Final Post

I ended up sending my first article, the first person personal narrative, to Thought Catalog. I’ve been reading on that site since 2011 and I would love to get published on there, if not with this article than eventually with a different one. I’m not sure if it’s going to get published there or not, as I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m excited. I’ve had Thought Catalog in mind ever since this class started as where I wanted to try and get published on, because I’ve always really liked that their motto is “All thinking is relevant.” Because I knew this was where I wanted to publish when I started writing my narrative, I already had several examples already published on the website that I could refer to, both so I would have a better idea of what to write myself but also so I would know what I did not want to write. Having the examples in front of me helped me tailor my article to the best standards I felt it could be at to publish on Thought Catalog.

As I said, I have not received a response yet, but I am hopeful. I sent the article directly to the founder, Chris Lavergne, because he is the only one listed to do so. I am hoping to hear back soon, and with good news. I feel like my article was a good fit for Thought Catalog and I am hopeful that it will end up getting published there.

It’s really hard to be a novice writer trying to break into the world of writing. It’s hard, because without any “experience” or other publications under your belt, it’s as if no one has time for you. You aren’t good enough to anyone yet, and it’s hard to get people to stop and actually give your writing the time of day. However, on the other hand, it’s good because you are so new to everything. You don’t have your name attached to anything yet, and while that can be frustrating, it can be nice to start out with such a blank slate as well. Plus, once you get that first letter saying someone is going to publish your work, it can only be up from there. You may get 50 rejection for every accept, and that can be frustrating, but it comes with the territory. I think knowing that is half the battle. You have to recognize that it’s going to be extremely hard starting out and you just have to take whatever gets thrown your way.

Being a writer can be hard, but it can be extremely rewarding too, and that’s the part you have to look forward to.

Tony Norman talk

At the end of Tony Norman’s talk, the topic of creative writing was brought up after having spent much of the evening talking about journalism. Seeing as journalism was Tony Norman’s life, that was sort of what I was expecting. I liked what he had to say and it was interesting to listen to him talk about journalism, but as soon as the topic of creative writing was brought up, I was instantly ten times more in tune to what he had to say.

Norman said that he was jealous of creative writers. He said he envied us, and that, if he could, he would go back to being as young as we all are. Norman said that creative writing is the “purest expression of self”, which was my favorite thing he said all night. I really related to what he had to say about creative writing. Writing is “good for the soul,” he told us, and I couldn’t have agreed more with that statement.

For me, writing is everything. Norman asked the group at one point how many of us in the room felt like if we weren’t writers, that we had nothing. I didn’t raise my hand (out of shyness more than anything, probably) but I agreed with that statement 100%. I’m majoring in creative writing in college because it’s all I know. If I didn’t have writing, I’d feel lost, and I felt like that’s what Norman was saying. Writing isn’t just a job for him; writing is all he knows. He may be a journalist, but he’s still a writer.

Norman’s talk was really interesting, and while I didn’t agree with everything he had to say, I absolutely agreed with what he had to say about writing.

Sexism in Sports

Last semester, I wrote an ethnography for Dr. House on sexism among sports fans because it was something I had experienced first hand and it was an issue that I felt was very important. Because of this, I’m choosing this as my issue to discuss for this blog post as well. It’s something I’ve personally experienced and it’s still a prevalent issue.

To research this issue of sexism among sports fans, I would (and did) conduct a survey among a wide-range of sports fans, both men and women. I would interview female fans as well as male fans to see if they’ve experienced sexism firsthand, and then I would also interview others involved with sports (athletes, both male and female, as well as sports journalists, both male and female) to see how sexism affects these groups as well.

If I were to write an opinion piece focused on this issue, I would take the stance that sexism has no place among sports fans. I would talk about how unfair it is that women are judged so harshly for being sports fans, simply because they’re women, and I would talk about the various instances and ways that women are looked down on for being sports fans (IE someone saying that a woman is only a fan of sports because she thinks the players are attractive.)

For a personal narrative, I would write about my own personal first-hand experience with sexism as a sports fan. In October, I attended a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game in Pittsburgh where I was subjected to sexism simply because I was a female fan. This narrative would highlight the problem of sexism among fans.

For a magazine story, I would write about how the ways women are included in the fan-base of various sports is sexist and needs to be stopped. From “Girls Night Out” nights at professional sporting events to the merchandise made available for women, the way females are viewed as sports fans needs to be altered drastically.

The problem with personal narratives would be that they may be too personal, and because of that the tone I take could end up turning vicious. This, in turn, may turn readers away and make them not want to read what I have to say. Of course, the pro of a personal narrative would be that it’s a way to connect with anyone who is reading, and therefore would make the issue more relatable.

Opinion pieces can be difficult as well, especially when the author has a strong opinion they want to express. It’s easy to cross the line when writing an opinion piece on something you really care about and then your tone could easily turn from civil to more vicious. This would be an immediate turn off to your readers and it may make them feel like the author is yelling at them. If they, your readers, agree with your opinion though, it may just make them feel stronger about said opinion.

The magazine article, out of the 3, is the most useful because it brings to light whatever issue you want to discuss but also looks at it from all of the angles. Not only that, but you can take a specific angle with it and maybe show the readers something they hadn’t thought of before. All three articles discuss sexism among sports fans in one way or another, but the magazine article takes a different angle (looking at the way sports are marketed to female fans) an yet still brings the issue of sexism in sports to light.

Testing, 1, 2, 3…

“Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.” –Sylvia Plath

Hello, internet.

I guess we should start with the basics. I’m 20 and a junior at California University of PA. I’m a creative writing major, and if all goes as planned, I’ll be graduating next spring. Some days I know exactly what I want to do in the future and other days I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do when I have to go out into the “real world.” Depends on the day of the week, really. I love a good game of hockey, a nice soundtrack, and a book that makes me want to read it all in one sitting.

That being said, this blog is going to focus on the things I love and want to talk about. One day, I may have a huge win/loss to talk about in the world of hockey, or maybe there’s a new song or musician I can’t stop listening to. This blog is going to have a lot of strong opinions that I’m not going to be afraid to express, but I hope to do so in a respectful way. And hey, if absolutely nothing else, I’ll throw in a few pictures of my new pup, Murphy.

Murph Cute, right? I’m pretty fond of him.

Anyways, hey! Hi! Hello! This is my blog, and I hope you enjoy.

Sonya