Before I took this class, I had fallen into what you might call a “writer’s slump.” I came into college as a writing major mostly because it was the only thing I thought I could do—the only thing I liked to do. Case and point: when I was younger, I used to write fanfiction about my favorite T.V. shows. There was a compulsory element to my writing that was encouraging and, I suppose, misleading. In just under two weeks, I would churn out over 107,000 words for pure, personal joy. At the time, I thought: of course I want to be a writer. Who else would write so much for just themselves?
I don’t get that urge anymore. Nowadays, writing always involves some kind of struggle. I’ve read enough to know that there are (and will always be) countless better writers than me out in the world, but I haven’t written enough to fully realize that my opinions have value too. Or, perhaps I’ve just reached a point where I’ve dabbled in writing long enough that I’ve formed too many expectations—most of which are unachievable, at least on the first try. If that’s the case, then a fear of failure is what keeps me from expanding on ideas the moment I get them.
Of course, it’s always easier to list fears than to actually face them. While I can’t say that this Composing Digital Media class has helped to truly vanquish any of my writing woes, I can say that this class has helped me put them in a new perspective. I had forgotten, I think, that the core of writing is actually just storytelling, which has forms outside of just pen and paper. Now, after having done projects this semester in multiple mediums (all of which aimed towards a central goal: to tell a story), I feel as though I’ve made it past the worst of my “writing slump.” Now, as I enter my last semester with my Senior Seminar project on the horizon, I’m thinking of ways that I can tell my story outside of just a traditional Word document. Maybe I’ll write a hypertext nonfiction piece. Maybe I’ll include an audio segment. Maybe I’ll include images.
Who knows? Bottom line is: the world of storytelling has gotten a whole lot bigger.