Instantaneous Thoughts & Flashes of Inspiration

(FYI this is a draft of my Essay 4)

BEFORE: A light bulb. DING DING DING. A flash of inspiration…Many minutes spent pondering. Formulating words in my mind before I write them down. Thinking through my argument – where it is and where it could go.

AFTER: A light bulb. DING DING DING. A flash of inspiration…And immediately it’s down on paper, or blinking in front of me on my computer screen.

Writing in new media has changed the way that I approach writing and how I write. I used to be much more of a planner. I would think out how I would write an essay and come up with a detailed outline before trying to put the words on paper. It had to be a pen and paper process before I put it into any other form. When planning my re-purposing project (see the full process outlined here), I first created a storyboard by hand, then drafted a more detailed outline, then wrote out a first draft, and a second draft, and a third. Finally, I end up with a completed draft that I call a “final”, although I could probably look at it again in a week and find things to tweak.

My experience writing in new media has been much different. Writing 220 has allowed me to explore new media writing – something that I had very little exposure to before this point! Although I do not think that my writing style has changed in a noticeable way in this new medium, the process by which I write is different. The main new media writing that has influenced by writing is blogging. Writing 220 requires weekly contribution to a class blog. Having never been an avid blogger – or really ever used one – the move to this immediate, instantaneous form of writing was interesting to say the least. After talking about the point of blogging and ways to approach this new media form in class, I now attempt to write my ideas as fast as I can type them. Whatever is on my mind is immediately transferred through my fingertips to the blogging world. I used to write and revise simultaneously. With blogging, I write now and revise later.

The biggest takeaway I have taken from blogging is how it is so instantaneous. Each blog post I publish captures my thoughts in a moment, as opposed to my thoughts over several weeks (or months), as with traditional writing. Being able to express my ideas and thoughts right away is a skill that I continue to develop as I keep blogging. However, it has already changed the way I write in traditional writing forms.  I have become more reflective and thoughtful in my writing, and I am more in tune with the changes that take place between when a thought is formed in my head and when it makes its way onto paper or onto my screen. Blogging has encouraged me that some of my best ideas may come from one light bulb going off, one flash of inspiration, that I am able to capture immediately through writing. Instead of pondering that idea and editing it as I write about it, I simply write about it as it comes into my head and go back to revise later.

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