Looking Back – Final Weekly Writing

Since the start of my school year, this past semester challenged me to push my writing, and I notice a difference in how I approach writing altogether. Previously, I had wrote a lot of argument pieces that asked for biased evidence or sourcing just from books or journals that only benefitted one side of an argument. In this one set style of writing, it was limiting. Although argumentative writing can be helpful, I wanted to stretch myself to other forms with nonfiction and fiction writing.

One of my main goals was to explore writing creatively and understanding of fictional writing, and I was able to do this by witnessing firsthand sources of letters as well as see letter-writing being used in short stories. Seeing these short stories, particularly Alice Munro’s ‘A Wilderness Station,’ made me think about the subtext and the pros of writing in such a style, as well as how to use the limitations of biased sources to one’s advantage. I had to keep in mind what the main reason for writing this was: to entertain. Drawing inspiration from her story, I practiced how to develop characters and write a plot, which proved to be difficult in how plot points were left empty or unsolved. Ultimately, after answering questions and stopping loopholes, I submitted a short story for my FYS, and I’m really proud of how my attempt at creative writing went.

Another goal of mine was to explore writing for a wider audience and making information more accessible in articles. I achieved this mostly with my Environmental Journalism class, which called for a whole different writing form compared to the creative writing. The sentences and language had to be shorter and clearer, much more common in order for larger audiences to understand your topic. Statistical or numerical data was hard to convey to this kind of audience to where it might even turn them off from reading entirely. Additionally, the tone differed greatly from writings in my FYS, in that journalism called for more “matter-of-fact” tones, which made it difficult to not insert heavy emotions. Similarly, I learned that sometimes using allegories or opening with a shocking fact would emotionally tune in with the reader. Allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions provokes more thoughts and change for the audience to take. The ultimate goal of journalism, I learned, is to inform and be the translator of important news for the general public to digest.

Writing is an artform for me, and it’s always a working progress. For me, I still want to improve the planning and outlining of my papers and works. I notice that most of this year, I dove headfirst into papers without really any clear idea of where the paper was going, and it led to some unorganized thoughts or tangents in the final piece. I want to structure it more better for me to write much more confidently going forward. Through outlining and better scheduling, I hope to improve this fault rather than have ‘word-garbage’ on a page and make the best of it.

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