I’m going to confess a deep, dark secret. I never pre-write. No outlines, lists, nothing. On blue book exams, I’ll sometimes go back and write a little outline after finishing the essay, so the professor would think I followed the proper test taking protocols. The proposals I have written for the last few papers are the closest thing to pre-writing I have done in a long time. I’ve always just preferred diving right in to writing, messing up a few times, then discovering what I really want to say. Even in middle school when the hamburger essay had to have an outline, I hated the process. I didn’t understand why I was spending valuable time on bullet points when I could be getting the real words on paper. I didn’t want to waste good ideas on planning, I wanted to see if they would work right away.
So maybe out of habit I stopped planning my pieces, and instead wrote by trial. As topics became more difficult and risky, I developed a process where pre-writing and outlining fell somewhere in the middle stages of writing. After a shitty first draft, I’ll try to rearrange and rewrite. What emerges is a bunch of ideas, experiments, and bullet points that in some parallel universe may be the type of planning the New Jersey public school system always wanted me to do. It has worked for me so far, but now with the re-mediation I wonder if it is time to try something new. My proposal is to create the social media platform of the SuperPac I’m writing about in the re-purposing. Because it will visual and the writing will have to be in a specific format, I think another approach may help. This may be my chance to break my normal writing cycle and discover a new way to approach my work.
A story board just makes me think of something like the picture above. It wasn’t apparent to me how a series of illustrations could translate to an essay. But a visual, multi-format, media driven project? That might be closer. After talking to Shelley a little more about what this pre-writing would entail, I decided a story board of sorts will be how I start the re-mediation work. The way I’m thinking about it is that each media platform I’m considering including would have its own page (or panel). This could include a sketch of what I want it to look like, different ideas and arguments that will be included, and examples to serve as good models. I imagine it turning out as a vision board of sorts. This will hopefully help me see what I need to accomplish, and what I want the project to convey, more clearly. Especially considering the formats I’ll be using aren’t conducive to my preferred method: just sitting down as typing.
This will all be going down in the next couple of days, so wish me luck. We’ll find out if this goes as well as the 6th grade outline, or if it’s the start of a new way to approach writing.