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5 Things I've Learned as Editorial Director at Spoon USC

Becoming the English teacher I always wanted.

You know that feeling of excitement and joy when you finally see your waiter approaching with your food when you're starving?  That's how I feel about being the Editorial Director of Spoon USC. However, my journey to getting here is a little wild. I joined Spoon University on a whim, wrote this article about my one true love Trader Joe's, and all of a sudden I found myself trying to get as involved as possible in our chapter. Before I realized it, I was on the executive team of Spoon USC.

I remember being nervous about leading my first chapter meeting. I was never on a school newspaper and I have a love/hate relationship with commas, just ask my family. But through it all I have loved every minute of it. If you're stepping into this role I know how you feel, so let me put you at ease with the top five things I've learned as an Editorial Director

1) Having a great team is a *major* key

Sage Moran

Let's face the facts, we're all in college. Some weeks you can go to the beach everyday and other weeks you have to lock yourself in a room without phone service to survive.

In order to get through these times, you need a great team that you can fall back on when you need them. I know there are weeks where I barely go on Secret Sauce and my amazing Co-Editorial Director does all the work. For this reason and many others, I'm so #blessed to have Sydney on my team helping me. 

But it's more than just editing papers. You'll have to plan meetings, outings, events, and whatever else comes your way. Having a great team where you can delegate roles and help each other makes everything run smoothly. And if you make a group chat like we did, it'll be full of last minute planning and great food recommendations. 

2) You get an inside scoop of Spoon HQ

One of the best things about being an Editorial Director is working closely with Spoon HQ. Not only are they a great resource for answering any question you have (shout out to Jocelyn for dealing with my millions of questions at random hours), but you'll also be able to learn about what start-up life is like. If this is something you're interested, this is a great perk. When I was on the east coast, I was able to go to SpoonHQ and get an inside look at Spoon life in the office.

3) You're going to talk about SEO. A lot.

At this point, everyone knows how to write and has their own style. Maybe you'll have to re-work a sentence, or add a couple of commas, but in general writing isn't the problem. The main thing our writers have struggled with is SEO. SEO is search engine optimization and is basically a checklist on how to get to get an article to appear as a search result at the top of Google. It's tricky and is something that is hard for people to understand.

The way you help your writers learn SEO depends on your own style of teaching, but some of the things I think have worked is an SEO workshop. This will also help you in the long run because you wont have to send articles back to drafts as frequently. In general, SEO is a great skill to have and understand especially if you are interested in working in journalism or if you want to publish anything in the future. 

4) The biggest issue you'll have is motivation

Although I wish I could always be as motivated as I would be to find garlic bread, the truth is sometimes you just aren't. As I said before, by this point in life, everyone knows how to write. The hard part about Spoon is convincing busy college students to take the little free time they have to write an article.

Although everyone who's in Spoon University knows it gets better the more you participate, it can definitely be challenging to get people involved. This has been the thing I struggle with the most. It's not like you can tell writers to write at least one article a month or you're out of Spoon. Instead, I've tried to show how easy it is to write.

Sometimes people struggle with coming up with ideas. For this issue, I usually tell them they can write about literally anything — and that is what makes Spoon great. If you want to eat ice cream for four days straight, do it; if you ate at an amazing restaurant and have your entire meal documented with pictures. go for it; if you came up with the best new banana bread recipe, I wanna read it! 

More often the problem will be follow through. People will have great ideas and then 9 times out of 10 the article gets ditched. Although I'm still struggling with this, I think the best way I've found so far to deal with it is by checking in with the writers during meetings and making yourself available. 

5) Your resume will be fire

I mean... who doesn't like a writer? Being an Editorial Director shows a lot of qualities companies look for. It shows you're detail-oriented, able to lead and manage a team, a good writer, and that you are able to multi-task. 

If I can leave you with a last thought it's that if you have the opportunity to be an Editorial Director for your Spoon chapter. do it! It promises to be a fun and challenging adventure—but mostly fun.