Sunday, November 11, 2012

Entry #9 - Open Entry

While preparing my genre pieces project, I have been working diligently on my poetic piece which is an acrostic poem. Since my topic is my wedding, it evokes an emotional response when I think and/or write about it. I decided that one of my individual pieces was going to be written in my own personal voice, and I wanted it to be emotional yet light and funny as well. For that reason, I decided to use the poetry genre to voice to my audience my emotions on the topic.

When I began thinking about this piece, I realized quickly that there were many forms poetry can take. I started researching acrostic poems, simply because I was most familiar with them. When I was in elementary school I remember learning about poetry, but for some reason none of the other poetic forms really stuck with me. Because of this, I knew I wanted to research acrostic poetry by reading mentor texts but search for complex, emotional driven acrostics. Once this was established, I found myself turning to the writing process that Tompkin's (2012) described in chapter one.

After researching I used a variety of different methods to prewrite. On 4 different occasions, I opened a microsoft word page and just wrote. I wrote words, sentences, and phrases, some that made sense and some that absolutely did not. I used different colored fonts to differentiate between events and/or time periods, and I used bold font to distinguish between the ideas I wanted to use in my actual piece and those I did not. This process was extremely time consuming, but during it, I changed my writing piece drastically for the better.

Once I had ideas written down, I was able to better organize them. I drafted 3 different acrostic poems, each varying slightly structurally and emotionally. These drafts did not use standard conventions, rather they took my previous prewriting ideas and organized them into the form I wanted for my final piece. This was the easiest part of the process for me, since the original thoughts were already written down elsewhere. During the time spent on this task, I realized the importance of prewriting and how informal it can be. My organized chaos helped me to create first drafts that were the beginning of the individual piece.

Back before we were asked the read the very first chapter of Tompkins (2012), I never distinguished the difference between revising and editing. I grouped the editing into the revising stage, and used revision time to look at grammar, mechanics, and spelling as well. Because of this, I often did not have a specific purpose for editing my own text. It was unclear as to what exactly I was looking for, since I was attempting to accomplish so much at once. While working in this course with my poem, for the first time I was very conscious of what I was looking for each time I reread my piece. I was able to revise with my writing group, as well as with friends and family at home. My fiance's input was extremely helpful to aide in my own reflection and discussions. Before I began the editing process, I realized that the people I revise with and the people I edit my writing piece with may be very different. For example, my fiance was perfect to aide in revisions for my project where as he would make an awful editor! I honestly cannot believe I thought of these two processes as one.

During the publishing stage, I contemplated form many times. Dr. Jones' voice came into my head often, since form and format were the very first things I wanted to think about before this project was even fully developed. I was told specifically to save form until the very end, and I learned why... the hard way. I pictured this piece being published electronically, or at the very least typed and printed, however once I wrote it I got a very different feeling. With a trip to JoAnn Fabrics I was able to publish a piece that was completely unique, and VERY different than what I had originally anticipated. The learning I have gained in this project alone are indescribable. Thinking back now I cannot believe I had so many misconceptions on what I thought was a seemingly simple task!


  1. Shawna, I appreciate you want to reflect on the progress of your own writing project here, but remember these entries are to be used to develop a deeper understanding of the course readings. What do you think some of the authors we have read this semester would say about your progress? For example, what would Tompkins say about your process? What would Tierney and Pearson say?

  2. Dr. Jones,
    For some reason I am having such a hard time with this open entry. I intended on going back to discuss my writing processes during the project and how it compared to our readings of the writing process and assessment. As I was writing I felt I may not be making deep enough connections. I am going to revisit this entry and either start frmo scratch, or try and build those connections. Thank you Dr. Jones!