There are obviously many elements that must be considered to produce a successful publication, but through the year I've felt one of the most important and undervalued character traits in the Dragon Press to be courage. Being in such a valued program comes with a great amount of responsibility, but it also can leave new staffers feeling intimidated, especially in the face of more seasoned writers. I felt this intimidation throughout the entire first semester, being in the news section and surrounded by some of the best writers in the class, and even at the start of my time in opinion. However, as I spent more time in opinion I realized that all of the writers were demonstrating the courage I lacked as I worried so often how my pieces would be received. This realization first gave me even more respect for the people I already looked up to, but more importantly gave me the push to see that to be like them I needed to demonstrate the same courage to voice what I felt was important for readers to hear, even sometimes when that meant voicing opinion against some of those same writers. As I realized this, I believe my writing got better and I'm excited to see where this newfound character trait will take me in the next year as I continue to write freelance.
- Ventura US-CA