Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Writing about Writing

Write 5 journal entries about writing.


  1. Here is one of my journal entries about writing:

    I’ve never found writing to be easy. It’s like fighting my way through a dense forest, blindfolded. I stumble over words and get lost in the maze of ideas running through my mind. Sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper, or blank computer screen can be very daunting. I never know where to begin and how to take off from there. I focus too much on trying to formulate the perfect sentence that my original idea gets lost in a wordy sentence. An important concept I have absorbed through English this year is freewriting. I have learned that to simply sit down, and write non-stop for a certain amount of time can help improve not just my writing, but also my writing process in general. The hardest part of writing for me is to just get my ideas out and onto paper in a way that makes sense. Freewriting is a great way to do this. After the freewrting process, I have at least something down on paper. From there it is easier to fine-tune my ideas, and produce a finished product with which I am content.

    1. Katherine,

      you just described this perfectly. I think you're better at communicating your feelings and thoughts onto paper then you think! I think this feeling is common for many young writers, including me. You have described it very well, I agree, writing an essay or other piece of work can be a very dark and uninviting forest sometimes. I wouldn't worry too much though, this journal was very well thought out and accurate in my opinion. It seems the free writing is helping! Maybe I too will try it.

  2. In this post, I’d like to share some of my strategies in analyzing a poem.

    Poetry is the dramatization of experience in metrical language. After studying several poems in this course throughout the term, I've learned that in order to understand the deeper idea and meaning of a specific poem, I must consider many elements while analyze it.

    I first start by reading the poem silently; this gives me a general idea about what the poet is trying to convey. Sometimes, read it yourself is not enough, by hearing someone read the poem out loud makes the poem’s meaning clearer and I am able to hear the various poetic sound devices such as alliteration, rhyme and onomatopoeia. We were told that before stat analysing a poem, we must read the poem several times and I find it quite true personally, because a poem can have different meanings for different readers, therefore, we must give ourselves a chance to fully experience the poem.

    After reading the poem for three times, be sure to check if there is a title as I learned that the title of a poem is just as important as the content. I often skip over a poem’s title because I didn’t think the title is worth much of attention. However, from this class I learned that the title often contains many important clues for understanding the piece. The title often can give you many useful information and is an introduction that can guide you.

    One of the difficulties that I faced while analyzing a poem is that I tend to panic when there is a word that I do not understand, worried that I might lost what the poet is trying to say. But after the practices during class, I realized that I should not be panicking even if there are unfamiliar words. I think I should give my focus to the larger overall meaning of the poem instead of those unfamiliar terms. Once I understand the larger meaning, then it’s time to start paying attention to those words as they might be crucial while analyzing. With that being said, those words that I am not unfamiliar with should not be dismissed since the poets select each and every word carefully. Therefore, every word has a purpose in the overall meaning of the poem.

    Understand the meaning of a poem can be hard and even harder for me since English is not my first language. However, if I was able to follow those rules while analysing, then it’s not that difficult anymore. Then sense of joy after I truly understand a poem and the sense of achievement after my ideas and thoughts were being accredited by Gudrun made me firmly believe that I can be just as good as others.

  3. Throughout my academic career, I have experienced very similar issues in my writing that Katherine did well in describing. The academic pieces that I would try and construct would always turn out to be jumbles of wordy run-on sentences and my ideas were never truly conveyed to the reader. In response to my struggles in academic essay writing, I've found myself drawn towards creative writing. Somehow, creative writing is more comfortable and inviting to me. The pieces that I write become less daunting and more fun. However, I still worry that because creative writing doesn't serve much of a purpose in my field of choice as an engineer, I'm hurting myself in a way by not facing my fears of writing essays.

    1. Hello Logan!

      I'm happy that you were able to find a solution to your struggles. You are a strong individual that seems to always seek for a solution IF followed by failure.

      Worrying about creative writing is a common issue for all students. Have a positive attitude and keep practicing!

      I trust any problems that you face, you can overcome.
      Don't give up.

  4. When life's challenges seem overwhelming,people often find that talking about their stress helps them put it in perspective. However, there's another great way to maintain control of your thoughts and decision making throughout each day: Writing. I don't mean writing long and detailed stories of your life experiences, but something simple like a journal. The simple act of regularly jotting down your life events and feelings on paper-or even at your lap top, desk top, or notebook, can help you refine your writing skills. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on the experiences/events you've recorded, and describe emotions and stresses that you wouldn't necessarily tell anyone about.

    You can use journaling to help you deal with stressors you don't feel comfortable sharing with others.

  5. Entry 1:
    What has always fascinated me about writing is the fact that you don’t need to be good at it to convey emotion. You don’t have to have years and years of experience at crafting your language to illustrate your feelings, thoughts, or responses to any given situation. Expert word craft does not always convey incredible stories, just as incredible stories do not necessarily require expert language. You can use the most simple combinations of the most basic words and tell a more heart wrenching tale than a piece lavishly filled with exquisite metaphors, imagery, and illusion. Words are really amazing, and I feel as though we do not truly appreciate their power. To speak is to communicate, is to share your most inner workings. The sheer fact that we have weaved such an intricate method to do so is absolutely incredible.
    Entry 2:
    If I had to choose a favorite literary device, it would definitely be the metaphor. And maybe personification as a close second. To allude to something AS another thing, and by doing so give it characteristics it would otherwise never possess is just so powerful. The only way I think I can fully express my fascination with this writing tool is to provide some examples, so here goes;
    -“The ocean in her eyes”
    -“an eon of silence”
    -“a voice of pure silver”
    And some personification:
    -“the toaster screamed at me as the toast popped up”
    -“thunder rumbling like an angry giant”
    -“the leaves drooped in defeat”
    -”my heart shrieked in protest”

  6. Entry 3:
    Writing is weird in a way if you think about it. I mean, who decided and “E” was going to be an “e” and would be pronounced “eee”? More so, how nearly every single culture on the planet come up with some form of alphabet in which to document their language? And don’t even get me started on things like sentence structure, word structure, paragraphs, etc. It’s one of those things that makes complete and no sense whatsoever simultaneously. Back to the alphabet however, it’s insane that almost every language (I’m sure there are exceptions) has formulated these completely random symbols that when mashed together in various orders, give us the means to relay information! There must be something wired into us about writing, something deep, deep in our brains that gives us this desire to document occurrences.

    Entry 4:
    Onto more writing as a way of expression, I find the act of spewing my thoughts and emotions onto a piece of paper one of the most liberating things you can do when scenarios just aren’t making sense in your head. Why does laying all of the information already available to you inside your head out in front of your eyes give a sense of organization? Technically, you have changed nothing about the situation you are pondering, all you have done is put it all into words and sentences and paragraphs and observed the form which it took. Interestingly however, I find a lot of the time this form is considerably different from the form it holds within your head. And sometimes it’s not. I guess writing aids us in solving out issues then, by giving us a visual representation of that morphing form within our brains.

    Entry 5:
    Going off on more a limb of writing, I would like to examine poetry a bit. This more personalize-able form of giving light to your ideas has always intrigued me because it has no rules like regular writing. Basically, is you take away all the rules of writing, you are left with poetry. It has no form, no correct way to do it, and if you want you don’t even really have to use real words! Sounds, made-up words, and utter gibberish are completely welcome in poetry. And there is an infinite number of ways you can mash all your chosen words together. From haikus to limericks to free-verse poems, really, what CAN’T you do with poetry? Really, really good poets fascinate me, because with so many possibilities it can’t be easy to figure out what works for you and make it work so well that a lot of other people enjoy it. Poetry is entirely subjective too! No-one can say and actually be “right” or “wrong” that a poem is good. It seems almost luck then, that an individual should combine words in a method pleasing to a large chunk of the population. I’m not sure what my conclusion is here, save that poetry is rebellious and dangerous, but when treated with caution and nurtured, can truly be a thing of beauty.