It has come to that time of the semester where we are asked, as writing students, to review our work and reflect on what we learnt from our communications subject (BCM240: Media, Audience and Place), as well as reflect on where we started as bloggers and where we are striving to be in the future. As is tradition when I write a reflection post, I usually provide some kind of song or music track to listen to whilst reading, to add to the mood of the post, so here’s Bon Iver’s Skinny Love.
The goal for this blog, first and foremost, was to showcase my academic writings of which I have produced throughout my studies. In addition to this though, is to practice my writings, develop my writing style and begin to produce a portfolio of both personal writings and academic writings to showcase to future employers. The original blog I started, but eventually shut down, was much the same, although I was never happy with it’s layout or content, no matter how hard I worked on it, it was never a showcase of who I was, through my writings. So here I am now, a year or so down the track.
As a [writing] student and aspiring professional writer, I am often faced with challenges when it comes to writing blog posts, or writing in general. These challenges can range from choosing appropriate words to describe certain things, to the length of my post or even the topics that I choose to write about. I have never found it easy to open a document or begin a new blog post and just write; I would often research the topic a little further, form my own opinion and often look for an opinion-based source of which I either agreed or disagreed with. Throughout this semester of study in BCM240, I found that difficult again, as the majority of sources I was presented with or of which I found myself were often academic writings, and often lacked a opinionated flare. Or the source didn’t necessarily aid in my writings and research for the week.
As a fan of comedy, I usually try and tie in a bit of comedy and blunt jokes (mostly ‘dad jokes’) into my writings as I feel it engages with the audience more and keeps them entertained and interested for longer. As we live in such a short attention-spanned society, it is often hard to not only capture an audiences attention, but also keep it. When I add some comedy into my writing, I feel it breaks up from the serious tone of a professional bloggers writing, and adds a bit more personality, and sometimes depth. Although I am careful to not add too much in or anything that draws away from what the piece is about, I often struggle to get the correct balance between serious work and comedic gag.
Inspiration is something I find much of, but find it very difficult to actually put in words what I am trying to say. Often I will write out complete sentences, or even complete paragraphs of text, and then later on I will completely delete them because I don’t feel as if it is conveying what I feel or producing the message that I want it to. I often search for better words to use so my work doesn’t sound basic and easy, but I don’t want my audience to become confused or uninterested; finding the write balance between basic and sophisticated is something that will be a continual growth process for me, something often noted when I proof read (something I should do more often).
Being a communications student, I am usually prescribed a weekly topic to write about in relation to my course work, of which I usually have a creative freedom to write with, so long as it fits within the rules and regulations of my universities policies and guidelines, as well as the specified tasks that I am asked to complete by my lecturer or tutor. In saying so, I often find this quite difficult as I have never really been fond of having a prescribed topic to discuss, I usually like to write about the topics that interest me the most. Not being particularly interested in the specified topic for the week usually gave me writers bloc from the get-go, often resulting in avid procrastination and setting the task aside to focus on at a later time (only to realise that the task is quite possibly due soon).
Driving an audience to my blog, as any blogger or student will tell you, is often one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to blogging. Given that there are so many options out there, capturing an audience takes a little bit of skill – whether that be hijacking a hashtag and posting your blogs link on it multiple times, or posting regularly and sharing them on your social media sites for your current audience to see, hoping one day it will take off and you’ll reach a broader audience (this is what I do). Even collaborating with other bloggers or students or even reporting on current events can drive attention to your blog, often reeling in a few more followers and expanding your viewership. Given that I study a communications degree and work alongside other writing students, following others blogs is viewing their content gives me inspiration needed to start mine – something I am sure most other communication students would also do.
From discussing what a public mediated space is, to the roots of public participation and the studies of collaborative ethnography, BCM240 has shaped a new way of thinking for me as an aspiring writer, opening my eyes to research techniques and ways to produce more creative content. Looking back at my very first post on this blog (Introduction) and comparing it to more recent posts or even this post right here, it isn’t difficult to determine the growth that I have endured, especially in taking this subject, but it is also easy to see the common mistakes I have yet to overcome.
I don’t believe there will be an end point to a bloggers journey, just as I don’t expect there will be one for mine. This blogging or writing journey will always continue, whether it is on this blog, a completely separate one, or within a private space, and it is a continual process of which mistakes will be made and I will continue to grow. It is a dynamic world that I write in and it excites me not knowing what is around the next corner over the next writers bloc mountain and in one way or another, I’ll get there. So I say, write on my fellow bloggers and writers, it’s a wonderful journey ahead.
T O D D
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