Seeking: Fairy Dust

University of Michigan writing student seeks magical fairy dust. Hopes to fly above the chaos of her current repurposing draft. Please send to second star on the right, ext. straight on ’til morning.

I was silly for approaching drafting the way I did. Maybe that’s an understatement. Maybe it’s the crocodile ticking the realism of wasted time. Who knows.

All Peter Pan references aside, I made the mistake of diving into my rough draft blindly. I knew I wanted to make a Christian relationship article similar to something from Relevant magazine (see my initial repurposing post), but I thought I could make it by without a further skeleton. I turned up my music, opened a WordPress draft, and made… something. Ideas were conflicting, there was no sense of coherency, and the “piece” was a jumbled mess.

Is that my repurposing draft?

Needless to say, I have learned! And I’m excited about that! Now that I know where I stand and how much of a framework I need, I’m looking forward to spending the next few days creating my skeleton. I’m still passionate about my idea and can’t wait to flesh it out into something a little more Wendy and a little less Lost Boys.

A few other, smaller triumphs:

  • I’ve decided to base my article on content from Relevant Magazine, which conveniently has a length suggestion (750 – 1200 words) for their articles! How helpful and specific!
  • In the style of Relevant, I want a faded, “hipster-esque” photo of a couple to serve as a header for my piece. Conveniently, two very hipster friends just got their engagement photos taken. They’re perfect. 
  • I’ll be hosting my piece on These Neon Hearts, my blog for Writing 200, and just began re-designing the layout to make it closer to what I want. If you have any suggestions for making the page more professional (with a free WordPress template), I’d love to hear them.

Also, if you have any framework/brainstorming strategies that work particularly well for you, leave them in your comment! I’m going to take this opportunity to try something new with skeleton-building, so suggestions are welcome.


Alexis Stempien

An aspiring science writer studying biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience with minors in writing and general shenanigans. In my spare time, I make YouTube videos at

3 thoughts to “Seeking: Fairy Dust”

  1. Your post demonstrated that you’re clearly moving in the right direction. It’s okay that you got nothing done in class; I’ve always struggled to get anything done in class workshops just because you’re not provided that much time. You usually need more than an hour for big tasks like these. But it seems your lack of productivity in class will lead to productivity in the future, so at least you got that going for ya.

    In terms of your actual project, it seems very interesting and you have a lot of concrete ideas as to how to make it appealing to a large audience. I’m looking forward to reading it!

    As an aside, there are a couple suggestions I have on your actual blog post. You did a good job of incorporating media throughout, but there were a couple times something was missing, namely when you were talking about your engaged hipster friends. I would’ve loved to see the photos you are talking about. Also, your Wendy and Lost Boys reference was completely lost on me. Maybe I’m terribly out of touch, but you may want to further consider how effectively comments like that will be in reaching your audience.


  2. Alexis,

    Congrats! You completed your shitty first draft and are now on to the next steps (which means that you are farther then me). Your topic is very interested (as I previously stated) and I am very exited to explore your final project.

    As far as suggestions for more professional blogs, I am sorry, but that’s not my area unfortunately. However, if I come across anything, you’ll be the first person that I’ll tell! Also, I think that your current brainstorming strategies are helpful as is; in fact, there similar to my own (and I like to think that I my brainstorming is pretty dope!).

    Good luck with drafting process. I’m excited for the outcome!


  3. Alexis,

    Sorry this is late, but better late than never, right? I’m a HUGE Disney fan. As a matter of fact my re-purposing project is a short screenplay about Disney. So I loved your Peter Pan references. Your voice is really great in all of your posts and I hope that you carry it through to your re-purposing project.

    As far as jumping right into the project, I had trouble with that as well. I only had a concept and had to flesh it out a lot before I got anything resembling a rough draft on the page. So I think you are moving in the right direction.

    Good luck on future drafts!!

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