I just got back from “How I Write” and wow do I have a lot of thoughts! Before I even went to the event I had talked to my friend who is a Screen Arts and Culture concentrator who had the speaker, Shelia Murphy, as a professor and she goes “that talk will be interesting…she is such a character.” And what a funny character she was! I at times felt like was listening to a comedian speak but she was also so insightful. Right off the bat I was so excited to hear that she wrote a book called How Television Invented New Media because my all time favorite class at Michigan I took, Comm 371, was just about this very topic. Topics she talked about throughout like Walter Benjamin and his snow globes really related to me since because I had learned about him in the previous class, I understood and was excited by her point more. And how perfect that the speaker wrote about New Media when we are working on our remediation project focused on new media!
She made many points throughout her speech that really resonated with me and made me want to consider in my own writing processes. The first was about being more concise in your writing and avoiding jargon. I personally always am envious of the people who write really great stuff in clean, uncluttered paragraphs that are not overly long or wordy. Getting rid of “Jargon,” as she called it, makes work so much more accessible and makes writing more engaging to people outside of academia, and ultimately makes writing more interesting.
Another point she made was how important it is to “just start writing.” Once you start writing, you will not only feel better, less stressed and like you are accomplishing something, but also once you start it’s easier to just keep going then. Additionally she suggested to do this were figuring out how long you are able to write, the best time of day to write for yourself, a productive space for yourself, and most off all the comfy pants. I myself always find the struggle to just start writing so hard that I find myself procrastinating until the very last minute when I have to write. If I use her tricks, maybe this could help me.
The third point that she made that resonated with me was writing about something that truly interests you all the time. She said to write about stuff you are committed to, stuff that requires you to use your brain, and ultimately never to take what you do all too seriously. Ultimately, her talk inspired me get more excited about writing in general, and about writing this blog post!
Also, I loved how she kept referencing her dogs! She made me so jealous that she has her dogs to write with! Here is my dog at home: