Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why a blog?

I have been writing blogs since 2004, when I started my first knitting blog. My writing has changed since then, and I have participated in a few other blogs over the past 10 years. Each forum has its own challenges and opportunities. Sentaku ni is a blog about communication, the overarching theme of WRD 110 at the University of Kentucky. In this course, I am exploring the elements of rhetoric, analyzing both myself and my audiences in order to craft messages for the various constituencies I write for.

As a non-traditional student, writing is part of my daily life. I work in a corporate law firm. In that capacity I write informative emails, documentation, and occasional presentations to various members of the firm. That writing takes skill, but it isn’t the same as writing a research paper or a narrative essay. As such, this course is a useful exercise in learning to write in a more educated way.

The first step in writing well for me has always been constant practice. This course has a number of skills exercises – short writing assignments of 100 to 300 words – that provide an avenue to that practice. It removes the self-discipline that makes improving my writing so difficult on my own. In high school I had an experience that was similar. I had these large blank books: Write in Here. I was required to fill up one of these blank books each term, but my teacher did not care what I wrote inside. If I had a lot of space left the temptation was always to write angry song lyrics instead of practicing my writing.

Our short assignments are that book without the temptation to fill it with teenage angst. The core assignments are proof that the small assignments are working. I hope that they are interesting to someone other than me.