Full Sail University Professional Writing Reflection Blog
This assignment asked us to answer four of six provided questions; I chose to answer all six.
You’ve worked on quite a few types of professional writing this month. How will you use the skills you’ve practiced in your future classes? Then, think further ahead: How will you use these skills in your career?
Having spent over a decade in office environments, I think I came into this course somewhat prepared due to having no choice but to use professional writing skills in practice in my ‘first career’ – the one I’m getting a degree to escape from. It is refreshing to see these skills have a place outside of those offices, showing that despite how I might feel about the time I spent in that field, I at least gained some transferrable skills on the way though that can aid me as I continue forward in this path of school and career transition. I can also see clearly how the specific areas covered in this course – delivering budgets, timelines and feedback (both negative and positive) will be indispensable skills to have as a composer and audio engineer working with clients on projects.
Now that you’ve completed the course, how has your idea of how you represent yourself through writing in the professional world changed? This can be related to the way you write on social media, too.
I’ve always tried to keep my spelling and grammar in check in most situations - although I am prone to colorful language or misspelling intentionally for comedic effect / denotation of sarcasm, especially on social media. I recently stopped using my Facebook account, where most of my internet badboyism occurred, and have always kept my Twitter account relatively tame by comparison, and as my follower count has started to grow with people whom I have more of a professional association, I tend to second guess risqué tweets more than I used to (but still probably not as much as I should).
Think about the assignments you’ve completed this term. Which one are you most proud of and why?
My ‘History of Recorded Music’ class this month had an assignment called ‘Six Degrees of Kraftwerk’ that was essentially a ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’-style association tree, except with musicians. The most recent artist had to be someone who started their professional career within the last decade, so I went with one of my modern heroes – Marc Rebillet, AKA the Loop Daddy – and worked my way through a series of collaborations and inspirations all the way to Elvis Presley. It was entertaining as well as informative.
Think of one concrete skill you learned this month that you will continue to use. Please explain.
I can personally see myself getting a lot of use out of the lessons learned through this month’s research – both in the proposal for this professional writing course, but also the aforementioned ‘Six Degrees’ assignment. While researching for the proposal, I found a wealth of information about how film projects hire their composers, the process that entails and what is expected upon hire, and this is paramount information for my intended career path. There was also the gratifying element of peering into the workflow of two of my contemporaries, as well as personal heroes of film composition – Tyler Bates and John Murphy – and seeing so many parallels to my own approach to this work, as well as gaining a few new techniques I hadn’t thought of yet though their insights in interviews. This information learned, as well as the process of obtaining it, will be a skill that continues to deliver in the future.
Looking back over what you’ve learned this month, what do you feel your greatest strength is in your abilities as a writer? How has that area improved this month?
In my writing, I have a tendency to get a little long winded and verbose, and also have a bad habit of overusing the comma in what become sprawling, run-on sentences. I can’t help it, I just have long thoughts. It makes sense when you look at the authors I tend to gravitate towards – Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk and Cormac McCarthy – all modern-day authors with a stream-of-consciousness writing style and all known for often unconventional use of punctuation. This course out me in scenarios where concision was key, and too much flowery prose is a distraction. I think learning to keep it more-to-the-point in professional communications is going to prove a valuable skill in the future.
Now, turn a critical eye upon your writing. What one area do you feel is your greatest writing weakness, and how will you continue to strengthen that area once you leave the course?
As addressed in the above response, I can be far too wordy on occasion, sometimes giving the impression of my writing being overly sales-y and disingenuous, or leave the reader like Alec Baldwin in Beetlejuice, shrugging and muttering “this reads like stereo instructions.” Moving forward I’ll start giving my writing more of a once-over for clarity and efficiency, trying to use less words to convey my message – if I’m choosing the right words, I should need quite so many. I think for practice I’ll start to update this blog regularly. Hopefully I’ll see some of you reading this back here for future posts.