Digging for Courage

Creating the experiments so far has been a lot like riding a roller coaster. And by that, I mean sometimes it can be so thrilling & fun I could cry out in joy. Sometimes, I’m unafraid, feeling risky enough to let go, to throw my hands above my head. Other times, I’m despising that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach & I’m thinking “just get me off this thing, I hate it.” Before each ride, I’m filled to the brim with excitement until I’m next in line, ready to embark, saying, “what on earth have I gotten myself into?”

I struggle with the balance of believing I’m being either too ambitious or not ambitious enough. If I don’t take risks here, now, in college when I’m young & stupid & faced with a bottomless pool of opportunities, then I surely won’t do so in the future. Because then I will have truly written myself into a corner, won’t I?

For fear of boxing myself in, this is why I continue on. Continue on with my graphic novel even though I can’t draw. Continue on with my musical number even when every two lines just feels like some cheesy rhyme. Because I care about this work & this subject matter & I want to push it as far as it will go.

I’m actually not quite sure where I go from here- what the next ride will look like. Will there be sweeping, beautiful poetry, moving swiftly like winding corkscrews? Or maybe a photo essay, frozen in time like you are in the sky before plummeting to the ground? I have made no decisions as of yet what I want this next project to look like, but I anticipate, no matter what ends up happening, as long as I push myself, that I won’t regret it.

I know this is quite the mess with all the metaphors, but perhaps metaphors are the best way to mask uncertainty. I’m a second year college student- I’m supposed to pretend like I know what I’m doing, right?

Don’t be afraid to experiment…

I sincerely mean it when I say, I really loved doing these experiments. Working with a subject matter that I’m passionate about for practically a whole semester is hardly something to complain about. It never feels like doing “work” in the typical sense of the word…I do my experiments when I want to put off my other work. Even the genre analysis, while more difficult than the other sections, was enjoyable. I truly liked reading scholarly articles about fan fiction and learning more about that world—I almost feel like I’ve been welcomed into another writing community. Also, taking the origin piece that I put hours of work into in my senior year of high school, and extending and transforming it, makes all that effort even more worth it.

I feel that through these experiments, I have broadened my horizons as a writer. I never thought that I’d be creating fan fiction, or even a dating website, and that I might actually be good at it. While a lot of it was out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t worried about failing. I knew there was a risk of it turning out poorly, but, experiments aren’t always successful. You can try and fail and that’s okay. The important thing is that I had fun with it, and expressed my creativity in a unique way.

Finally, having the finished piece is quite rewarding. When I scroll down from my proposal to my reflection, it really demonstrates a writerly journey that I went on. I can see the mindset that I was in while writing my proposal (before starting the actual experiment), and then look at how my thoughts and ideas changed as I continued into the process. At the end I think, “Wow, look at this cool thing that I’ve created.”

Origin Story to Origin Piece

Hello all.

I’ll do a quick proverbial introduction to get it out of the way: Sophomore, New York City, *insert fun fact*. Okay—that’s done. Onto my writing journey. Only recently have I begun to explore the vast horizons of being a writer. In high school, my assignments never went far beyond academic essays and maybe a creative mini-project here and there. Accordingly, I didn’t think there was much to writing as a student—it was just required. However, when I got to college, my initial beliefs were swiftly catapulted out the window. As I took more writing classes that provided exciting prompts and directional flexibility, my love of writing progressively grew. That love was always there, but it was never given a proper outlet. I am truly excited to be a part of the minor in writing. This was the first class where I outright recognized that “I am a writer.” I sincerely look forward to completing the projects to come. 

For the so-called “main event” of this course, my origin material will be a David Bowie presentation I did in high school. It is a standard Powerpoint composed of bullet points and a number of video clips—nothing special really. However, the broadness is what really excites me about using this piece for my project. I feel a strong sense of possibility and power, able to take this project anywhere I so please. I am eager to see how the different transformations turn out. It’s like I’m on “Extreme Makeover,” but for writing. 

I wonder if, at the end of this class, I will look back on my old writing and see some drastic improvement. Every year I think, “This is the best my writing is ever going to be.” But I continue to surprise myself, improving every step of the way.