My writing has to make sense, and, to me, it has to make sense to everyone- not just me or people who resonate with my writing. I don’t mean “make sense” in the grammatical way, but it has to be applicable to the real-world. It’s not that my readers have to agree with what I write, it’s not that they have to like it- but, it has to be plausible, realistic, or I don’t think I could actually write it. Of course, I write personal, subjective, narrative pieces- but I try not to make far-fetched claims in my writing because I hate seeing those in pieces that I read.

I think it has to do with my small desire to kinda always be right (oops). I don’t mind that I’m not agreed with, but I do make sure that people can say, “Oh, yeah that makes sense.”

Mixed Feelings

When I think about a piece of work I both loved and hated, I come up with a Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. This young adult fiction novel followed the story of a college-aged woman who fell in love with the “bad guy” on campus. I know why I hated this book- the actual story did not make any sense, and it is frankly one of the worst things I’ve ever read. At the end of the novel, they get married in Vegas, and the readers find out that she is pregnant. Nothing about that story is remotely intriguing to me. Yet, for some reason, I couldn’t put the book down.

I think this had to do with the fact that the main character, Abby or her nickname “Pigeon” (another reason I hated this book), is so relatable to a college-aged woman. I don’t define myself as put together by any means, and that same characteristic comes off in the character of Abby. So, when I removed myself from the actual story and focused on the character, I loved this book. I always wanted to know what Abby was thinking because I felt like I thought the same way as her. We made decisions the same way, and I continued to read to find out how she would decide what to do. The author did an incredible job in the description of characters. I didn’t care for the story, but I loved the characters. I didn’t like how the characters were involved in the story, but I loved how they thought and how that was such an integral part of the novel.

(I also hate that I just admitted that I love a young adult fiction novel like this one)

Why I Write Analysis

I was scrolling through various articles on Google, trying to decide which authors I wanted to focus on in my search to figure out Why I Write. I ultimately settled on Lee Martin and Terry Tempest Williams, two famous authors that I had never heard of before. Before I dive into specifics of each of their Why I Write articles, I want to point out that both these authors seemed to write in order to find out what they don’t know about the world. This shocked me a bit, as I feel like if I said that in my Why I Write piece, it would come off as fake, potentially boilerplate. Yet, both these authors were able to state this claim in a genuine fashion. More specifically, Lee Martin takes a very imaginative, narrative, personal approach to explain why he writes. He focuses on his childhood and the art of love to explain his reasons for being an author. Terry Tempest Williams, on the other hand, focuses on about 500 different reasons why she writes. It’s interesting to read her differing reasons but hard to relate with any specific one.

Regarding the Why I Write pieces from MiW Gateway students, I noticed development patterns- how these students saw themselves as developing as writers. Rachel Sherman, who speaks about her obsession for celebrities and fame, was able to take a piece that seems so personal about something unrelated to writing and connect it to her abilities as a writer that she has seen develop throughout the years. Emily Korn’s Why I Write piece touches on her development as a communicator, culminating in success as a writer. Both of these Why I Write essays also used personal narratives in order to explain further, which also helped me as a reader relate to these pieces.

I enjoyed reading these Why I Write pieces as they sparked some ideas of my own..!

Boilerplate – Casey Lyons

Reading through my letter of intent for the writing minor actually made me cringe. The amount of boilerplate that is in a 2-page letter is absolutely ridiculous – but also a bit humorous if you ask me. I’ve pointed out some of my favorites below:

To me, writing is a skill, one that you can perfect with time and practice, and it is imperative to communication in all aspects of life.

I honestly don’t know what point I was trying to make here. Reading it again, all I can see is that I needed an outlet to say why writing is important and apparently I think that because it allows me to communicate? I really hope so, Case.

This program, with the intensity and variation of different writing practices, gives me the ability to broaden my horizons as a student.

Please someone explain what horizons I’m trying to broaden…I think I was making the point that my major doesn’t allow for much creative outlet, but instead of explicitly stating that, I decided to to use the most cliche phrase I have ever heard.

I am passionate about writing, and I am passionate about my own growth as a well-rounded student.

Can you tell I really want to be in this program? Because instead of stating that I want to pursue writing for the learned skill and my personal passion for the task, I have to note that I want to be a well-rounded student, as well.

What others may brush off as unimportant, I find the most crucial and pertinent to my ability to express myself and pursue my several passions.

I was talking about the communicative measure of writing again and how it is not touched upon in my major. I don’t know why I could not just explicitly say that this minor will open many doors that I don’t have available to me in my major field of study, but instead I have to fill in space by saying it’s crucial and pertinent to my passions.

I could definitely dig up more if you want to hear anymore of the ridiculous phrases I have put in application letters..

Remediation Idea- Casey Lyons

Hi, everyone!

My repurposing is based off an article I wrote about an ad that empowers yet pathologizes women simultaneously through the various communication techniques employed throughout the ad. As I went through draft after draft, it became a very sarcastic piece that ended with a plea for the general public to understand the importance of equality amongst all sexes in the world, a piece you would find in a feminist magazine such as Bust.

For my remediation of this piece, I came up with a couple of ideas! First, I thought about translating it into a speech one might come across at one of the women’s marches. Yet, the more I think about it, this may be more of a complement because I’d rather not reproduce the information regarding the advertising techniques but just touch on the bigger picture: the lack of equality. I have also thought about translating it into a letter to a governmental figure instead of a speech but still utilizing the same ideas.

My main goal in my remediation is to step away from the advertisement itself and focus on the societal issue that is at hand regarding inequality amongst the sexes. I’ve thought pretty hard about where you see these issues, and one that stuck out in my mind would be a Ted talk transcript, but taking it further from a translation to a complement.

Excited to hear what you all think!

Writing 220: Repurposing Idea, Casey Lyons

Hi, Everyone!

During my freshman year, I took an Introduction to Communication in the Media course. One of our assignments was to analyze an advertisement in a print magazine, and I chose a Playtex ad. While flipping through Seventeen Magazine, something I’m a little embarrassed to be admitting, the advertisement I chose to analyze immediately stood out to me. It was a black and white photo of a woman running through the streets of New York City in the rain. Immediately, I thought “Wow, this advertisement truly empowers women,” however, I soon noticed the very feminine, soft details in the ad that contradicted my immediate feelings.
The assignment was to take a list of terms that my professor gave us and apply them to the ad. These definitions including semiotics, interpellation, and connotation- words unknown to most unless they studied Communications. Thus, my paper was composed of a 5 page analysis of an advertisement using “important terms” and applying it to societal issues. Nevertheless, the format of the paper was essentially a research paper that I would write in middle school: stating the term, the term’s definitions, my argument, and my evidence to support it. Yet, the societal problem that existed in the ad- the contradictory elements of how females fit into the world- did not come across in my argument. Rather, I only scratched the surface of something that should have been addressed throughout my paper because I was so worried about including the necessary definitions in my work.
Thus, I am considering repurposing this paper in order to get away from the conventional analysis paper. I definitely want to keep the terms in my paper because they are supportive of the argument that I want to make throughout the paper- that of the contradictory ideas of a woman’s place in the world and how females are expected to act- but I do not want this to be a typical academic paper. I want to expand my audience and entertain them while informing them of this topic. I know for sure that I do not want to follow conventional academic writing, meaning I do not want to write this in an argumentative essay format. I was thinking about writing a satire piece, but I am not sure if this would be the best way to approach my repurpose. I was also considering writing the piece from the perspective of the female in the ad and putting a fiction spin on it.
I am excited to hear your thoughts and feedback!