By: Ren Westerman
Due to a technical malfunction, I (Ren) will be posting two blogs this week. The first will be in response to last week's topic, and the second will be in response to this week's topic.
What can I say? I'm excited to see our first publication come to fruition. It will be our first major milestone aside from launching the journal. It has been a little bumpy. Considering the time constraint for submissions, it was questionable at times if we were going to get very many submissions at all. Luckily some wonderful writers pulled through and wrote some wonderful pieces for our journal.
The wonderful part about all of this is that it is a learning experience. We will be able to move on into our second submission with lessons learned. This will be the case for every submission moving on into the future. We will be able to continue improving on the journal and perhaps even offer more content as it grows.
This journal submission will also serve as a memory. Many of us will either be graduating or in some shape or form parting ways. Others of us including myself will still have a couple more years before we graduate. We'll be able to look back at this journal and think of fond memories. It has been a pleasure to read all of the submissions to the journal and to talk with some of the writers. In a sense this first journal entry will solidify the experiences we've all shared during this semester and perhaps even the past couple of years of knowing each other.
.I can't really say that I have much of a set method of writing. Whenever the inspiration hits, I write until I can't write anymore. Do I have unfinished pieces? Well yes. Not every idea comes to a conclusion. There's no set requirement in writing that something must have an ending. I suppose in a sense it just means there's more to the story that is yet to be discovered.
I absolutely love writing psychological stories. This doesn't necessarily equate to horror stories or something where a character is brought to the brink of insanity. Though I do enjoy playing around with the emotions of my characters. It's always interesting to see how characters react to certain situations. It's almost as though they become their own person. They become actual people. As such they will react to certain situations differently than other characters. This sort of approach becomes a lot easier to play around with considering how I write based on inspiration. I don't really have a set plan for what I write or where the characters are going. They create their own story; I am merely documenting their experiences.
It sounds somewhat surreal in text, but I rather enjoy letting my characters experience the world in their own way. If I have a predetermined path set for them, it limits their ability to explore and adapt to certain situations.
Lately I've been trying to expand my genre of writing a little bit. I'd like to write a successful romance story at some point. A murder mystery would be fun to write too. Once in a while I feel the need to return to my roots and write a fantasy story or two. For now I'll wait and see what my characters want to show me next.
By: Amie Chadwick
If your writing process is easy, then you might not be writing the right stuff. Most any writer experiences problems, whether it's writer's block, lack of inspiration, plot confusion or (my worst enemy) personal involvement. I believe that these issues are a large part of what enables you to progress.
Often I find my writing issues lead to some discovery about myself and/or my writing. Think of it like a leaky pipe. You can't fix it until you find the leak. Creative or personal works are the same way. You can't improve until you find out what needs improving. Now, this list is often quite long (at least, it is for me) and that's okay. In fact, that's great! The more you can fix, the more you can improve. However, I understand that it can be overwhelming and discouraging to see that list. That's when you have to focus on the improvements and progress you can make as a writer!
I typically write fiction stories, both long and short. I even have a couple of novels on the way. Of course, the longer the story, the longer it takes to write and consequently, the more challenges I encounter along the way. It doesn't help that most of my inspiration comes from my dreams. I record these dreams in a notebook, but it isn't quite the same inspiring moment as it was when I actually experienced it. So when I'm stuck in my story, I can't really re-experience that moment.
My process involves a lot of starting and stopping, a lot of staring and complaining, and a lot of trial and error. But I try to remember that there is always progress to be made as well as progress being made. Bottom line: never stop writing!
By Rebecca Carey
I mostly write fiction short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, and I have a few longer pieces that I'm working on. I have also dabbled in screenwriting. Although mostly for a Mass Comm class it remains an intriguing style of writing that can allow certain things that maybe you couldn't reach with actual writing. I am by no means a consistent writer. I have projects that I started forever ago, was crushed by writer's block, and I still haven't gotten back to them.
Usually to start something I have to be inspired by an idea, picture, concept, or character. When I am inspired the writing just comes to me. I have written many poems through inspiration of concepts or ideas. One of my fiction short stories was inspired by a painting I saw at Fine Arts Day in high school. I believe inspiration can strike a person anywhere--with anything; a writer just needs to be paying attention.
I prefer to do all my wiring on a computer because I can just write out all of my ideas as they come and then go back and edit it later. I do keep a notebook and pen out beside me when I'm writing so I can write down any details that might play a part later.
