I learned that writing about something I don't really care about can
be a mistake. It will make my piece drab and unexciting.
There's only so much a
reader can do with something uninspiring. I learned to better trust
my instincts. Now if I feel that something is boring or it's just not
good, I trust that little voice inside
a lot more - and will completely
redo my work instead of inflicting it on the reader, who will most likely
put it down, and never read it past a few sentences.
I tried to give the feedback in this class as if each piece were my
own. Even if the piece had errors, there was always something exciting
or unusual about it that I could tell the author about so that he or
she could still feel good about themselves. I know how hard it can be
to develop a story. To criticize somebody harshly can make him or her
not want to write any more, and crush his or her spirit. A proper level
of self-esteem is important for everyone. I know I have a lot to learn
too, so I put a disclaimer on my feedback, saying that everyone had
their own style - and my style was different from theirs. My classmates
may have felt that what they were trying to say needed a different way
of saying it. My suggestions were just that: suggestions. Luckily, I
used to be a proofreader so I had an advantage in helping people find
spelling or grammar errors. I tried to give feedback right away (the
next day or sooner) so that people could rewrite and turn in their work
as soon as possible.
I really liked the idea of class discussions. Often, a question came
up that I wanted to share, or a website or another opinion about a piece.
Some of the readings were very emotional, and I wanted to talk about
that with my group members. I often put comments after my other group
members' reading comments, too. It led to some interesting group conversations.
Our group was online and chatting on the class chat area several times.
My personal blog has been invaluable to me for this class - sometimes
things would happen in my life this semester that I wanted to write
about. I toned down these things on the blog, because it is a public
space, but I still was able to put my thoughts there. It was fun to
see what other people had on their blog pages, and also fun to go through
the internet and download copyright-free images to add to my blog.
This semester has been a huge learning experience in terms of my personal
journey, and taking this class has helped me immensely, because I was
able to channel my energy and thoughts into my Personal Journal and
my class exercises this semester. When I wrote, anything else that was
going on became much less important than my writing itself. I had been
afraid to write, and now I wanted to try my very best. This goal helped
me focus on what was really important, instead of just on passing events.
I put a more personal touch on my personal writing pages I called my
Personal Journal. This was a separate section I added in my personal
folder to be a sort of Writing Diary - explaining my thoughts about
assignments and sometimes about my fellow group members and some of
what was happening to me outside of class. It was a good writing practice
site, and helped me focus on what was important - my writing.
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