Week 1 writing challenge

Writing has always been a skill I’ve wanted to improve. It is very important in the field of Public Relations. A few weeks ago, I was visiting with a good friend from college and I had the opportunity to meet his mother. Unbeknownst to me, she works for a fairly large company in the United States and is responsible for a lot of their content that they publish. She and I got to discussing writing more in-depth and she firmly believes the more you write (no matter what about) that you will improve. I have seen this in play with the writing opportunities I have had as an Account Executive at PAN Communications in Boston. Writing bylines about mobile application development and Supercomputers are things I certainly didn’t think I would be comfortable writing about a few years ago, but now they are some of my favorite things to discuss. I have learned so much in the past 13 months that I have been with the company, but want to open myself up to other opportunities to improve my writing skills both personally and professionally.  For Christmas, she very thoughtfully ended up giving me a book entitled, “642 things to write about,” a blank book other than the content ideas it provides to the “reader.” I was inspired by receiving this book, as it was something I’ve seen in book stores before, but never connected that it could be a skills builder. Every week I plan to choose a few ideas from the book and put them down in my blog. I’d be interested in any feedback or thoughts readers might have when it comes to wording, creative opportunities missed, etc. Here we go!

What can happen in a second:

A car crash. A surprise. A slip or fall. A goal in a sports game. A mistake on a client report.

Thinking about this further, I realize everything I think about that can happen in a second isn’t necessarily a happy or positive thing. Not sure if this is just my mind, but when I think of good things, they normally happen over time or take time to come to fruition. For this being my first exercise, I’m surprised how hard I have to think of examples.

The worst Thanksgiving dish you ever had:

To be honest, most of my Thanksgiving experiences have always been pleasant. I remember more of the time I spent with family, the excitement of going to a relatives home and a whole day that I got to spend with my mom and dad. My parents were and still are the most important people in my life. When I got a little older, my parents began to find restaurants that served a special Thanksgiving buffet or feast. We have a few favorites that we continue to visit from time to time, but one restaurant, I believe it was named The Arad Evans Inn, served our table escargot. Thought a favorite for my mom, I think this is the “worst” delicacy I’ve chosen to try during a Thanksgiving meal. To this day, that trip reminds me that I don’t enjoy escargot.

A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live:

Dear basil plant, sitting on the dining room window —

Though you’ve been watered and changed into a larger planter, you still seem to be struggling. I was so excited on the day Michael and I bought you at Market Basket. I was looking for fresh basil leaves for a caprese salad I was going to make for dinner. It seemed all the individual packages of fresh basil leaves were sold (many others must of had the same seasonal idea I did) and there you were, my only option if I wanted an amazing salad. The thought of growing my own basil was exciting and since I was feeling adventurous enough to cook, I was feeling adventurous enough to care for you. The whole summer you continued to grow and provide the freshest basil for salads, soup recipes and beyond. As Summer turns to Fall I see you beginning to lose life and dwindle. You are valued and economically friendly. Please continue to be my kitchen friend and provide me and my loved ones with one of my favorite aromatic spices. The possibilities for your life are endless and I am here to see you excel like the basil plant I know you can be. We can give you more water and light and a bigger planter should that be what you need. As long as you don’t say “Feed Me” I think we should be alright, but please little basil plant, fight.

Write Facebook status updates for the year 2017:

Happy 27th birthday to me! Thank you for all the birthday and well wishes. I’m so proud to be where I am in life and have the family and friends that I do. To another great year of life!

Traveling to CES 2017 for a client. So excited to be headed to Vegas this week, but am going to be super busy doing that PR thang. Let’s do this!

So excited for Minions 2 to be coming out. Gotta love Dave, Carl and Stuart.

Headed to Stowe for Summer 8 of relaxation, good food and all the nature I can take in at one time. Vermont Ale House and Piecasso are calling my name.

You are an astronaut, describe your perfect day:

Like any individuals who truly dream of becoming an astronaut, my perfect day would be in orbit around the Earth or getting the opportunity to land on the Moon. I’ve spent years training and making sure my body was physically fit enough to handle the pressure and environments beyond the Ozone layer. I hope to be feeling weightless with my comrades by my side, charting the course of our next orbit and working to complete the mission we had set out into space to do. I want to see the stars up close and save my planet from a meteorite. I would love to be a part of the team that discovers a new life sustaining planet or another solar system. Being an astronaut means thinking big.

Write a scene where the only spoken dialogue is “Uh-huh,” “Umm,” “Urrr,” and “Mm-mmm:”

Man: Umm…

Woman: Uh-huh

Man: Urrr…

Woman: Mm-mmm (pause) Umm…

Man: Uh-huh (pause) Mm-mmm!

While writing something like this is most certainly challenging, I’ve decided the woman is telling the man she’s pregnant. By the end they are both happy with the announcement.

_______________________________________________________

I can’t believe how fun these first six exercises have been. I had to think deeply, remember my childhood, love a plant, think about life two years from now, be an astronaut (which I never want to be) and make an awkward conversation something really exciting. I see how stretching my brain can be fun and helpful to my writing and I look forward to next week’s challenges.

Any thoughts? Comment away! Have a fun scenario you’d like me to try? I’m an open book.

– The PR Graduate

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