“Write” On Track

Over Thanksgiving break, I continued with the writing process of my project. With so much material to work with, I went through my typed notes and began highlighting portions from our interviews I knew I wanted to pull direct quotes from or focus on in my article. Red text areas are places I want to summarize an anecdote. Some of the areas where I left text black are points where I’ve asked Andy’s husband, Jon, a related question and want to wait to begin incorporating the details into the article until I’ve heard back from him by e-mail later this week.

Yesterday, I wrote about 1,021 words of the article, words that didn’t come easy. I am thrilled by this project: I love to write,  I love to work with WordPress and other digital storytelling tools and I take very seriously the fact that there’s a family that  is allowing me and trusts me to share their story. I want this project to be successful, not just in terms of being executed well, but also in terms of reflecting the larger theme of how a deployment affects a family.

I used to have one of those daily calendars where you rip a sheet off each day. It featured quotes, some humorous, some sad and some just stupid. Recently, I discovered one of the ten or so sheets I saved from the 365 page calendar:

I don’t mean to contradict myself. I really do love to write. I wouldn’t want to be pursuing any other career. But sometimes, with that comes an immense pressure I place on myself to constantly improve at the craft. I don’t have this feeling with anything else. When I’m not writing, I miss it.

Writing doesn’t always create happiness, but the tricky emotion that is sparked is exhilarating to me. I don’t always produce the type of piece I envisioned. Sometimes I struggle to find the right words, the right lead, the right conclusion. In a weird way, I thrive on this conflict as I work on certain types of stories and attempt to succeed in doing the subject justice. Sometimes, after a story has been published, I feel like I’ve failed in that-and then try to do better with my next article. I know I still have a lot to learn, and I’m excited by that. I don’t fear I’ll fail in my presentation of this story. I’ve invested a lot of time in it, will continue doing that this week until it’s finished, and am confident I’ll present the digital story well. Getting to that place, being able to write that, to say that-has been a process I’ve enjoyed and look forward to doing more of throughout my career.

Immersing myself in this project over the past eight weeks has been a great learning experience for me and an opportunity to consider what directions I’m capable of taking in the realm of digital storytelling. Like the quote pictured above implies, the route I chose to go with this project in terms of my writing hasn’t always been “happy,” but I enjoy the struggle. At times these past few weeks, I’ve struggled to be content with the words I make appear on the screen. I write, I delete, I rewrite, I revise. But, as I near completion on my project, that process has resulted in exactly the type of irresistible, conflicted feeling that pushes me to keep doing what I love.


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