3 things I learned from Shea Serrano about writing and life

Shea Serrano talking to UO SOJC students during his visit to campus.
Sports blogger and best-selling author Shea Serrano talks to SOJC students after his visit to campus in November.

Post by Linden Moore
Photos by Cheyenne Thorpe

Editor’s note: This student blog post is the first in a series of two posts about Shea Serrano’s visit to campus in fall term 2018.

I can picture it clearly: A large audience sits in Straub Hall on a Friday night anxiously awaiting the main event. The lights dim and the music plays.

The audience is cheering as they await the arrival of sports blogger, best-selling author and social media influencer Shea Serrano.

When I learned that Serrano was coming to campus, I was excited to hear about his writing career and his approach to finetuning his craft. His presence on Twitter, especially during March Madness, fascinated me, and I continued reading his work on The Ringer.

Shea SerranoAs much as I enjoyed his interaction with the audience, I was there to learn. I took away three key points from his talk:

1. It’s important to find your own voice in your work.

As a student journalist, it’s hard to find my voice in my writing. Even though it’s a common thing to hear, “Just be yourself,” bringing your own authenticity to projects can be difficult, especially in a subjective art like writing. I appreciated how Serrano was candid with the audience, revealing how he came across writing when he was desperate to find a job. I enjoyed hearing about his journey and admire how he built a successful career doing what he loves.

2. The ups and downs in your career are learning tools for your future self.

Serrano also taught me that you can learn from your past jobs to make your future even better. He started out as a teacher and wrote on the side before going full time. And each job brought its share of joys and difficulties. The way he wove together his passion for helping others and sports was a good lesson in making the best of the situation you’re given. I hope to use that same mentality in my own work someday.

3. It’s OK to end up in a different place than you predicted.

The last key point I took away was that you don’t always end up where you planned to be. Hearing Serrano’s reflections on his evolution as a writer made me feel like I can continue to experiment with new techniques. I appreciated this, especially as I move forward in my communication career.

The hour I spent listening to Serrano gave me a new perspective in my approach to writing. As I keep working toward a career in sports communication, his talk will serve as an inspiration for me to pursue my passions while holding onto authenticity as a writer.

Linden MooreLinden Moore is a senior in the SOJC double-majoring in journalism and public relations with a sports business minor. Her background includes writing, sports reporting and marketing in the Warsaw Sports Business Club. She currently serves as vice president for UO’s chapter of the Association for Women in Sports Media after being part of the board since her freshman year. She has previously interned at TrackTown USA and The Tab Media Co. and is currently interning with Athletes Without Borders. Following graduation, she hopes to work in the sports industry representing women athletes globally.