As noted above, you must first understand yourself as a writer and establish where you are now in order to become a media professional. We all approach the task of writing with our own unique strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and personal histories. It only makes sense to begin the process with a hard look at ourselves and how to get there from here.


That’s why this book gives you the option to use the Media Writer’s Self-Perception (MWSP) Scale to reveal your self-perceptions about writing. Located in the Appendix, the MWSP Scale is an instrument developed to measure how college students think and feel about themselves as writers. Research studies have revealed three main areas of self-perceptions that influence your performance as a writer. Writing apprehension refers to feelings of anxiety connected with the various phases of writing.


Researchers have connected writing apprehension with trouble getting started, worry about mechanical skills (e.g., grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure), career skills, fear of being evaluated, anxiety about procrastination, and worry about which ideas to use. Writing self-efficacy is your confidence in your writing skills—how strongly you believe you can succeed at the writing task that faces you. High self-efficacy translates to high selfconfidence. On the other hand, low self-efficacy translates to low self-confidence. If you are a student with low self-efficacy, you may feel as though you cannot learn. However, as we will discover, this is not true.