Project Re-Purposing Proposal Ideas

So, I’ve kind of procrastinated on this post. This project is still both daunting and overwhelming to me at this point, and, while I’m sure it will be under control as soon as I settle concretely on an idea, I get in over my head every time I sit down to write this.

Therefore! I have pared down my ideas as much as I possibly can at this point, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still open minded to something new and amazing if I think of something or someone suggests something lovely. Here are my current thoughts on the two main directions I’m considering.

  1. Source material: Facebook story
    • Post told the story of trying to make a brownie in the microwave in my dorm, except it goes badly. Like, super badly. It turned into gum or something. IDK.
    • Re-purposing ideas:
      • Write personal narrative
        • Not super different from how it currently is, but I could certainly extrapolate and add in other stories of my incompetence (I have a lot)
      • Live tweet the purpose
        • Offers interesting comparison of how Facebook entries and tweets differ in format, style, and content.
      • A recipe and/or cooking show
        • This might be my favorite
        • Lots of directions I can go with this that still stays true to the original material while changing it in interesting ways.
          • Like, I think it’s great and the audience/producer/editor doesn’t.
      • Cooking blog
        • Can definitely tie into above idea, or the first one about a story
        • Could be about learning to cook (and failing) or be existential and philosophical (why bother learning to cook? Everything ends. Also, the microwave represents my soul and the brownie is my life).
  2. Source material: Essay about how useless Dr. Frankenstein was.
    • Thesis was that the boats in the story were twice as useful as he was.
    • Re-purposing ideas:
      • Live tweet how useless he is
        • from perspective of him or another character (fiance or monster probably)
      • Poster about “How not to Be the Worst”
        • The world needs this

My main concerns right now are whether or not my ideas are going to be pushing me hard enough as a writer. Maybe it’s just because these sound like fun to write rather than tiring that I feel this way? I’m not sure though. It’s not as though they lack merit; I could definitely see myself managing social media for a company or writing about food.

What do you guys think?

Genres Delivered in 30 Minutes or Less (Or Your Writing for Free!)

Hello there.

Today, I’m going to take a look around my room in my apartment and see what examples of writing I can find in the next 30 minutes or so.

ARBY’S CUP

That milkshake was so good. On the cup, there are three main sections of text: the size (12 oz.), the logo (hat like? With the brand name, useful), and a promo about the glory that is Arby’s, declaring their brand purpose and values. All of these seem in line for the genre that is, I suppose, fast food cups. The material the cup is made of (a thin, waterproof cardboard) and its shape (cylindrical) also seem in line with other cups from fast food restaurants.

PAMPHLET ABOUT THE UGLI

Or, rather, the Undergraduate Library, not some sort of spreading disease of unattractiveness. It follows a simple, readable format listing 10 Things to Know about the library. While this information might come in a brochure or a text heavy pamphlet, this sheet breaks some aspects of the genre of informational pamphlets. It is double sided and is broken down into a list that is further broken up in alternating blue and white colors. There are a variety of links that can be typed into browsers (perhaps it would benefit from QR codes though? It’s not as if I can click the links) as well as reference pictures of the site.

There is also a fairly minimal amount of text on the sheet. It makes me think of Buzzfeed and other click-bait type stories in this way that it lacks extrapolation, but makes up for it in being an extensive list.

MY NOTEBOOK

To save myself some grief, I’m just going to look at the outside rather than the ridiculous amount of writing within. I’m just going to assume that my notes are fairly in line with most note-taking genres (Lots of words. Lots of doodles. Sometimes I highlight things!)

Instead, the cover is pretty on point with what you might expect from a very cheap notebook. Plain colored, heavy cardboard cover. Perforated line along the metal spiral binding to indicate that the sheets are perforated (it even claims to have “High Tech Micro Perforation.” What… What does that mean? What part of that is supposed to be high tech?? Whatever.) There is also a bubble of white to indicate the type of notebook it is: 1 subject, 70 sheets with college rule lines. Nothing but the best for me.

