Iris Maslow

Major(s), Concentration(s): interactive Media
Year at Elon: Graduate student

1. Other than class assignments, what kinds of things do you write or have you written?
When I studied abroad, I found a passion for blogging about my experiences. The success I had with it jumpstarted a new blog about my professional experiences and I haven't looked back since. Also, when I interned at a firm, I was told that my writing was sub-par. As a result, I pushed myself by attending writing workshops and soliciting feedback from colleagues until I became the copy editor of the organization, an accomplishment that truly felt deserved. The skills of copyediting allowed me to work with the communication internship office with grading papers this past summer.

2. What piece of writing are you most proud of?
I wrote an initiative to incorporate more interactive fly-throughs into project pitches for the company's marketing team. The paper sparked discussions about how to integrate more of those skills and as a result, the initiative was approved and I was tasked as the leader of it. It's rewarding to see my writing become a tool to achieve more responsibility and respect.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is at coffee shops on weekend afternoons. The ability to people watch makes me acutely aware that I can be watched as well. As a result, working in a coffee shop provides me with a style of writing that I want to be associated with if anyone near me happens to read over my shoulder- I would almost describe it as self-reflecting.

4. Do you have any interesting quirks and/or routines you follow when writing or when you are preparing to write? What are they?
Most of the writing process happens before pen hits paper. With that in mind, I imagine myself as a reader of the text trying to connect with the author. I speak aloud the paper as I'd want to read it, which helps me set the tone and establish a couple quotes before I begin.

5. Who is your favorite writer? Why?
My favorite book is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison because Ellison manages to lace every single word with a deeper meaning. You'd have to read the book at least five times to truly understand the text.

6. What was the best writing experience of your life?
I spent a day learning with other business communicators from Ann Wylie, an award-winning communicator. Ann had us write down a paragraph of what our company does. Then, she asked us to cut that down to one sentence. Finally, we were told to package it as only four words. "That," she said," is how you write for the web."

7. What would you most like to improve about your writing?
Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. It's easy to ignore the other 200,000 words when you can communicate with what you have. However, the power of saying something strong with less text will never go unnoticed.

8. What advice do you have for other Elon writers?
Take out the superfluous words. No one needs to know that your experience was very cool. If you said it was cool, I won't question the level of coolness.

Use stories. No matter what the type of writing it is, you'll find stories are the power behind any writing because that's how people connect to you as a person and not as a body of text. Even in a twenty-page literature review, I found a place for a story to put the theories into a relatable context.