Harder Than I Thought (Blog 5)

To be totally honest, I think I had way too much confidence in my abilities to successfully emulate the Elite Daily tone and structure in my repurposing project. I figured this couldn’t be that hard. If I was writing in a blogging fashion geared towards people of my generation, I should be able to do it right? I mean, in reality, it’s just like talking to some of my friends. While this is the tone of the publication, and it is kind of like that, I found myself struggling a lot more than I had anticipated to project this voice in the best way possible. In terms of the “go-to” sentence structuring of Elite Daily, I lucked out in that I quickly realized their go-to sentence structure was super similar to mine. They get down a lot of their thoughts and either sum them up or interject them with some witty comparison. (Kind of like this, get it?) This made the structuring my piece a lot easier, because I quickly realized that the way they structured their sentences was super similar to how I structured my own thoughts, so I didn’t really have to alter that part of it. I noticed a lot more curse words entered my writing vocabulary.

While I’m a little embarrassed (honestly, not that embarrassed) <—look at that structuring! to admit that I don’t have the cleanest mouth, curse words were never a part of my writing vocabulary. Elite Daily, however, wholly embraces the art of swearing in their writing. This took some getting used to, but I noticed it definitely adds greater authenticity to the writing, further defining it as more conversational rather than academic or preachy, two things Elite Daily is not. Because I’m doing two different pieces for two different sections of the publication, I’ve found that I have a much easier time writing tongue-in-cheek about my own life experiences rather than in a more serious, reflective manner. That being said, the piece pertaining to using humor as a coping mechanism for the “Life” section, was much more difficult for me than the more light-hearted “Dating” section article about the 5 types of funny guys. Because I don’t generally take life too seriously, and this writing is very conversational, it was harder for me to change my normal thought process to be more serious. Not only did I have to alter my thinking, I then had to convey that new thought process in a reflective, serious writing tone for the “Life” section piece.

Blog 4: This Isn’t Your Average Mirlyn Catalog Quest

I think it’s safe to say that for most college students, research isn’t the most intriguing thing. Speaking for myself, any way, I 100 percent stand by this claim. When I think of research for my past courses at Michigan, I’m haunted by images of me staring at my laptop screen scrolling through the Mirlyn catalog for what seems like 18+ hours, only to find one or two “scholarly” articles that maybe have a sentence pertaining to my argument or topic at hand-which I usually deem “good enough” (oops.) I’m now wondering aloud if this sounds familiar for anyone else, or if I just need a serious crash course in effective researching? Definitely both, but more than likely, more the latter. REGARDLESS of my own struggles of traditional research, I was pleased to discover that starting the research for my repurposing project was a lot more interesting and I found much greater success than I have in my past research quests.

Drawing from what I plan to do with my repurposing project, one of the sections of my Elite Daily modeled piece (“Life”) generally requires more academic background than other sections of Elite Daily (which require pretty much-none.) I’m focusing this piece on the benefits and drawbacks of using humor to cope, so my initial research started by simply googling “humor and coping” in google scholar and the general search engine. I found several different articles ranging from Psychology Today to articles written in the PyscINFO database at the University of Michigan. Most of these articles talked about the benefits of using humor, but where they led me is what made me rethink the original layout of this piece. I was led to various popular publications such as TIME, Forbes and People, all of which talked about various entertainment figures and how their use of comedy/ humor in their live’s have come with drawbacks.

Based off the wealth of both academic and popular culture background I was able to extract on the subject, I’ve decided to model this piece as a numbered PRO and CON list of using humor as a coping mechanism. Based on academic research, experience of respected entertainment figures and my own dependency on humor as it has both helped and hindered me,  I feel like I have a lot to draw from in the creation and legitimizing of my piece. That being said, I may consider breaking the piece up into two different parts (1 piece= the pros and 1 piece= the cons) of using humor to cope. There’s a lot I’ve found on the topic, and I feel like I have a lot to say. It might be more effective and cohesive with the Elite Daily style to break it up, so it doesn’t appear so obtuse and long-winded.

Looking at my other piece, The Five Types of Funny-Guys You’ll Date in Your Lifetime I’m excited to use my own experience as well as the experience of others to create something that is hopefully super relatable for most women. I wonder if I’ll be able to get enough input/ dating stories from other women to make sure it’s as relatable as it can be, but I’m excited to see where my conversations on the topic go with my friends, peers and family.

Courtesy of quotesgram.com
Courtesy of quotesgram.com

Repurposing Humor

When deciding what paper to use for my repurposing project, I struggled a bit. Naturally, my first thought was to repurpose one of my papers from the 5 Communications courses I’ve taken since coming to Michigan. However, most of those papers were solely made up of my analyzation of different pieces of media, and none of them were interesting enough for me to pursue for an entire semester. I finally decided to repurpose a paper from one of my favorite courses I’ve taken at Michigan, it was my freshman year seminar entitled, “Language and Humor.” The paper I chose to repurpose focused around the comedy in being overweight, but for the purpose of my project I’ve decided to examine humor more broadly. While my original piece focused on factors (weight) and how that influenced the effect of humor, my repurposing project will focus on how humor influences different parts of my generation’s life.

In examining different genres discussing my topic, I focus on two very different publications. The first being a respected magazine, TIME and the second being what I plan on modeling my repurposing project after, the millennial-focused, blogging-style, digital publication: Elite Daily. Both of these drastically different genres have pieces that discuss my topic of interest in very different ways. Looking first to the TIME magazine article entitled, “Why the Funniest People Are Sometimes the Saddest” the article profiles the struggles of Robin Williams, and it discusses the darkness he dealt with, and how that darkness made him a great comedian. This article was published right after his death, and it’s exigence is pretty clear in that it was the perfect way to explain to the public why it would seem that someone so “happy” could do something so dark and depressing. The article itself isn’t confusing or condescending. It doesn’t use fancy psychological terms, or address things most people wouldn’t understand. It’s very digestible, and seems like it genuinely wants to try to address how comedy comes from darkness, thus providing some explanation for Williams’s actions. That being said, the audience is far-reaching and pretty general, it could be anyone from the age of 12-70+ who wants to understand more about the psychology of comedians or who was perhaps a fan of Williams.

Courtesy of giphy.com

Looking at a drastically different genre, Elite Daily published an article entitled, “9 Reasons Why You Should Date a Girl Who Makes You Laugh.” The article provides a listicle of 9 reasons, based off of the experience and opinion of the author, of which he describes why men should date girls who make them laugh. This type of genre is much different from the TIME profile in that it includes the author’s experience, so the author’s voice is entirely present. The exigence for this article is based off of the idea that this publication was created as they refer to themselves, “the voice for generation Y.” It provides a spot for millenials to better understand themselves. In order to understand aspects of dating life, this article gives the targeted audience a perfect way to relate and further understand their wants and needs in relationships.

After looking at these two drastically different publications, I’ve realized that I can go a couple of routes with my repurposing project. That being said, I’ve chosen to go with Elite Daily, but the way I’ve chosen to do it encompasses more than just listicles based off of my personal experience. I’ve decided to compose articles based off of the site, but for two different sections, “Life” and “Dating.” In the “Life” section, many of the articles address issues that require research and background, while in the “Dating” section, it’s mostly personal experience and experience of others in the author’s life. Because I’ve decided to write pieces dealing with humor for both sections, I feel I’ll be able to paint a more comprehensive view of the Elite Daily publication, as well as examine humor from both the psychological perspective and the more personal perspective.