Classic notebook.

KETCHUP PACKET

I need to stop eating in my room.

This definitely falls into what I am familiar with when it comes to ketchup packets: strange vacuum sealed foil packaging with pointy edges, instructions on the corner for opening, ingredient list, distributor information, and a little picture of a ketchup bottle (very recognizable). This also falls in line with what I would expect from other condiment packages, too; mustard and mayo and whatnot.

At the same time, I think this genre might be changing. I’ve seen more and more plastic packages of ketchup that have tops that can be peeled back for dipping, or an edge torn for squeezing. Maybe this is a paradigm shift for the whole world of portable condiment pouches. Is the world ready? I think I might be, but I’m not sure. In the meantime though, this ketchup package falls in line with what I would expect, and that gives me comfort.

TUMBLR

Last one. Half hour is almost up, and I felt it was only fair that I look at a website since I’m on my laptop with more than 20 tabs open. That’s a lot of writing.

Tumblr is an interesting example of a social media site. While the basis of this site was blogging, social media is probably the genre that it aligns with most closely now, but it is very markedly different from some other popular ones. The entire site is based upon sharing the things that people you follow have shared. There is also an element of sharing the things that you have created; it’s a great platform to share you music, art, videos, and writing, as well as participate in crowd sourced conversations. It’s slightly similar to Twitter in the public sharing aspect and the level of reach that posts can attain, but its form is longer than Twitter’s, which makes a big difference in post content.

The layout of Tumblr is also fairly in line with other social media sites. The background is blue for one thing (just like both Facebook and Twitter) and posts are in list form vertically with features, navigation, and posting options along the top and sides on the upper portion of the page. Where this format might differ more drastically is on the individual users’ blogs, which are highly individualized, allowing for custom html codes for layout and features.

Despite the differences, Tumblr is still very quickly recognizable for what it is based on the genre conventions is follows: social media, and a good source of procrastination and time wasting.

A Precursor to an Answer

In preparation for answering a broad question– Why Do I Write?– we have turned to a variety of others that have answered the question before us, which I would like to partially respond to. In doing so, it might look like I am entering the conversation (which wouldn’t be entirely wrong), but really, for now, it’s closer to me dipping a toe into an ocean and calling it swimming.

Out of the three texts we looked at in class to help us answer this question– “Why I Write” by George Orwell and another of the same title by Joan Didion, and “Why I Blog” by Andrew Sullivan– I definitely connected to Didion’s response the most but I pulled the most concrete and relevant explanations from Orwell’s.

Didion seemed to pull some concepts from my own head. Namely, the idea that she doesn’t think up a plot and run with it so much as seeing an image and being unable to leave it alone, prodding it with questions and demanding an explanation for its circumstances and appearance. Of one such instance she points out that,

“Had I known the answers to any of these questions I would never have needed to write a novel.”

I LOVE this idea and its phrasing. It was the image and the questions that she made up about it that compelled her to write. I completely connect with that. I have had similar experiences of seeing something– not even something strange or out of the ordinary– that my mind wouldn’t leave alone; it needed to create a new reality for it to exist in that would explain why it was and how it came to be and where it was going and the way others would interact with it. Some people get songs stuck in there head, but I get images and lines of monologue lodged in mine.

Didion also claims at one point that,

“I knew I couldn’t think.”

Obviously, this isn’t true in the way that one would immediately assume, but it made perfect sense to me and in the context that she used it in. She thinks differently. She sees the world in unique ways. She lets the world speak to her first and then she responds to what she observes with further questions and stories of her own rather than attacking her landscape and imaginings for answers.

Orwell, on the other hand, lists 4 main reasons that he writes:

“Sheer egoism… aesthetic enthusiasm… historical impulse… [and] political purpose.”