Once I have an idea my writing process really depends a lot on the form of writing. With poetry I can just sit down and write it right away. With creative nonfiction it usually takes me a little longer to write my story because it takes me a little longer to figure out what my experience is actually trying to say. I haven't written a lot of fiction pieces but I once I find an inspiration usually it comes pretty easily to me. I can usually sit down and get the story done in a week. After the initial writing process is done I usually need to go back and make sure everything connects the way I need it to. With my longer pieces my writing process is a little more drawn out and different than my other writing forms. I usually do a lot of research and I keep all of my research efforts in a notebook. That notebook is then dedicated to that story for the rest of its life. After the initial research process is through I can sit down and write about a chapter a week.
Throughout all of my writing I take a lot of coffee, concentration, and patience. There may be several stories that you want to write at one time but you need to pick the one that speaks to you. If it does then it will become a great story and avenue for your creative energies.
By: Amie Chadwick
Stress. Lots of it. But when you are a college student, that's something you become greatly accustomed to, right? Wrong.
Well, not wrong. Personally, I know stress well. It is my regrettable best friend, the one who always shows up to special events drunk and salty toward living creatures. You know, like the overly involved mother figure who doesn't even know how to support her own breasts, let alone you. It's the guy who smells so bad that you'd rather suffocate to death than risk catching his sent but, because you're a nice person, he is constantly and consistently jumping out from behind corners to talk to you. And, because you're a nice person, you teach yourself how to speak audibly without breathing in or out.
You get the overly metaphorical idea. I'm well acquainted with stress, it's symptoms and the effect it has on my work and life. However, I find that it has a tendency to show up with different personas each time (see above for examples).
This first publication has introduced me to a new side of stress. For example, today is the final day for submissions. As expected, we have had quite a few last minute entries. However, I did not expect the number of entries to feel so over whelming. My cohorts, I mean colleagues, and I now have ten days to read, evaluate, edit, format and publish these pieces. That's a lot of work for ten days. Particularly when you have multiple papers, projects and performances (in case you haven't read my sparkling bio yet, I am a musician) during the same ten days.
The worst/most stressful part? Figuring out the standards, what we should reject, and how to reject them. This is someone's art. This is their baby, made of the deepest parts of their being. In the words of Don Richmond, we are "working with their heart and soul." There are very few feelings that are worse than rejection, especially when it is something so personal and beautiful as writing.
Honestly, we have had so many good submissions that this isn't a huge problem... this time. However, our goal is to create an opportunity for writer's to become better at their craft. For some authors, being published right away is not the best to do that. That's where our Third Chance program steps in.
Figuring out what to publish or not publish will be an ongoing process throughout our lives. I'm just hoping that this first publication will prove be the most stressful and beneficial.
Honestly, this is the most wonderful and welcomed stress I have had to endure yet. I would gladly take on this exciting project even with the crazy uncle, the one who gets high at a bar mitzvah, hanging out on my living room couch. At least this stress persona will benefit me as a writer, editor, and human being. Plus, he probably has some good stories to tell. I know I will when this is all over.
By: Rebecca Carey
I can’t wait for our first publication! It’s our April 2016 edition, which will come out on April 30th. Honestly, what can anyone know what to expect from their first publication? Can we expect it to go off without a hitch? Without any bumps or bruises? Or should we expect those bumps and bruises, especially with our first publication?
In a dream world I’m expecting to fill this publication with the creative works of college students from across the country. They will be filled with such incredible passion and unique ideas. The students who will fill it will be attending various colleges and universities across the nation and will vary in expertise, genres, and styles. The publication will be online by April 30th without any problems to stress out about.
In a realistic world I’m still expecting to fill this publication with the creative works of college students from across the country. They can still be filled with passion and unique ideas and students at various colleges and universities and the publication will still be online by April 30th. However, it may have a less variety of colleges and universities and the publication most likely will not go without a hitch.
I’m still extremely excited for the first publication of the Revolving Door Journal but I know it will come with some stress.
Hello writers, viewers, and subscribers of the Revolving Door Journal!
We at RDJ hope you all have had a successful April and are looking forward to our first collective publication. We've enjoyed reading the pieces that have been submitted to us and are glad to see a rising interest in our project.
If you've been keeping up with the Weekly Journal page, you'll have noticed that each founder of RDJ has written a brief blog post expressing their hopes and dreams for the future of RDJ. We've decided that we will be doing something similar to that each week. The topic for the week of 4 / 11 / 2016 - 4 / 15 /2016 was to express and describe what we each want to see in the future of the Revolving Door Journal.
