Back to the Books | What I’ve Learned from MicroArts


These past four months I’ve been interning at MicroArts, a creative agency outside of Portsmouth, NH, and working closely with the content specialist and brand director. Next week, I will be starting my third year of college at Southern New Hampshire University, where I major in Creative Writing and minor in Psychology. During this internship, I have learned a lot about marketing brands, communicating with potential consumers, and how certain brands succeed while others fail. Although I am not majoring in marketing or advertising, everything I was assigned and taught in this internship, without a doubt, applies to the studies I will endure this upcoming semester.

This Fall semester I will be taking five classes: Psychology of Human Development & Growth, Improv Theater Workshop, Humanities II, Geography and a Poetry Workshop.

I will be assigned a research project in almost all of my classes. Research projects are worth a huge part of the overall grade. Interning at MicroArts, I was researching and obtaining information about certain products and brands on a daily-basis. Being given different topics to research each day, it got easier figuring out which specifics took priority. The disadvantage of most research projects is having too many sources and not knowing what information takes precedent. Now that I’ve had so much practice, researching for psychology or humanities will be less overwhelming.

Being a Creative Writing major, I understand the purpose of style and genre. Popular writers are known and respected for their specific genre. If Stephen King spontaneously wrote a collection of romance novels in the beginning of his career, the sales would fall flat. Because he’s a well-known author in the thriller section, he can share his other genres as he pleases. As I’ve learned, this consistency vs. spontaneity in style also applies to brands. For example, Coke is a well-trusted and popular soft drink brand. As the years went on and the product became more popular, Coke debuted other subtypes of drinks: Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero etc. Although the flavors of the drinks were slightly different, we can trust that Coke will deliver a great tasting beverage. Therefore, in comparison, we can rely on Stephen King to write a great horror or romance novel because his skills have been consistent.

This semester I am enrolled in a Poetry Workshop class. This class requires me to experiment with different poem structures (i.e. sonnet, slant rhyme, full rhyme, haiku, etc.) and read pieces from various poets. All poets – and writers in general – are all working with a similar structure and similar language. Writers differ from one another because of their style or genre. A Robert Frost poem is completely different from a Edgar Allen Poe piece.

Yes; they are both poems.

Yes; they may or may not use similar rhyme scheme.

Yes; the topic of the piece may be the same.

But styles and tones are expressed differently depending on the writer. Just like how brand messaging behind Coke is different from Dr. Pepper. Coke’s brand message is “open happiness;” Dr. Pepper’s brand message is “always one of a kind.” The brands are both promoting a soft drink, but not promoting the same message.

Going into my third year of college, sharpening my craft and finding ways to promote my work is key. This past summer, I finished up a novella I started writing this past December. With this story, I was experimenting with the drama, erotica, gay/lesbian genre. I’m not sure if this is a genre I plan to stick with, but the feedback I’ve been getting is great.

After interning since May, I have learned what entails when developing a brand:

What age group will like the product?

What message are we putting across?

Why is this product different? What makes it special?

As a writer, I like to look at myself as a personal brand. What can be expected from Dahv Daniels?

At the beginning of this internship I was told that “no one will ever give a fuck about your writing;” with that being said, I am happy to say that thanks to MicroArts, I can gauge how consumers react to my product (writing) and figure out what they would like to see more of. What I have learned at this internship will take me a long way with my future endeavors.

Consistency is key.

– Dahv


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