Making Another Writer’s Decisions

I’m a pretty controlling person. I like to be in charge, and I don’t like to be told what to do. So when Shelley introduced this activity to the class, I was a bit skeptical. Our final project — the capstone of the capstone class — is an important one, to say the least. It needs to be perfect; it needs to be uniquely mine. I questioned whether somebody other than me could brainstorm topics that I’d actually consider.

Upon completing the activity, I was pleasantly surprised. After listening to my likes, dislikes, etc., my partner seemed to really understand the types of writing I prefer, and the ways I can push myself to try new things.

The suggestion I’m leaning furthest towards is this:

“Observe a person of interest for a day, noting their hobbies, habits, routine, etc. and create an article based on their experiences of particular events.” 

I think that this suggestion works best with my particular interests and skills, as I hope to someday become a journalist. Additionally, my favorite writing assignments have been ones where I have creative flexibility, notably those in my Art of the Essay class, where I practiced writing creative nonfiction. This topic suggestion combines those two genres (journalism and creative nonfiction) to create something unique, interesting, and challenging.

Of course, I’ll continue to brainstorm on my own, but this activity has provided me with some great places to start.

2 thoughts to “Making Another Writer’s Decisions”

  1. Hey just wanted to say that your first sentence drew me in and made me want to read your post, so now I’m commenting to let you know of that. But now that I’ve read it, I also find the idea of following one person around for a day to be pretty fun and interesting. What if it was a collection of descriptions of various people with very different backgrounds and interests? One could be a frat boy, another a homeless person, another a foreign exchange student etc.?

    Anyway I like the idea and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes.

  2. I agree Patrick. The bluntness and honesty of the first sentence of this post definitely drew me in.
    Linda, do you have any idea as to the person or people you will observe? Patrick’s idea of a collection of descriptions could be cool…especially if you are looking for shorter pieces of writing. On the flip-side, another idea is to observe someone for a week rather than a day. You can “document” your observations…sort of like journal entries. This will allow you to practice your “journalistic” reporting skills and get quite specific. Based on your journal entries, you can assemble together your observations into a larger piece of prose. After observing someone for a week, I’m sure you would have an intimate understanding of that person. I think that would make for an awesome project.

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