Yet Another Blog Post

Retrieved from: The Inspiration Room

I’m back…again! I’m starting to think that I’m using these blog posts as an excuse to avoid working on my actual project but it’s fine, everything’s fine. We’ll get there one day…

I actually really need some help right now – as I’m starting to think about (finally) writing the storylines for my own ads, I’m stuck on what to write about, so I need some inspiration. I’m definitely going to include the car mats commercial I told you guys about in class, and I have a few others in the back of my mind, but I’d really love some other suggestions. I know originally I said I was going to pick obscure objects that aren’t typically the center of marketing/advertising materials (i.e. paper bags or paper clips), but I’m willing to broaden my focus.

Zach and Sydni gave me some really great suggestions yesterday like Q-tips or straws — thank you again — but I’d really love some more! Or, if you’ve seen an ad that you really liked (or didn’t like), I’d love to hear / see those too because it’s really useful for my research and inspiration.

Speed Dating 101

Prior experience with speed dating: I had a coffee shop interview with a woman from Brown when I was applying for undergrad, and she asked me, “If you were in the elevator with the current Brown president… what would you say?”

 

I froze. I had absolutely no clue what I would say. Elevator pitches, or speed dating, has always scared me a little bit. I addressed this fear when I was assigned a one-minute pitch to advertise to possible publishers a story I wrote on algal blooms in the Great Lakes. I did well, but that was easier — I had done all the work and written the story already, and I was able to know how to summarize my thoughts succinctly and get a point across. In this case though, my intentions are much more vague. I hope it goes well.

Expectations for speed dating: A first impression can go a long way. Making this a cohesive pitch is essential… I should only bring the most prominent or interesting details come to light. Because, when speed dating, people can only remember so much from each person. If I can make one thing stick out and have it remembered by everyone in the class, that would be a success.

Possibly, today will be the memory people jump back to when thinking about my topic for the remainder of the semester. This doesn’t mean people’s opinion of me can’t change, or that I can’t do something unexpected, but making a good first impression is important. Especially, it’s important for people that I won’t interact with on a weekly or class-by-class basis. So, I hope it goes well.

I want to captivate people’s attention, spark something that helps them to remember this project. That way, next time when I do a full pitch they are better mentally prepared to contribute and have ideas for me.

Results: Nervous at first, what helped me get through all six or seven “speed dates” was listening, asking questions of others, and putting my project in perspective; rather than just simply focusing on my own project individually. The more the pitches went on, I realized the things I was listening for:
– What motivates you to want to tell this particular story/project?
– Who are you going to reach, and how will you reach that audience in a unique way that hasn’t been done before?
– What experiences have you had that will help you write your story/project?

So, though I was excited to ramble about my idea and express my true passion and desire… to make my 4-minute speed dating pitch resonate I began to focus on these central questions. The more I gave the pitch, the more directed it was, and as a result I think I received better feedback.

Now… continuing to listen (to the feedback) will be essential in moving my project out of the brainstorming stage and making it a reality.

{Looking [inside] from the Outside}

You all know that feeling. When you’ve been working on a project or a paper alone for a long time and you’ve edited it and re-edited it and you think you’re done. Then you have a peer review or go to get some feedback. Suddenly, you realize there are a lot more issues there than you previously thought. I’m not bashing the feedback, by an means. It’s a lifesaver, in fact. I’m just really fascinated by how right it is when I finally take a step back, put myself on the outside. It’s so easy to get so wrapped up inside your own head when you’re working on writing pieces, especially I feel.

This was the case for my re-mediation project. I think I had just been working on it so long with the re-purposing paper and this project that I forgot to explain things or make logical transitions because it made sense in my head. It’s funny, really, how you lose your sense of reality or the ability to put yourself in other people’s minds when you get really wrapped up in a project. I’m definitely grateful for the feedback because they are easy fixes. Sometimes, I just need somebody to hit me over the head with the obvious. Which obviously reminds me of this scene in the Lion King.

The Lion King!

Off-topic, but 3 things from that link:

1. Rafiki is a boss.

2. I wish I could laugh like Rafiki.

3. I really wish it was socially acceptable to whack people on the head with a walking stick to knock some sense into them.

This week in Writing-related topics…

I want my Intro to Poetry essay back. Like now. Cause, I mean, I gave it to my professor last Wednesday! What on earth was he doing all weekend that he came into class and mumbled something about us getting the papers back next week because he hadn’t even looked at them yet. English professors don’t have lives and children and hobbies and stuff, right?

Pictured: Not my professor's life. Photo from spoilersguide.com

I am just kidding, of course. My weekend was pretty crazy, and I don’t even have children, just epic poster-making sessions and high school friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I’m sure my professor had tons of things to do besides edit my little five page essay about Thomas Wyatt’s apparent intimacy issues.

I do want my essay back soon though, and hopefully full of margin notes and red pen! No, really, while I want an “A” on the paper ( No, like REALLY.), what I am itching to read is the feedback. Feedback is so very important to developing as a writer and all that jazz, but it also just kind of fun to read. When giving most people your writing, they usually shrug it off, like “Oh, yeah, nice little poem there. Since you brought it up, do you wanna read like 15 that I have written? And tell me how brilliant I am?”

Stupid emo kids always had fifteen poems in their pockets. Image from: carebears24 on Photobucket

But teachers have to actually read what you have written and tell you constructive things, like that your sentence sounds a little awkward, or if your analysis is slightly lacking. They can suggest ways to go more in depth with your argument, and they find the picky little typos you couldn’t see when you were editing your essay at 2am. And of course they tell you when you are doing things right, which just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. The thing is, most writers can’t evaluate their own work. They either see it as amazing and cannot criticize it (like all the emo kids at my high school), or they are self-flagellating over every misplaced comma and never content with anything they write. Problem is, your writing is never as awesome, nor as awful as you think it is. It usually takes an outsider perspective to help to see this. At least it does for me. I am in the second category most of the time, and I hate most of the things I write until I get a good review. It is nice to get a little validation that I do not colossally suck at writing, and it is even nicer to get an idea of what to improve for next time. So every time I had in an essay, I look forward to getting it back like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting to get a concrete evaluation of what I put so much time and effort into.

What I want for Christmas. Image from hotchalk.com