Hi, everyone! I finally finished my master’s project! Cue R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” song. It totally happened. Or I’ve past out from exhaustion and started hallucinating this post. Either way, I am in a really good place right now.
Essentially, I created a website for my master’s project on student housing growth in Tuscaloosa. It’s quite the complicated issue, as it involves legislation, occupancy rates, student population growth, parking issues, property ordinances, legislation, the historic district and much much more. My goal has been to explain this complicated issue, and I’ve spent months conducting interviews, research and tweaking the final product. I defend my project in front of a jury of my peers – I mean professors and students in the journalism department, on Tuesday. TUESDAY. That’s less than three days away. I’m nervous, and so excited.
Special thanks to all of my friends, coworkers, family and classmates who have basically carried me this far.
As I discussed in a previous post, I’ll be leaving Tuscaloosa to begin a full-time internship at The Anniston Star newspaper before I graduate at the end of the summer. Though I’m headed that way with some of my closest friends – who happen to be great reporters, I can’t help but be a little sad to leave my work at The Crimson White newspaper. I’ve met some of the funniest and most talented editors, writers and photographers during my time with the CW. They work around the clock, pushing articles through when they drop at the last minute, miraculously getting stories to print every publishing day. From lethal heroin addiction to allegations of widespread sexual abuse, my editors encouraged me to follow through with both the easy and the difficult stories. They taught me that there’s always room for improvement and innovation. I look at them and see where the journalism industry is headed, and it’s in great hands. Creative as ever, here is the CW staff’s going away party invitation via YouTube. Follow the link to see some of today’s greatest talent.
Have you ever stared blankly at your computer screen, begging inspiration to guide your hands as you write?
You notice a stray comma in the first paragraph, so you fix it quickly. Then back to staring. You then see that you wrote “usually” twice in the same sentence. It only takes a second to change that, and then you’re back to staring. The introductory sentence could be better, so you rewrite that. Then you stare again.
Are you noticing a pattern?
In her YouTube video, “Stop Editing as You Write!” Eloise Knapp nails down the main reason authors take so long to finish their writing: constant editing.
Knapp created her video in honor of “NaNoWriMo,” or National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo.org, a non-profit group, challenged authors to write a novel in the month of November. Though the video was posted for NaNoWriMo participants, it has far-reaching implications for all writers.
Knapp encourages a near free-writing style, in which authors type out their work without editing. She asserts that ALL revisions should be made AFTER the author has finished writing.
Knapp remarks that editing during the writing process is highly addictive, particularly if it is a “quick-fix,” such as misplaced punctuation.
Yet these tiny revisions start to add up, and writers may accidentally spend more time perfecting a single paragraph than actually writing. While Knapp acknowledges that editing is invaluable and necessary, it may hinder writers from producing content.