One of the definitions of the word create is “to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior…to produce through imaginative skill.” Before majoring in Professional Writing and Information Design (PWID), I thought that creativity was reserved for careers in the arts, like theater or photography. I associated creativity with fun, and I didn’t expect to find either in PWID. What I didn’t realize is that every field requires creativity to some degree, especially storytelling!
I’ve loved stories for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I listened to audio dramas while playing with Legos or magnetic mosaics. As I got older, I became an avid reader of anything from historical fiction to Amish romance. When I was in high school, I pointed out the ridiculous predictability of Hallmark movies, much to the dismay of my mom and sisters. By the time I started college at Cedarville, I wanted to pursue storytelling as a career.
But how could I get involved with storytelling? I am horrible at keeping a straight face, so the theater was not a great option. I love literature, but I don’t like analyzing it for theoretical themes, so I gave up on an English major. I thought about studying linguistics, but it only took three class periods to figure out that it was not the path for me. Finally, I decided to become an editor so that I could help other people tell their stories instead.
Fortunately for me, I met Dr. Carrington. He told me about the PWID Major and the Editing and Publishing Minor at a CU Friday Academic Fair. I was ecstatic! I decided to major in Professional Writing and Information Design and jumped into classes right away.
However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I didn’t like editing at all. I didn’t have the heart to make corrections to someone’s work beyond basic grammar. It didn’t help that I am notorious for making typos on my papers and projects. It quickly became apparent that editing wasn’t my calling.
So now what? I needed to find an internship for the coming summer. I wanted to work in storytelling, but I didn’t know how to do it. I started praying for God to show me what to do next. And then he reminded me of something.
When I was a freshman, I had to find a “dream job” for a class project. I looked for days to find a potential job, but couldn’t find the right one. I asked Dr. Carrington for help, and he suggested that I look at nonprofits for potential positions. I found an opening for a writing intern with a small missions organization called Children’s Relief International. The position involved many of the skills we study in PWID: copywriting, editing, storytelling, graphic design, and.… wait a minute, storytelling?
I did a quick online search and found the internship position again. Sure enough, it was the same as the year before. I applied for the job and got it!
That summer with Children’s Relief International, I wrote biographies for child sponsorship candidates. I edited thank you letters from missionaries serving on the field in Africa. I traveled to Mexico to conduct interviews and write content to support a nutrition program. I designed information sheets for ministries all over the world. And most importantly, I told stories that impacted the lives of others!
PWID has shown me that I can be creative in any career field or position because I can use my skills to motivate people to think, feel, or act. After I graduate in May, I want to pursue a career in missions, writing and designing content to support the work that is happening for the Kingdom of God all around the world.
About the author
Claire is a senior Professional Writing and Information Design major at Cedarville University.