Thursday, January 16, 2014

Draft Letter of the Whole Semester

As a writer, this year has been a good one. I think I've really developed my voice and descriptions. I've also come to realize that the only way to finish a piece of writing is to work on it. I've learned to pound out my rough draft as quickly as possible so I can get all of my thoughts out, then to go back and revise carefully or rewrite. I'm currently fifty or so pages into my first novel, and it's really taught me a lot. Also, having three writing classes has helped me a massive amount. I've struggled with staying focused. One huge problem when working on anything is being distracted by social media. I've managed to fight against that somewhat by finding out I can play music while writing which keeps me focused. Another issue I've had is rarely knowing what I'm writing about before I start. When I write, I just write, and basically see what happens as it goes. It can be a good approach on certain projects but in others it is a definite problem. I've succeeded in learning when to plan and when to take the approach of just letting whatever happen, happen.
The first piece I included in my portfolio was my personality profile. I chose this piece because I thought it was one of my best. I did a good job with everything and spent a good amount of time on it. The process was rather simple. I started first off by deciding I wanted to interview my mom, because I was interested in her line of work and her life, which I don't know much about. Then, I developed some key questions to ask which would help me in writing my piece. Finally I actually interviewed her and got down everything she said. Then I sat down and simply wrote everything out as fast as I could. The end result was a bit messy and all over the place, so I did a significant amount of editing. I think the piece's strengths lie whithin the honesty of my subject, "I'm motivated by my desire to help people and my belief that everyone deserves the best medical care possible." And I think my angle in the piece is very effective and warms the reader to the piece: "As always, one of her most important dreams is giving her family a good life."
The second piece I put in was my career interview article. I chose this because it was my favorite piece to write, and despite it not being my best grade I really enjoyed the process and thought it was worthwhile. For this, I followed the same basic line as the personality profile in the steps I did. I made questions, decided who I was interviewing, and interviewed, finally writing the article itself.
I think the strengths of the article lie whithin my personal interest in the subject matter, which really comes through in the writing. "I only hope I can do the same," is a line showing my aspirations. Also, I think my subject had an interesting life, which made the article worth reading.
At the beginning of the year, I wanted to develop my voice, an understanding in journalism, and become a capable article writer. I think I did reasonably well in all three places. I did very well with my voice. I think I could have done better with an understanding of journalism, but I definitely got the basics.  I think I also learned how to effectively write an article as well. I'm still working on all of the goals I set for myself, because I believe that all of those areas can be improved upon no matter how good you think you are.
My hopes and plans for the future are to be an author and also learn more about journalism. I want to further my understanding of the industry and improve my writing as much as I can.


  1. In your first paragraph, it mimics my thoughts exactly on how this semester went. Also I really like your reason for interviewing your mom, it seemed nice.

  2. Talking on three writing classes is a lot, but you seem to be doing well with it- in addition to working on a novel?!? I am impressed with your dedication and desire for knowledge. I couldn't agree more with what you said in your intro about how the only way to finish a piece of writing is to work on it. It seems so obvious, but, as you mentioned, it's so easy to get distracted with social media. It sounds like you have developed some skills to work through distractions. I would love to see a part of your novel sometime if you're interested in sharing. Good work this semester!

  3. Wow it's really cool that you are writing a novel! I find that social media is a huge distraction when I am trying to be productive.