As the end of the semester approaches, it is time to reflect on all the things I have learned in this course and try to reiterate and take it all in one last time before finals arrive, brain turns to mush, and I continue on with other DH courses. Throughout this course, I have been blogging twice a week. Once about Digital Humanities and and how it relates scholarly work and to my interests: fitness, social media, pop culture, and coffee. The open posts (about my interests) on each virtual Friday (and the means of communication—blogging) helped to improve my knowledge of blogging, public writing, and the connection between writing and my life.
Before taking this class, I had never blogged before. I had read blogs from friends, explored Tumblr, and Pinterest. Although these blogs are more visually focused and do not pertain much to the writing focus in my education, it helped to build a foundation of what comprises blogging. When I began blogging for this class, I felt like I was just writing a paragraph to cover a topic for class; however, as the semester progressed, I felt that my writing/blogging became more personal and I was writing with a specific purpose for an intended audience. As I began to write with more purpose for my audience, I also tried to communicate my thoughts in very simplistic forms. Since my writing was going to be placed in a public setting, I became more aware that the people reading it might not have background information on the field or topic that I wrote about. For example, I am very passionate about fitness and always search the Internet for new workouts; within the last year I have become interested in Tone It Up (TIU). In this post, I talked about how TIU is a DH fitness company, but before I could explain how it all connected, I needed to briefly describe the company. Being able to understand the importance and when to use this explanatory, simplistic type of writing has been crucial for me to understand because in future careers I will need to be able to relay difficult, lengthy information into content that is applicable to a general audience.
Aside from focusing on the purpose and audience of my writing, I have also seen improvements in the creativity in my writing. I’ve noticed that I pay more attention to my audience and try to incorporate more first person experience in my writing because I can tell that it draws more students in and makes them want to comments on my posts. Towards the middle of the semester, I tried to pick topics that were interesting and exciting for me to research. Choosing topics on my open posts that related to Facebook, Twitter, coffee, fitness, and pop culture were not only interesting for me to research, but it also grabbed the attention of my fellow students and I could tell that more students were commenting on these posts. My post from last week had a lot of comments—I think it had so many comments because it combined social media and coffee into one big, visual infographic. Since these topics were interesting for me to read and I could easily relate to them, it made it much easier for me to incorporate the creative writing; these are topics that I am passionate about and interested in. They make me excited to learn, which is then reflected in my writing.
As I continue to write about these topics that interest me, I think I have gotten much closer to deciding what I would like to do after I graduate. I’ve been debating between social media marketing, public relations, and multimedia production. The open posts on Friday helped to show me what I am most passionate about—fitness. I think I would like my future work to encompass something fitness related. I’ve found that it is the topic that I enjoy writing about the most and I genuinely enjoy learning about fitness related topics and interacting with people—it seems to be the perfect fit. Being able to write freely for the Friday open posts really helped to clarify this decision. Aside from making this decision, the open posts also helped with my communication in general; I’ve noticed that when I am trying to relay difficult, lengthy, and detailed information that I really think about how I can best clarify and communicate the information using the least amount of words/least confusing combination. Improving communication skills in my writing during the blogging related to being able to communicate more effective verbally in other areas of my life and has been very beneficial.
For the future, I would like to continue with this writing process, but focus more on the fitness related writing. Throughout this semester, I’ve found that I am most interested in that field and would like to explore this various types of promotional writing, design, and social media aspects of various areas in the fitness field. I think being able to experience all aspects of the public relations sector for the field that I am most interested in prior to graduation will help me decide if this s truly the field I am most passionate about and want to continue to work in. I am hoping that once I take the 480 class, I will be able to focus in on this field and continue to progress with the writing improvements that I have already begun in this class.