether you would like to study any of the subjects in them in depth, but also keep yourself engaged with extracurricular activities, internships, and job opportunities. It’s a good way to get a head start on networking and experience.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to gain writing experience, but isn’t sure where to start?
Search online for writing opportunities and apply for them. Chances are they won’t be paying positions, but the experience you gain will be invaluable. If you have trouble finding such a gig, you can even start a blog just so you can get in the habit of writing regularly.
Describe your process for writing articles from start to finish
It depends on what kind of article I’m writing. For book reviews, I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction books each month. After I read the book, I try to think about what stands out the most about the book and look for quotes that represent it well. Then I elaborate on these thoughts and quotes until I have a full review.
As for articles about news and education, I either try to see what everybody is talking about or, paradoxically, nobody is talking about. I read about the subjects before putting my thoughts to paper and make sure that I have credible sources that I can cite for any claims that I make.
I try to write all of my articles in one sitting, but depending on how busy I am, I can write a single article over the course of a single week.
What advice do you have for someone who is experiencing writer’s block?
Sometimes, the only thing you can do when trying to write is turn your computer off and think about other things for a while. If you think about something too long, your thinking may become clouded and confused, so it becomes necessary to let it unwind and relax. After all, your writing will still be here when you finish doing so.
What are your professional goals for after graduation?
After I finish at Fullerton, I hope to work in the radio industry, specifically as a disc jockey or talk show host. However, I have many interests and still would like to do something that involves writing, particularly of the creative type.
University: UCLA, Fullerton College
Major: Political Science, Radio and Television/Video Production
Graduation Year: 2014, 2017
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA