Reflection Blog

This blog was assigned as an assignment for a college course I enrolled in. I am going to go over the things I learned and how I feel it have or will impact my life.

First of all, designing this blog has given me experience for life, doing this has given me a basic understanding for generating another platform for media output. This can and will go on my resumés as a skill I have learned to handle.

Secondly it helped me as a writer, having a new experience with a new form of writing is always helpful and when you spend an extended amount of time working on that new form you gain new skills and better understand what people like or don’t like.

This blog also had some personal reflections I wouldn’t have stumbled over if I hadn’t constructed these posts. Wrestling with my own writers block this semester this helped to slowly break down the obstacles in my way.

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Old School or New Tech?

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Authors throughout time have always argued which is the best way to write, with your pen or pencil or on a machine. I’m going to look into the pros and cons of both.

Hand writing your work seems like its much more effort and it is. Its not because of the pen strokes and your wrist getting tired but because mentally as you write down your notes or lines you are etching them into your memory requiring more stops and technically a slower production speed. It give the piece a more intimate feeling (In my opinion) and allows the author to even get creative with the text to show where they want to apply emphasis and things like that. This also offers you the ability to write notes wherever on whatever pieces but be prepared for a good amount of scribbles because writing with ink that can’t be erased is a dangerous game.

As for new tech like laptops and computers or even phones or tablets, it means you will likely have faster production but will have a harder time remembering all the little details because you didn’t spend the time to physically mark down each letter. New tech however gives you the chance the write on a cleaner surface, no scribble marks or spill stains on a word document, it also allows for easier access than someone who is less than organized with their papers. Computers also offer faster transfers of files, with things like email or texting getting that chapter or script to a publisher is much easier than sending them 30 pages and you never have to worry about the postal service messing up!

To break it down it really is based on what you, as a writer, feel is best. You decide what is your comfort zone and what makes you feel more focused and connected to your piece. Having that connection and feeling safe about your work is always important, no one wants to be stressing out about anything let alone a project they have been crafting for months.

However don’t be afraid to try both, keep an open mind. If you are just giving it a shot from either side, don’t get frustrated just understand it has a different process. Going from writing on a computer to scribbling down your ideas on hard paper is a hard change, but the perks can be rewarding if you are organized and need a better memory for your work. Writing and changing to computers will can be much easier but may make you uncomfortable, there is less of a personal connection and you will have a hard time remembering every little detail, but if your thoughts move faster than hand can maybe take a crack at going digital, you never know it may surprise you! Which platform do you use? Have you tried switching before?

Different Kind of Presentation

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During finals here at Wheelock students like to get creative when given the option to present a presentation, in my Native American Literature class we were given the assignment to present a traditional Native American story. My group got together and we decided to write and record a rendition of Song Upon the Mountain and traditional Navajo story but using rap as our platform rather than traditional story telling. Myself and the other artist Jake Wishard wrote the lyrics to our own respective portions of the song. We then recorded them using the recording studio I helped to create and manage here on campus and we were left with the song. We received nothing but positive feedback for our work and are proud to show it off. This is just one example of creative writing taking palce here at Wheelock College.

Here is the finished product, enjoy!

Song Upon A Mountain

Wheres it Going?

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When you touch ink to paper or finger tip to key where is your story going? After all, all writing is a story so where is yours taking your reader or listeners? For example lets look at J Cole’s new album, the story behind the album, through and through it is a story, he tells the tale of his friend who is caught up in the street life selling drugs and eventually he has a daughter and at the end J Cole has to tell his friends daughter that her father did all of that in the street to give her a better life because it was all he could do. Story tells your readers what to feel and how to feel it. It tells your story or the stories you want people to know so remember your purpose behind your writing. Because no matter who reads it everyone will get some kind of understanding from it, what kind of influence do you want to leave? The reason Cole’s album is amazing is his commitment to the story and telling it with his feelings and his interpretation makes you feel his emotions as he is telling them, he makes you feel like you’re living his story.

Following Your Mentors

Today is a blog heavy day I feel,

We all started from somewhere right? Our drive to write has always been etched inside us of course but where did we find our inspiration from? Understanding this is essential, it makes us look into ourselves and examine what it is about that source of inspiration that connects us with them. To provide an example I write lyrics constantly, little notes here and there or full songs, and as I said in my bio I am heavily influenced by the Hip-Hop culture. So my inspirations come from artists like Tupac, Nas, N.W.A, Eminem, KRS One, Wu Tang, the list goes on (also I’m an old head when it comes to Hip-Hop meaning I focus more on the older styles), I draw from these artists because I can relate to their struggles and stories of poverty, witnessing drug addiction and wanting better for my community, there’s more of course but I won’t go to deep.

The point of this is to help you become a better writer you have to understand where your voice is coming from. My voice in most of my pieces comes from a struggling point of view, its where I feel my element where I can be emotionally connected to my work. So look back over those who inspire you, learn why you look up to these people and embrace that connection its how you want to present yourself.

Why I Write

Hey all just here with hopefully a little bit of inspiration. A lot of the time once you have been writing for a while you can feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about anymore or why, and that is perfectly okay. You ever taken a walk to go think and end up having walked pretty damn far? Its the same thing and more often than not when your pen strays on the paper its because its trying to clear up it thoughts. Everyone reaches points of turmoil in their life where things seem unclear and maybe even bleak, keep pushing. Keep that ink wet and the pages coming, put everything on that page like you’re taking that long walk, express your inner concerns about whatever before returning to your project.

It won’t be a day, well usually it won’t be. Our problems often stem from other problems and that means the problem was twice as big as you had thought. It’s okay, and in the words of the late Robin Williams “It’s not your fault” everyone hits those stressful periods, if you keep your head down and work through it your writing will be stronger at the end I promise. You will not only gain more experience but you will have moved their your issues in a way your brain can relate and solve which means your basic problem solving has been better. This also means that you have something else to write about and reflect on, internal struggle is a necessity for any great character, it shows depth and relatability. So keep your pen up, keep the pages coming and get ready for more fuel for that project.

Importance of Travel

As you discover new artists and authors and do more in depth research into who they are and what their inspirations are you will often see destinations around the world that people draw inspiration from. This is for several reasons, often people feel a deep connection to the place or they are able to resonate on the beautiful work of others to help inspire them to be better.

For a personal example, I was in Italy  years ago, touring the beautiful country in the winter with no tourists is definitely the way to go. It allows you to have a much more personal connection with the destinations. During my time there I got experience amazing things like Rome and seeing the ancient history still standing in the city, I also ventured the to city of Pompeii which if you haven’t learned about suffered a terrible fate. During my time in Pompeii, which is now more of an archaeological dig site than a city, I saw the duality of everything in life. Places like the Colosseum have showed they are able to stand the test of time while in Pompeii you could argue the structural integrity is the same but the city was lost in the year 79 AD, and wasn’t unearthed until 1599. That is a huge piece of history the Italian people forgot about, buried under the ash.

If Rome had been hit by the volcanic ash a buried instead of Pompeii do you think it would have been dug out or left alone to sit and wait for 1500 years? I believe that Rome would have been uncovered as soon as they could. So that leaves the question do you take inspiration form Rome the gem of Italy and the Roman empire, or do you want to be the small town (11,000 population at the time of the eruption) that gets forgotten under the ash? The choice is always yours to make.

 

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Thats me looking over the Foro (Forum) in Pompeii, the local intellectuals would gather here to argue politics.

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Myself again in the Colosseum in Rome, ignore the stupid pose. This was a huge foundation for Roman culture, watching men battle not only themselves but battle animals and its been thought they even had small naval battles within the ring.