Writing 220 Repurposing: Emily Fishman (again)

This is a second attempt at a proposal for my repurposing, becauseĀ I am indecisive as heck when it comes to my writing. After thinking about it, I have decided to change the focus and the form of my repurposing piece entirely.

Last semester, I wrote a piece for the Michigan Daily entitled “Finding Structure in the Stylebook” all about my existential crisis in college about my lack of creativity and the ability of working at the copy desk to allow me to have a part to play in the creative process. I wrote about how the structure of the stylebook, in its 65 page glory, was comforting to me because I function best under rules and guidelines. I really enjoyed writing that piece and the truths about myself that it was able to reveal, but I think the genre of a newspaper environment limited how truthful I was able to be and how much I could play with the form. It can be found here, if anyone is interested.

For my repurposing, I would like to create my own Stylebook, personal to me. For the paper, the Stylebook governs what is said and how it is said, and I think it would be a challenge to take my anxieties about creativity, the creative process, and writing in general and channel them into, quite literally, writing my own rules. Sort of a guidebook/rulebook-style piece for those in college who, like me, have found their talents not quite panning out the way they thought thing would. The Stylebook also functions as a definition of terms and their uses, something I think would be interesting to explore in my own life. I think this new genre would allow me to, kind of paradoxically, express the ideas of creativity (or lack thereof) inclusion in the creative process with more freedom, while also having that structure that I spoke of craving in the original piece.

Thanks for reading a second post on this topic from me (I promise it’s the last one). Any and all feedback would be much appreciated!


Emily Fishman

Hi! My name is Emily Fishman and I am a senior from Houston, Texas. I'm an English major, and a brand-new Writing minor. I also work for Sweetland as a peer consultant, so needless to say I love writing

3 thoughts to “Writing 220 Repurposing: Emily Fishman (again)”

  1. Emily,

    Your idea is very refreshing. I’m not that creative either, and it has always made me wonder whether it will help me or hurt me more in life. It’s interesting that you are using a guidebook/rulebook to explore the boundaries of your creativity. I just wanted to clarify how you would go about portraying these rules. Would there be a short story with each one? Or will you explain how all the rules connect together? I think making sure your format and purpose are clear to the audience will be important factors in this drafting process. I was also wondering how you plan to leave the reader with something to consider. If college students found that their talents actually do not exist in the reality of the situation, is there a “happy ending” for them or not? Would they simply just have to make do with the best they have?

    Looking forward to reading your piece!

  2. Hello Emily –

    I am impressed by this innovative form you want to take on with your writing. I would never have come up with this idea to write a stylebook myself (which I believe shows that you are actually quite creative in your own right!).

    As for the actual style book, I would be curious to find out how much you intend to include in it. Would it be rules for specific writing situations, or rather rules that you believe should be applied in addition to rules already laid out in the stylebook you use (I hope you won’t write your own 65 page book, but if you do, power to you). Another question I have is how are you going to organize your final product? Will you give the reader a rule, explain it and then justify why it is important to follow as a writer? I I’d also be interested in finding out why you think these rules are important, which could go in a concluding section of the book.

    I think you’re on a good path, and trust that you will plan out a well-organized and structured piece. Also, one last thing that I was thinking while reading your article for The Daily… I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that you aren’t creative. I think you ought to give yourself some credit and recognize that you do have some “creative juices flowing inside you” (that’s just my thoughts about creativity, though).

    Thanks for sharing! Hope this helps!
    – Justin

  3. Hey Emily!

    I really like the idea you are working with. The concept of creating something structured to explore an idea about the difficulties of the unstructured is very interesting and something I’m looking forward to seeing. I think my biggest piece of advice here would be to find a balance between writing this piece for yourself vs writing this piece for a broader audience. It’s going to be pretty unavoidable to entirely remove personal “bias” from a piece like this, seeing as the main points are going to be coming from your own experiences/struggles. That being said, I’d suggest keeping the broader audience in mind, and attempt to write this in a way that can be universally applicable for writers suffering from that obnoxious creative block even if their experiences with it have been a little different from yours. If you write it just for yourself, while it may be personally beneficial, it’ll eliminate a large group of potential readers.

    Have fun writing this!! I bet it’ll turn out great!
    – Janine

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