Friday, February 20, 2015

PW6950 Week Six

It's time. We have been working on digital stories for several weeks. This was a personal reflection; a story about our journey with writing. That's right, it meant writing about ourselves.

As a professional freelance writer, I am a writer for others. I listen to my clients, learn what they want, analyze what they need, and sit down at the computer and write their story. That is a simple rundown of a professional writer, but suffice it to say - it is accurate one.

As a writer for others, I rarely write about who I am. The exception may be a brief bio when I am submitting something for publication, presenting at a conference, or teaching a class. Telling my story; that is something altogether new and quite a challenge.

"Where would I start?  Begin at the beginning is what the king advised Alice in Wonderland," to quote myself in my digital story. That is exactly what I did. I told of how the written word drew me in from a young age and evolved as I did. 

But the script is only step one and for a writer, that is the easiest part - the writing. 

Step two, I had to decide how to tell the story I wrote in pictures. My intention with this digital story is that it would hold a prominent place in my marketing portfolio, so I wanted it to connect to the website I developed. That determination led the development of my visual elements in both color and style. I set out looking for clipart that would expound on my word choices. Let me tell you, there is an abundance of clipart online. But abundance does not always simplify a task. In fact, sometimes it makes it quite time consuming. Nevertheless after many hours of perusing, I found the right ones and dropped them into Google Drive.

Step three was finding a program to create this story. The program had to offer voiceover, music integration, and access. Most importantly, though, the program had to be simple to navigate because I was a novice - clueless. 

I looked at many programs. Each one seemed complicated. Some I could not figure out how to add voice, some I could not figure out how to add music, and some I couldn't even figure out how to get to the creation screen! Yet I persevered hour after hour. 

I must confess, at one point I contemplated quitting - not the digital story, but the whole grad program! What the heck, it was only my final class. After I decided that may not be a smart idea, I went back to the drawing board. 

I googled EASY digital story programs and guess what - there were some - if you were in kindergarten or first grade that is! The one I could figure out at a glance was called Little Bird Tales. It said anyone could make visual stories in seconds and it was true! I viewed some of the stories. Each appeared to seamlessly tell a happy tale . . . in the voice of six year old.

Days passed quickly with all this exploration, trial, and error after error and soon it was time to buckle down and complete as the draft deadline was looming on the horizon. I began recording. Did you know that it is extremely difficult to speak 902 words accurately and clearly and in succession? Well it is, especially when you're trying to record and . . . the phone rings or . . . the dog barks or . . . the clock decides to chime or . . . the toilet flushes. Recording is hard work! 

I did finish though and with a satisfying sigh, I give you the link to my digital story, The Written Word and Me

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