Medium

I have always been better at writing than drawing so it made more sense to me to use a blog as my medium for the project. My experience with blogging leaves much to be desired. The first time I’ve encountered a blogging website was in the seventh grade when I first made a Tumblr account and I’ve got to admit, all I ever did on Tumblr was reblog the photos and posts of the accounts I followed. I never posted my thoughts and feelings on that website – well, that’s a lie. I actually made a second account on Tumblr to post my rants about life but I panicked after posting my first rant and deleted my account right after.

WordPress came into my life last semester because I needed it for a project in Filipino and I left my account untouched until this semester for FA 102. Though I haven’t actually used WordPress to blog personally, I find that it is quite fun and I think that it’s the best medium for my project. Blogs can be accessed by literally anyone on the Internet and I think that this makes it an efficient medium. People read and write blogs to learn and share knowledge, express themselves, have exposure, and to refine their writing skills. These benefits work hand in hand with the topic of my project – “Are we gaining writers but losing authors?”

Since I’ve never really blogged before and my project will incorporate my skills as a writer, I looked into websites that gave tips on how to write a good blog:

  • “The 12 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Blog” by Brian A. Klems
    •  Klems has been writing blogs for over ten years and has provided some very helpful tips in writing a good blog along with what to avoid. I’m going to disregard his “Don’ts” because I feel that they are somewhat commonsensical, i.e. don’t make grammar mistake, don’t be negative, etc., and focus on two of his “Dos.”
    • The first “Do” on Klem’s list is “Find Your Focus” – who are your target audience? Obviously, my target audience is my professor but it would also be nice to be able to get aspiring authors to have a look at my project as well. The second “Do” is “Be Yourself” – content draws the readers in but the writer’s personality (their voice in writing) keeps them there. It is interesting to know that my audience’s attention is dependent on my “voice in writing” because that is what will be tested in my project. I will make sure to keep Klem’s tips in mind when I’m writing my blog.
  • “Capture Your Readers: 8 Tips to Writing Engaging Blog Posts” by Issa Mirandilla 
    • Mirandilla’s post gives good tips in writing blog posts as well but I decided to focus on her seventh tip – “Make Your Post Unique (Even if the idea isn’t).” My project will essentially be two essays of the same topic, one written in my voice and the other written in the voices of several authors. I’ve found articles talking about how copying another author’s writing style would actually make someone a better writer but I have yet to find an example of this online (I may just be using the wrong words in the search engine). I think my post would be something new because it’s me trying this theory out and at the same time finding my own voice.

My essay topic would most likely be about myself or something that has happened to me so I looked into tips on how to write about myself as well.

  • “An Essay About Myself: Writing Tips and Tricks” by April Klazema 
    • Klazema gives advice on how to begin and end an essay as well as tackling sensitive topics. In talking about how to begin an essay, Klazema says that one should avoid cliches such as “My name is…” and “The happiest time in my life was…” and instead write about a vivid and exciting memory. It would be interesting for me to describe my memories in the voices of other authors as it would really test my writing abilities.

Moving on, what inspired my project is the idea that because it’s getting easier for people to be published with the help of websites like Wattpad, the books that are being distributed cannot compare to the likes of classic novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Flies. I would want to know if this is true or, if given time, these Wattpad books would be considered classic in the future.

  • “Being Popular vs. Being Good”by Scott Berkun 
    • Berkun shares some interesting insights on what authors and artists end up losing when they strive to be popular with the public. It is a common misconception that being popular is synonymous with being good. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Berkun explains that people who work towards popularity end up making mediocre (sometimes downright awful) work in their attempt to please everyone. Popular works end up being boring, predictable and meaningless instead of interesting, complex and meaningful.
    • This article would help me in finding authors to imitate in my essay as I would like to incorporate the voices of “popular” and “good” writers and authors.
  • “How Do Author’s Earn Credibility?” by Scott Berkun
    • In Berkun’s second article, he actually points out that being popular helps in the career of an author. He references the previous article and says that plenty of bad books are popular while good books don’t get the recognition they deserve. There are many cases where in a badly written book about a good topic can be more successful in selling than a well written book about the same topic just because people know about it (the bad book). Every review and recommendation a reader makes helps the author’s career. Berkun says that book ideas and their quality are “slated” towards the masses.
    • This article helps back up my theory on how popular books are not always good.
  • “Want to Dramatically Improve Your Content? Copy Other Writers (Shamelessly)” by Lorraine Thompson
    • Thompson says that “traditionally, learn by mimicking masters” and lists down the benefits of copy work. She states that copy work helps a writer:
      • Absorb structure and style
      • Immerse yourself in different literary forms and styles
      • Open a window into great writers’ minds
      • Identify bad writing habits
      • Practice mechanics of good punctuation and grammar
      • Improve your spelling
      • Clarify your thinking
    • This article serves as one of the inspirations I have in my project because I am essentially mimicking great (and mediocre) authors.
  • “Want to Become a Better Writer? Copy the Work of Others!” by Brett and Kate McKay
    • The McKay’s article is similar with Thompson’s in the way that they agree that copying another writer’s work is helps in improving oneself. Their article even shares that the practice of copy work has been around for years. People like Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Benjamin Franklin were actually copy writers as well!
    • Like Thompson’s article, this will serve as one of my inspirations for my project as I will be trying to write like other authors.
  • “Finding Forrester”
    • The movie is actually an example of how people view authors and their works. Forrester, an award-winning author, withdraws from the world but his book continues to be revered. Jamal, a young, black, basketball player, befriends him and asks him to teach him how to write. Jamal’s professor does not believe him to be capable of good writing. The professor only acknowledged the worth of Jamal’s work when he thought it was written by Forrester. What then makes an author good? Is it the literature itself or is our appreciation influenced by our opinion of the author?
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