As the academic year is now over, I’ve been reflecting on the last several months and where I am today versus nine months ago. More specifically, how writing for the Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship has taught me three things: good writing takes (lots of) practice, writing promotes learning, and writing takes you places.
#1: Good Writing Takes (Lots of) Practice
I remember those first initial essays I ever wrote – my parents marked them all over with notes, enough to make one seriously doubt that writing was their thing. I went on to take classes in writing, work with professional editors, and with many professors for various classes. Long story short, good writing takes (lots of) practice.
Just how much practice? Consider this: every time I write an essay, article, or research paper, I edit it. No matter how much, or how often I write, I always print off a copy and mark it up with a pen or pencil. I’ve written thousands of words over the last five years, but I still make many mistakes. It could be grammar, sentence structure, facts, punctuation, etc. Even now, as a “veteran” writer, I still find myself writing outlines, trying to gather my thoughts, and reformatting articles (even now, I’m trying to decide if I should reword this sentence…)
Just when I think I’ve got a handle on this writing business, I find myself mulling over what topic to cover next in my bi-weekly blogging. I try to brainstorm a list of topics, which I inevitably write about and then need more. I really don’t think any one person can master how to write well, but I’ve had a lot of fun practicing.
#2: Writing Promotes Learning
If you’re a student reading this article, you’re probably rolling your eyes because the last thing you want to do is study more. I can relate because after writing papers for your classes, applying for scholarships and more, you might be sick of writing. However, let’s consider how writing promotes learning.
I’m a prolific note taker when it comes to academics – I do most of my note taking by hand on the PowerPoints, on notebook, paper, and sometimes on my laptop. Writing about what I’m hearing forces me to structure the information into short sentences that get to the point. Sometimes this doesn’t always go as plan because I’ll come back to my notes later and can’t for the life of me figure out what I was saying. Overall though, rewriting my notes, or taking them by hand, goes a long ways in comprehension of a subject matter.
Another way writing promotes learning is through exploring new subjects. For instance, some of my past blog topics came about as a result of wanting to learn more about a particular subject such as the new Student Pilot Certificate rules , various airlines , or new pieces of legislation affecting different segments of the aerospace industry. I find that I’m much more informed on a subject when I actually write about it.
So, while you may shudder at writing to promote learning, just think of it as telling your best friend a story.
#3: Writing Takes You Places
Writing takes you places – maybe that seems too good to be true, but I can promise you it is. Consider the following: job applications, resumes, cover letters, scholarship applications, and academic classes. All of these require writing and they all can take you places such as a new job, money for your education, and a way to earn your degree – the possibilities are endless.
With GlobalAir.com, I’ve found a creative outlet, a scholarship curator job, and a way to hone my writing skills. I’ve used my writing skills many times over for scholarship applications, class research projects, and much more. I honestly didn’t think I’d be paid to write about my passion for aviation – the Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship became my opportunity to pour my passion for aviation onto paper and pushed me to develop my professional writing skills while putting myself through school.
I don’t think I’d be where I am today without my skills as a writer and the willingness to develop them. If there is one piece of advice I could pass on to students it would be to practice, practice, practice – we’ll always be writing and there is no time like the present to get started.
Now, get out there and write!
Do you know a student in aviation (really, any facet) that has a passion for writing?
GlobalAir.com is pleased to announce the opening for application submissions for the GlobalAir.com “Calvin L. Carrithers” Aviation Scholarship. The scholarship is offered to all students who are currently enrolled in an accredited university or college aviation program for the 2016-2017 academic year.
After a successful launch of the inaugural Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation scholarship program in 2014, students from around the country have benefited from the scholarship. In the 2015-2016 academic year, students from University of North Dakota, Florida Institute of Technology and Eastern Kentucky University were chosen as recipients. Each year four students are awarded the scholarship that entails writing weekly blog posts sharing their flight training or aviation management experiences while being awarded a scholarship of $250 twice a semester, equaling a total award of $1,000.
Interested students should apply at https://www.globalair.com/scholarships/ before August 10, 2016 to be considered.
Images courtesy of Google.com.