Metathink – Barbaric Yawp!

I have to admit, I stumbled around for a whole day trying to write my yawp post. Mostly, I struggled to organize my ideas and find a through line for my writing. It was clear what information I wanted to share, but I wasn’t sure how to share it in a cohesive way. What kills me is that the assignment begs for a post that is “jumbled” and “isn’t perfect,” and I still couldn’t write anything down. In fact, I had such a hard time relating to Whitman’s yawp that I felt the need to change my narrative frame to a “YOP!” that I saw as a little more tame. I’m not sure if I particularly like what that says about me, but so it goes. As someone who only writes in academic settings, I think I’ve grown so use to writing to a prompt that I may have gotten a bit spooked by the idea of free writing about myself and I desperately wanted more guidance. My writing may actually have Stockholm syndrome after being in school for so long.

For all the frustration, I can’t deny that it’s a really good first writing assignment for the class. Asking us to put the elevator pitches aside hopefully reduced the amount of superficial writing we posted to our blogs and maybe even resulted in introductions that showed personality. The cohort doesn’t want to read the same ole bio any more than the instructor does. In the end though, I think it was the lists that really stole the show. By throwing in that requirement, it reinforced the idea that the assignment is a collection of ideas and information about the author and not necessarily a straightforward introduction. Putting together the lists was my favorite part of the assignment, and I really enjoyed seeing how others in the cohort used them as well.

Advice to future students about to yawp –

If you, like I, are the kind of person who is initially intimidated by open prompts, go to the lists first. I read through the “list of lists” and it actually gives you a moment of introspection before you try to write about yourself.

One thought on “Metathink – Barbaric Yawp!

  1. Despite or because of your struggles with it, you did a great job with your Yawp/Yop!

    You experienced, in miniature, something I’ve seen students struggle with in this course as a whole: the challenge of freedom, a magnified version of the classic Paradox of Choice . I’m glad the lists helped—they often help me and I’m an unabashed lover of the list form in general. And in my experience with creative writing, it’s almost always the case that the latter 2/3 of a piece of writing are much stronger as the writer finds their way into what they want to say.

    Great advice and solid thinking.

    Also: educational Stockholm Syndrome!? That is so much a thing…and a phrase for it I am stealing 🙂

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