Save for the third point (which did not resonate with me nearly as much as the others), I definitely agreed with the sentiment behind each of these explanations. I won’t lie; I write for ego. Recognition. Gloating rights. To be taken seriously. I imagine myself on talk shows and NPR, an inspiration on social media, discussing how I possibly managed to come up with such brilliance.

And I won’t apologize for that ego. I’m not the first to dream of fame and I have no shame in admitting I want it to. What I would do with that, though, is more important and brings me to his last reason about politics.

One of my goals in writing is to be as supportive to those that are disadvantaged in society. I want to be an ally and part of a solution that calls for increased positive representations of those that the elite ignore. I want to write human stories about those outside of the Norm– black girls in wheelchairs and south Asian bisexual men and poor kids in rural Colorado that don’t feel they fit into any gender role and they don’t know what to do about it. I have political motivations but I’d like to think that it’s because I want to be fighting the good fight and not because I want to be different or edgy. I wish these topics and depictions weren’t even considered in this way.

Aesthetic enthusiasm just makes me smile though.

I like words. I like those words about words. I like sounds and phrases that I can chew on and roll around and say slowly. I dream of writing lines that make someone put down what they’re reading and walk away for a minute because they can’t believe someone said something about that in such a perfect way and they have to go digest it some and tweet it and plan a new tattoo around the words. I want to put things in a way that readers wish they’d put the same thought into the same words in exactly the same way because it was just that good. Oh look, we’ve circled back to ego. How fitting.

When it comes to Sullivan, I feel I have a lot less to say. I don’t blog in the colloquial sense; I am on tumblr which has a basis in blogging but, for the most part, has become quite a bit like twitter with sharing clever insights in a concise and informal way. I also don’t have too much interest in journalism on a personal level; I don’t plan to make a career in it, at least. At the same time, as a citizen of the modern digital age, I understand the need to convey thoughts with a sense of expediency. Weigh in quickly, jump into the conversation before it’s forgotten. I do this more on Facebook than anywhere else, but not often even there. I don’t like to create arguments online where it can be difficult to gauge the tone of those you’re speaking with. It’s an interesting sounding board for ideas, but it’s often also frustrating and, just, not ideal.

I… did not mean to write this much. Gosh. Kudos to anyone that stuck with me though this stream of consciousness ramble for this long. Have a gif of Anderson Cooper and some french fries as a thank you.

anderson fries

 

Who I Am and What I Write

Hey! Hi! Hello!

Like most good acquaintance-makings, I figured it would be best to greet you. You, like me, are new to this blog, and, as such, introductions are in order.

Let’s start basic (like me! Haha, because I’m a white girl? Basic? Nevermind). My name is Sarah. I am at the shallow end of my twenties and in my second year of college. I am a nerd in the truest, embarrassing, old-fashioned, let’s-shove-this-geek-in-a-locker kind of way. I watch a lot of anime and all my friends are engineers and I have played table-top games before and I spend all my time on tumblr or watching YouTubers play video games. It’s a sickness.

When I’m not doing those things though, sometimes I’m writing! I emphasize sometimes here because I do it in sporadic bursts. I do it when school is in session for essays and reactionary pieces. I write when I have something funny (ie something that makes ME laugh) to share on Facebook. I write when I get too down on myself for not having actually written anything “fun” and I’ll sit down and leaf through the Word Doc of prompts and ideas I have built up for just such an occasion and maybe pick one and run with it for a while until the existential dread comes back and I have to abandon it for a while and lay down and think about my life.

In those rare times when I am writing something in my free time for personal fulfillment (as opposed to for a grade) and doing so successfully (read as: not outlining, not crying about how terrible I am), I mainly try for realistic fiction with plenty of romance. No shame; that’s my jam.

So, now that we have scraped the surface of who I am and what I write, I figure it’s only fair that I prove the above claims and get back to writing (or not).

Thank you for your time.

 

(I apologize for lying but I am actually a simple shark trying to figure out how to blog. Here is a picture of me.)

shark blogger