I think it was meant to be when I got the call from Connie K. Ho (West Coast Intern of The OpEd Project) to come and join the “Write to Change the World” seminar held at UC San Diego. I was already aware of how prestigious The OpEd Project was in the editorial world and it was an honor to be asked to be associated with this organization. I can say firsthand that The OpEd Project is a highly effective writing seminar that teaches women everything they need to know about op eds from prepping an article to getting it published. After my OpEd Project experience, I know how much that I have to offer in this industry and the world!
I wasn’t exactly sure what I could expect for the workshop but it was everything I anticipated and so much more! In addition to working alongside other established women writers with outstanding ideas, I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited most from learning how to show evidence of credibility and my area of expertise. Through an exercise, I learned that I have much more experience than I thought and can effectively prove that I am an expert in women’s luxury lifestyle writing. Seminar staffers E.J. Graff, Chelsea Carmona, and Yoonj Kim were great mentors during this process of what did and didn’t work for me.
Being a writer in the present day journalism industry seems like a dime a dozen. These days, with Facebook, personal blogs and the fast-paced world of social media, it seems like just about anyone can be a “writer” and anyone’s voice can be heard with the click of a mouse. It can be difficult to stand out among the millions of voices out there, but with a convincing voice and effective evidence, we have the ability to create a movement.
In a world where not every country gives women to speak their mind, we as American women must exercise our right to free expression and our opinions. Having the opportunity to speak your mind might not change other’s opinions but it has the ability to open up their mindset to another way of thinking about that issue.
Being held the week before International Women’s Day, The OpEd Project seminar has opened my eyes up to the fact that my point of view and every other woman’s matters. I have so many ideas buzzing through my brain that I am confused on which to begin with first. With a new sense of self-confidence in my writing, I am much more apt to actually send in an op-ed than I would have two weeks ago. And I’m so proud of the fact that I have the ability change the world and you should too. WE can change the world … so let’s do it! Are you with me?
As a native of sunny San Diego with a love for city life, Marisa Ashlie Machak strives to maintain a West Coast-meets-East Coast lifestyle. After receiving her Literary Journalism degree from the University of California, Irvine, Marisa focused her attention to becoming an expert in all women’s luxury lifestyle topics. She has been published in both online and print publications in Orange County such as LadyLUX.com and Ocean Magazine.