Throughout the semester in “Food, Feelings & Film”, I was able to develop my skills as a writer by experimenting with different styles and genres of writing. Our blog post assignments ranged from personal anecdotes to ethnography's, film voiceovers along with variety of other genres. The theme of the posts encompassed aspects of all three themes in the title of the course, “Food, Feelings & Film.” I was able to practice writing each style, and pinpoint which genres I was stronger at writing, and which ones had room for development.
Writing these blog posts gave me an opportunity to explore myself as a writer through various techniques and genres. Not only was I able to attempt new styles of writing that I hadn’t come across before, I was also able to practice styles I was familiar with, so that I could perform well when It came to letter grade assignments
For my anthology I decided to include pieces from a wide range of genres, to properly feature the various types of writing I worked on throughout the course. One piece I chose to revise and further develop was my emulation of Lily Wong’s piece “Eating the Hyphen” titled, “Gai Daan Jai”. Other pieces include my “Eat Drink Man Woman Voiceover”, my ethnography called “Cox Food Hall”, one of my more creative pieces “I Want to go Home Kong Pie”, and my explanation of “The Cookie” by Marcel Proust. I chose to include these posts in chronological order to clearly show the development of my writing from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester.
Gai Daan Jai
Eat Drink Man Woman Voiceover
Cox Food Hall
I Want to go Home Kong Pie
The Cookie - Marcel Proust
Through the experience of blogging during the duration of the semester, I was able to clearly understand and apply the course’s key terms, such as genre and audience. We learnt that, Every writer has an audience. Whether their audience is a friend, family member, professor, strange or even their self, every writer has an audience. Every writer also has a genre. Whether they intend to or not, each different style of writing can be considered a genre, including poetry, personal narratives, letters, academic essays etc... Both the terms "audience" and "genre" can be applied to various aspects of life. Each of the post I chose to revise were different genres, and were all targeted at different audiences.
For example, “Gai Daan Jai”, a piece about a childhood comfort food, is targeted at people who are interested in learning about traditional Hong Kong cuisine, or are able to relate/have similar memories growing up in Hong Kong. As the piece is written in a more informal tone it is targeted at an audience that is looking for more of a “quick/fun read” as a opposed to an informative essay. My ethnography on Cox Food Hall on the other hand is more informative and observational, which could come of as academic and appeal to an audience who is more focused on gaining information rather than vivid imagery.
These posts related to the course’s learning objectives in numerous ways. “I Want to go Home Kong Pie” was a piece that allowed me to write expressively, while other pieces required me to write more academically. I also learnt how to write in multiple stages, beginning with a first draft, and ending with a more finalized draft that always has room for improvement. I learnt that revising drafts is something I quite enjoy, and that it was fun for me to play around with my sentences and create new combinations of ways to say the same thing. Which is why I would always end up starting my writing process by very roughly writing down my thoughts in a basic outline, and then filling in the gaps and rewording to complete the piece.
From revising I noticed a lot of my errors are grammatical, while some of them were issues with the style of the piece. For example in my first draft of my emulation of Lily Wong’s, “Eating the Hyphen” I failed to include specific characteristics of her writing such as a dictionary definition, and a procedure of how to eat the food item. Instead I focused mainly on imagery, which failed to meet the criteria of the piece. When going back and revising I managed to change the piece from they very first sentence, and make it more like Wong’s piece. I originally opened with, “One does not go about their day in the city of Hong Kong without coming across some Gai Daan Jai.”, but when revising I made the addition of the dictionary definition, “As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a waffle is defined as, "a small crisp batter cake, baked in a waffle iron and eaten hot with butter or syrup". However, these aren't the waffles I am talking about. They may be golden, butter coated, and crisp, but thats where the similarities end. Round, melt in your mouth, 'Hong Kong-ese' Gai Daan Jai; now those are the type of waffles I'm talking about.”
From exploring multiple genres of writing I noticed that I was a much stronger writer when it came to writing creative pieces as opposed to more structural pieces such as the “Cox Food Hall” ethnography. I really struggled in making this piece strictly observational, and non biased. I originally ended the piece by stating “When asked why she enjoys Cox Food Hall, Victoria Murra responded with, “What’s not to like? I’ve finally found some edible food on this campus!” Hence explaining why she too has finished her Dooley Dollars.” I then revised the ending to make it more formal “ When talking to first year, Victoria Murra, it came to my attention that another reason Cox Food Hall is so popular on campus, is because of the wide variety of cuisines. When asked why she enjoys Cox Food Hall, Victoria Murra responded with, “What’s not to like? I’ve finally found some edible food on this campus!””
While I feel I have grown as a writer throughout the course, I understand that there is still more room to grow, and more genres to explore writing and will keep doing so till I find one that is perfect for me.