Commitment Issues

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have horrible commitment issues. So pitching ideas for a project that will more likely than not occupy my head space for the next four months is tough to say the least.

OKAY, MEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

It was tough to flush out four ideas to pitch in class. I thought I was in the clear to hold off on decision making for a while, but I know that I’ll blink and the proposal will be due.

When I wrote my pitches, I admittedly was just brainstorming to get something on the paper and writing because I knew I had to, not because I was extremely passionate about any of my ideas right off the bat. Coming into class and having to stand behind my pitches and explain why they’re important, why I feel like the time is right to devote my attention to them was the first time I think I got excited about the any of my ideas. Speaking to others made me want to fight for the pitches that I previously thought might not be good enough to craft into a formal proposal. Now here I am. With four ideas that I’m not just willing to pursue, but eager to devote my attention to, when I thought I had none. And all it took to get me there was to have two heads nodding back at me encouragingly, reassuring me that the things floating around in my head are worthy enough for others to care about them.

And

Here

Come

The Commitment Issues.

1, 2, 3 or 4? What if we could combine 1 and 2? Make 1 more of an introduction to the greater topic of 2. What if I pick 2 and get in so deep only to lose interest? What if I wan’t to explore all of these ideas, but I’ll never again have this time to dedicate myself to them? What if I won’t be able to write about 4 the same way as I can now through the lens of an almost-graduate? So many what ifs.

Is it too early to ask for an extension on the proposal????? Lol jk

… maybe

Project Pitch: Advertising Storylines

Retrieved from: https://www.danodonnell.me/884688365675/

Today’s pitching session was definitely more challenging that I expected; it was one thing to write all my ideas down on paper, but it was an entirely new experience trying to verbalize them to my peers. Part of the problem, I think, was because I wasn’t fully sold on any of my ideas myself. Of course, at the time they were conceived, I thought they were interesting, but the more I tried to plan their actual execution, the more I began to second guess myself. This isn’t a new feeling, however; I think any writer can sympathize with me when I say that the more you try to write, the harder it gets.

Beyond questioning my production plan, I was primarily concerned that other people wouldn’t find my ideas interesting enough. For this reason, I was shocked by the outpouring of enthusiasm and support I received after sharing, specifically towards my commercial-based idea. To be honest, I was completely winging it on that idea; writing storylines for commercials and advertisements has always been a hobby of mine, but I never thought anyone would actually hear my ideas unless I was asked to pitch them in an interview.

Moreover, hearing everyone’s feedback reinvigorated my excitement about this project, and made me feel significantly more confident in my work. It’s funny because my second idea was to write a personal narrative — which in theory should be much more difficult because it requires a great deal of honesty and vulnerability — but it was actually more nerve-racking to present my commercial pitch instead. Maybe after years of writing personal narratives (even when they were never read by others) I’ve subconsciously become more comfortable and confident in that style of writing, even when I’ve written about things that are not so comfortable. It’s a weird paradigm to process.

Anyway, I’m really excited about pursuing my commercial idea further and to continue receiving feedback from the class; it’s amazing how just a few moments of conversation can spark so many new ideas. It’s hard to explain, but usually when I’m creating these storylines in the car I get tunnel vision almost — the adrenaline induced by my sudden influx of creativity blocks out everything else and I’m completely zoned in on creating the perfect pitch. By the end, I feel almost high with excitement, imagining it playing out on a big screen, and that same rush is exactly what I felt leaving class. I’m shocked because my parents and siblings have heard so many of these they’re almost numb to them, but to be encouraged by people who aren’t required to support me / tell me my ideas are good is an incredibly exciting feeling, so I can’t wait to see how this project turns out.

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.