Archive for December, 2010

In the end

As I look back on this semester in Feature Writing, I realize how much I’ve learned. Being in this class taught me more about how to conduct interviews (which is something I now feel much more confident doing), how to use blogs in different ways and–most importantly–about penguin Silly Bandz. Although I should take a moment to say how much I hate the way “Bandz” is spelled.

Over the semester, I have enjoyed growing as a writer. I feel as though my writing has improved and has become more effortless than before. I now better understand what kinds of questions to ask during an interview and how to form additional questions based on the interviewee’s answers. And I feel much more comfortable picking out the important quotes from those interviews to use in the articles I write.

Aside from improved writing in general, I think my blogging skills have improved. At the beginning of the semester it would take me much longer to get started writing than it does now. Additionally, I see how useful blogs can be: people use blogs as a sort of online diary, as informational sites, for comic relief and as travel blogs.

The readings that prompted some of our blog posts not only provoked me to write, but also helped my writing. The variety of stories gave perspective and opened my eyes to the many different types of feature writing. And on top of that, I gained insight to other aspects of life aside from reading and writing: “The Final Salute”, one of my favorite readings for our blogs, taught me about the gruesome reality of the lives of casualty assistance officers.

Yet even though I can see the strides my writing has taken, I realize there are many areas in which I still need to grow as a writer. First and foremost: leads. I continue to struggle consistently in coming up with leads–and furthermore, coming up with leads that aren’t absolutely tragic. Although I usually have no trouble writing after I come up with a lead, the leads themselves do not seem to come naturally to me.

Transitions are also not my strong point. I tend to either skip awkwardly between subjects without offering the reader much of a transition at all, or I get far too wordy, which I will argue is equally as annoying.

I’ll soon leave this semester behind, taking both my writing progress and continued troubles with me. But I won’t forget how much I learned in these past four months.