History of the Project:


Originally I had very large plans for this www.blogwithballs.blogspot.com project, as it is encompassing not only this class, but also my Senior Project for my Women's Studies minor. I contracted for around 12,000 words, and fell very short of that, unfortunately.

I've always known I'm bad at keeping blogs. I don't like talking about myself. I'm not very good at finding things to say. I'm not a blog reader, because when blogs first started to be cool, they were almost exclusively about people's personal lives. Most people simply don't have personal lives that I consider worth spending my time reading, when I could be reading something much more valuable. I also take real issue with people whining about how hard their lives are. I'm certainly not going to write about what I don't like to read about. I'm also just not good at nonfiction.

I had high hopes that being required to keep a blog would be what it would take to get me in the habit of posting regularly. I think that may have worked, if this hadn't been the final semester of my senior year. My workload has been particularly high. That's no excuse, but I think it did contribute to my not achieving my goal.

As far as my desired subject matter, I feel like that is the one area I kept to what my original proposal was. I definitely covered areas of feminist thought and concern. Although Morgan suggested, halfway through the semester, that I maybe should change my subject matter so I would 'be able to find more topics' to post about, the problem had nothing to do with lack of subject matter. If anything, I had too much. Additionally the topic was of personal interest to me, as a woman. The only topic that might (and I say might) have been better would have been if I had done something with fiction writing.

I did disregard doing a wiki out of hand. I knew this project would be a bit of a struggle in the first place, and I think that a wiki would have been too overwhelming to me. I can be a perfectionist, and I would have been messing with it constantly, and would have never made any progress.

Progress:


It took me a long time to make the first post, even though I had been planning this project well before the class had even started. As I said before, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. Not so much about things like spelling, but about my writing, my voice. Once I mad the first post I thought it would get easier, but I didn't. I struggled forward; trying to keep the 'tone of voice' I was aiming for. That was what hindered me so badly, an attempt to keep a certain voice, that wasn't always easy to come by. I managed to post here and there, but I think the final work count was half what I originally intended. I book marked dozens of web pages that I wanted to write about, but at times the topic was just so huge, I hardly knew where to start, or when I did, all I did was rant angrily. Unfortunately there just simply wasn't as much 'progress' as I wanted there to be. I stuck to my original plan, in all but how much I wrote.

I got more discouraged, the further behind I got. When by mid semester, I had less of half then what I said I was planning to have, I realized there was no way I was going to catch up. Realizing that did little to motivate me to push forward too hard. My work slowed to a crawl, and I didn't post for quite a while. Then I managed a few posts, one after another. I intentionally backdated them. Not because I thought someone 'wouldn't notice' that all of a sudden I had posts when I hadn't had any for like a month, but just because I didn't like having them all bunched together.

I did manage to make a final post before the semester was over. One I had been meaning to make for a while, about an interesting www.superdickery.com website I'd found. I had started to write a second part, but like with so much of this project, it fell by the wayside.

Networking and Reader Base:


I did make a new 'friend' from my blog, Elizabeth, from www.ablogwithoutabicycle.blogspot.com Blog Without a Bicycle. She even facebooked me. We don't talk much, but it really surprised me to find out that I wasn't the only one working a on a feminist project like this. I posted an interview she did with me on my blog. Her blog was more of a networking based for her own Master's Thesis, where as mine was the blog itself. Known that she was reading, even though she rarely commented, did help motivate me a little to really do well. We're probably the same age (I'm a bit older than the average senior), but I really wanted to impress her, because she knew more than I did.

Very recently, I got a comment on my post Blogging with Balls Needs a Cup. It was from an African American male. It was rather cool to get an unsolicited comment on my blog at all. It was even more exacting to get a male opinion, and a male minority opinion at that. I've always felt there is a deep correlation between the civil rights movement and the women's rights movement.

During my women's studies classes, I had an opportunity, along with other classmates, to sit down with several African American males (the basketball team here at BSU, who had a class period the same time we did.) and talk about human rights issues. It was one of the most interesting conversations I've ever had on the issue of oppression and human rights. It was very exciting to have something similar occur on my blog. Unfortunately the comment was made anonymously, so I have no way of contacting him. Which is really too bad.

Performance Under Pressure:


Generally I do well under pressure. The closer a deadline is, the more likely I am to really shine. There is one kind of pressure that screws me every time, though, the pressure to be 'perfect'. One of my best friends had read the post I made about the NRA. She praised me very highly on it. She told me she didn't even realize it was MY writing, it sounded so professional. I was so flattered. Every post from there on though, I was so worried about perfection. I didn't want to let the like, three readers I had, down. It's such a stupid little thing, but it became a huge obstacle over time. Like most things, the longer I put off writing, the bigger deal it became. Doing poorly in a blog is so very public; it's like forgetting your lines on stage. I hate nothing more then looking incompetent. I think I discovered that performance blog posting is scary. It scared me more than I think I realized at the time. I don't entirely understand it, because I've had blogs for years, but this was different some how. I'm used to sharing my writing, but normally it's fiction. With past blogs I've had a very specific audience, it hasn't been class work. Honestly I'm surprised at how anxious this project made me at times.

Conclusion:


I don't really know what my conclusion is. I don't feel like I've changed or evolved much, or somehow understand blogs or wikis better than I did when I started this class. I think I've realized more about my own ideas of how I should post, and maybe found the root of my poor posting preformance, not only in this blog but in other blogs as well. There is nothing I would change about my project, other than simply devoting more time to it. I wish I had had more time to do so, because really, I feel my idea has a lot of merit. I do intend to keep this blog... we'll see if I ever do anything more with it.

((post 12am posting is just formatting adjustment))
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