The one good thing about learning through Zoom is that guest speakers are more accessible. Arika J. Linton is a Post Secondary Manager at Chi Tech Academy and a freelance blogger for Blavity, Medium.com, and Walker’s Legacy. She shared many ways to grow as a creative and multiple career paths the True Star team members can start thinking about when it comes to having a career in communications.
Linton, a True Star alum, started off her journalism career by reporting and interviewing. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 and she will get her masters in journalism this fall. As she grew as a journalist, she became more passionate in op-ed writing–opinion pieces that allow the creator to connect to their audience on a more personal level.
“Creativity, innovation, mastery, skill, development, and character.” Linton told the group that those are six ways to create your own voice in the media. Putting your own personality into your work helps to add that special sauce to whatever project you’re working on.
Linton gave us some food for thought. She suggested we think about our message and what our voice is. Linton said that as a creative you should “ask yourself what legacy do you want to leave behind in the media?” What you put into the world is there forever, so think about how you want to be known and build your brand.
“When you’re developing your voice and your story, make sure that story has development,” Linton said. “Don’t just put something out there that doesn’t make sense. Develop the story, cultivate your voice, and then make sure you never forget your style, your sauce, for whatever you’re putting out there. Make sure you never forget to add a little bit of you in it.”
Linton explained that on her journey as a writer, she did lots of interviewing and reporting and developed her ideas to turn them into great shareable stories. She branched out of the standard interviews and asked herself: What do I want to say? She knew that she wanted to empower, so she wrote down ideas on how she could make that happen and set out to do it.
When asked about freelance work, Linton talked about how to get started and the benefits. She admitted that you’re probably going to start off working for free, but with hard work and dedication you will make as much as you create. There are so many outlets for creators. Linton mentioned podcasts, blogs and panels as just a few options.
She ended her talk by speaking on affirmations. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and overwork yourself, so it’s important to take a breather every once in a while. Meditate, relax, hang out with a group of supportive people, do fun activities that get your mind off work. Most importantly, be sure to balance your work life and social life.
It was a pleasure to hear Linton speak to the True Star team. For more info on Linton, visit her website at www.arikalinton.com.
By Abra Richardson, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago