Two writing communities that I currently belong to are both SHEI Magazine and The Black Sheep. Both publications have distinctively different voices, as SHEI focuses on more fashion forward ideas, and The Black Sheep is very satirical and sarcastic writing. While I tend to write with a strong narrative and conversational voice for both, the topics greatly differ. For SHEI, I would write about different clothing trends, beauty products, or concepts happening in the fashion world—like fashion technology. For The Black Sheep, I would pick topics that I could easily poke fun of—similarly which tend to be dress codes, humorous things happening around campus, or well-known people or ideas in the community—like Jim Harbaugh or ‘senioritis’. The seriousness of each article vastly differs, as with SHEI I use hard evidence and facts, while with The Black Sheep I use more of a hypothetical and comical outlet as I’m afforded the opportunity to make things up or suggest humorous ideas without the fear of backlash. There is more freedom in what I write for The Black Sheep because I can typically pick any concept that involves college students, as long as it can have a satirical edge to it—this allows me to work with a variety of people, places, and ideas surrounding campus. With SHEI, I am more structured with what I write, which is sometimes helpful when narrowed in on specific topics. The things that I write about for SHEI are linked together, and form a common trend that allows me to work off of previous works and ideas.
Both communities definitely have their benefits, whether it’s the freedom of expression or the structured format, because they educate me on incorporating different genres into my writing. I find it important to not stick to a specific genre, and appreciate the opportunity to express different kinds of writing within my works. Additionally, each community addresses different interests of mine. I love the fashion world along with humorous writing, yet it is difficult to combine those two aspects in typical writing—there is not much fashion humor writing, unless you are simply making fun of trends. In this case, I can separate these two interests, while also combining them at times—but having the structure to still write about them individually in a designated community/publication with a particular voice and brand.
Something that I’ve noticed regardless of the writing community is the public aspect of the writing, and the idea of audience sharing. Whenever I write a new article, I sometimes become insecure in regards to what my audience will think about the writing–will they think it’s bad? Good? Boring? Since The Black Sheep is more of an acquired taste, I get nervous that some won’t understand the humor or take the brand in all seriousness. When it comes to the professional world, I find myself less likely to share my satirical articles, in fear that they will be taken at face value in the professional world–or that older professionals will simply have no sense of humor and hold my satire against me.