The Struggle is Real in Repurposing

For my repurposing project, I have made a lot of progress. I am very excited to write this piece about an issue I am extremely passionate about. I am repurposing a research paper about the prevalence of eating disorders on college campuses into a collection of ethnographic narratives.

One strong point in my article is the content from the interviews. Gathering people’s personal stories and trying to do them justice in my repurposing piece has been a strength. The power of the stories can speak volumes alone and gives a first-hand account of what it is like to struggle with an eating disorder. I believe that reading something so raw can give a person, who maybe doesn’t know anyone with an ED or who hasn’t experienced an ED, a new understanding and compassion for those who do. So far, I have completed 2 out of 4 interviews and have the other 2 scheduled. I’m interviewing two girls from U of M, one guy from U of M, and another girl who attends a small liberal arts college in another state in order to get a diverse range of people impacted. I am pulling research facts from my original piece as buffers between each interview to have empirically supported data as educational information in addition to the narrative (subjective) accounts.

There have been some struggles when composing this piece as well. I absolutely have no idea what parts to edit out. Each narrative so far has been close to 1500 words or a little over. I have a hard time editing pieces out because each story is so unique and to me, seems equally important. I think making decisions on which parts are not as necessary is a weak point for me.

Another thing I’ve struggled finding is a well-done, factual video of general information about eating disorders to embed after the introduction as I have decided to do this project as more of a blog post. I think the background information is helpful just to provide basic knowledge before uncovering the complex layers of ED. All the videos I have found so far are accurate and boring or horribly inaccurate but interesting or a weird combination of things. One thing that is difficult is to find someone who is actually comfortable talking about ED. A lot of the “professionals” seem uneasy when discussing ED in the videos. Any video suggestions or ideas or if it even would be a good idea to include a video would be most helpful.

Also I could use opinions on making this piece into a blog style and if pictures and videos would enhance or hinder the main purpose. One of my main concerns would be making it too media focused may be more triggering than just words on the page, but that also could contradict the idea of making a big impact on a college student audience.

Just some thoughts so far. Any ideas would be very helpful!


2 thoughts to “The Struggle is Real in Repurposing”

  1. Allie,
    I think you have a ton of really cool ideas here! I completely understand your struggle with cutting out parts of the narratives, because that is always tricky. What I would recommend is going through and highlighting specific quotes or sections that you find most powerful, and put them into a word document. In a sense, you could have a collaboration of different quotes telling the story, instead of explaining the full narrative. Additionally, you could possibly narrow the direct focus of what you want to get at–the triggers, the effects in personal life, etc., and cut out content based on what you’re focusing on. As for photos, I think it may be really visually interesting to the piece if you had headshots of the individuals that you interviewed (if they agreed, obviously). I suggested this only because I feel like there’s a common misconception about what an individual struggling with an eating disorder is supposed to “look like,” and seeing a range of different people from different backgrounds could act as a realization. I hope some of this helps!

  2. Allie,
    I’m super excited to read your repurposed draft! I think that you are very passionate about your topic, and you have a superior attitude and understanding of the circumstances of those affected by an ED. While I do agree that the narratives will provide a sensational connection and opportunity of understanding for readers, maybe you don’t need four? I don’t want to make it sound like some stories are irrelevant, but maybe getting narratives from one guy and one girl, then using pieces of the other stories to enhance your piece as a whole.
    As for the multimodal struggle you are having, I completely understand. Going from blog to book, I was very used to implementing links and photos, videos and GIFs, into my posts, but now I’m without. I think a video would be an awesome addition, but I’m glad you aren’t just throwing out the first video you see. I do think that pictures showing the signs or side effects of eating disorders might be intriguing. Maybe pictures showing how binging/purging or not eating can wear on the body.
    Like I said before, I’m really excited to read your draft! Best advice I can give will be to focus on the story, then cut it down after you’ve said all that you want to say. Tell your story first, make your points, bring awareness, then we can edit to fit a blog format.

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