This weekly blog is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the founders of RDJ. These pieces may be brief, but they offer an incredible amount of insight into what has driven, is driving, and will continue to drive the Revolving Door Journal. Feel free to reply to our posts as well. We'd be more than happy to discuss our posts with you.
At this point we have successfully established our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our official website which gives us more than enough liberty to say we've had a successful launching process. We're testing the waters to see if we would like to utilize a LinkedIn page, but that will be a work in progress.
Our deadline for submissions is quickly approaching, so if you're interested in submitting for this first publication, you have until 4 / 20 / 2016. Any submissions after that date will be considered for our publication in three months.
That's about it for now. We hope you all are looking forward to our April publication. Continue writing to your heart's content, and enjoy your week.
Founders of the Revolving Door Journal
By: Ren Westerman
This is a little shorter than I would have liked, but I'm currently under the weather. As such I've gone for more of a short and sweet approach.
It’s honestly difficult to say what all I’d like to see in the future of the Revolving Door Journal. Being a founder of the journal, naturally I’d like to see more and more success as time moves forward. Considering how the journal exists as an avenue for college students to be able to write, share, and publish their work. As the journal becomes more successful, the benefits and opportunities for individuals who submit to the journal will increase as well. It would be fantastic for our journal to be able to have that level of influence.
As far as improving the journal, I'd like to eventually be able to utilize more premium features in order to expand the number of services we can offer. I'd imagine they'd also help us to reach out to more college students and perhaps even broaden our audience. As nice as it is to branch our following between Twitter and Facebook, I'm looking forward to the day we can directly add members to the actual journal. And I'm certain we (the founders of RDJ) can all agree that once we drop the "Weebly" from our URL, a party will be in order.
My little technological fantasy aside, there is a vast amount of potential for my colleagues and I to grow as the founders of the Revolving Door Journal. As with any project, there will be numerous challenges and obstacles to overcome. Regardless of what awaits us, I am certain my colleagues and I will be more than ready to push forward. After all we are writers, and for now, this is how we are choosing to write the next chapter of our lives.
By: Amie Chadwick
I have so much hope for this journal. In my head, it’s a hundred page book with a dazzling yet, sophisticated cover that everyone is fighting to get their hands on. It’s the most honorable vehicle for college student’s work and getting published is a highly regarded accomplishment. Everyone in the collegiate world will know of our name!
I see my colleagues swimming in thousands of submissions and stressing out as we can only choose a hundred. I see us arguing over our favorite works and strategically planning how we will order the submissions that we do pick. I see us working with eager students in the Third-Chance program and becoming the masters of modern literature. We will rule the world of creative writing at a college level! Mwah ha ha!
In reality, the student journal doesn’t actually exist yet. We have yet to publish the first edition. As of this moment, I can count the number of submissions we have received on one hand. Also, it’s an online journal, so there will be no fighting or actual hands on our work (however, I assure you there will be a fabulous cover).
Sometimes, I am so wrapped up in what I want for our future and for our readers and writers that I don’t enjoy the present. I get impatient and I ignore or miss the process of creating the journal. It’s as if the Revolving Door is our little baby project and I’m missing it’s first steps across the floor.
I am very excited for this little literary journal to grow into a large publication that changes the writing world (at least, on a college level). But I am going to be very conscious of slowing down and enjoying the little things we undergo today. I am also going to be excited about the slow process and small scale we are at now.
I invite you, dear reader, to join me in my efforts to slow down. Join us in witnessing the transformation. Follow us from our tiny beginning to our highest dreams. Enjoy the present!
By: Rebecca Carey
Looking into the future from our launch date point I can't help but think about all of the avenues this journal can take and I'm so excited. Not only does the journal have high potential with each edition but also exponential potential with our Third-Chance Program. Through the program we will be able to help writers and improve their work, and that means more to me than creating a literary journal that just takes and gives nothing back. If we can help one person reach their goals or achieve their dreams then this will all be worth it. Granted, we are giving college students the avenue for publishing their creative works but also to go that one step further would be incredible.
Since we are only in the beginning stages of the Revolving Door Journal's life, we haven't reached the point of bringing everything into this journal that we want to for various reasons. In the future I would love to bring on an intern position for a college student so they can learn about the market of literary journals and publishing world and we will have access to someone who is actually in the demographic we will continue to target. I think this internship program would be very interesting to put together and to work with a student who is interested in the same things we created. We could make this program last four months so the student would have the chance to work on an entire edition while also gaining experience in other aspects of our website and journal.
I can't help but think of all the possibilities this journal holds and I can't believe I am a part of this amazing journal and team!