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July 29, 2013 Professional Writing

Writing in Different Spaces

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I’m not a frequent updater of this blog. I post when events relevant to my professional life are happening. I also use this blog to write about my travels and other adventures. But, this is not the only place that I write on the web.

A friend from Professional Writing, Ashley Haglund, suggested to several of our fellow alumni that we write a blog together. She called it “Grammar. Style. Life.“; it’s a space for all of us to write about being a young professional as well as various other important life moments. So far, it’s been a great experience. It’s a great excuse to make our semi-regular Google Hangouts into a regular conversation. We certainly won’t cover all of our personal lives within the blog, but a lot of conversation is continuing outside of it. We maintain a group Facebook chat just to keep up.

That’s just one of the spaces I contribute to. Occasionally, I write alumni posts for Writing, Rhetoric, & American Cultures at Michigan State University. I write blog posts on JCC Association’s extranet, JCCA.me, related to marketing and the web with a JCC perspective. I also have taken to write pieces that are a touch more personal on Medium. Each blog has it’s own tone, but all are just different partitions of my voice (hat tip to Chelsea Beck for this great infographic that explains the difference).

Voice vs. Tone Infographic

I can exercise my writing muscle and examine myself through different lenses. I feel very lucky that I live in a world with an open web, where writing in public spaces is possible. I don’t have to wait until post-retirement to write a memoir (though I’ve already picked out the title), but instead I can collect various thoughts and stories from different parts of my life. That’s pretty extraordinary.

With all of those spaces, I still don’t write as often as I would like to. I could point the finger at having a full time job or various other activities to holding me back. When it comes down to it, I enjoy writing but I have to be in the right frame of mind. I have to have a purpose and a place for the thoughts. It helps that I have options and can align my thoughts into a certain funnel. Sometimes certain pieces won’t work in this space, but belong in a home outside of a personal Google Doc. Now I can take those pieces and find a home for them. It’s like having a collection of hats: not every day is a bowler hat kind of a day. Sometimes, a sombrero is in order.