It was about a year ago that I began this blog. My goals were simple: develop a somewhat consistent style of sports reporting, and analyzing and build up a series of writing samples for grad schools to look at. I had no illusions that this blog would go anywhere further than a small readership base, so I made no attempts to glitz it up. The appearance is simplistic, there are no pictures or videos. This is an exercise primarily, and those are just extremities. As I got into several schools I applied to, I guess I succeeded at least at the latter goal. As for consistency, that’s a harder issue to tackle. I’ve re-read most of my blog entries in the last few days, and while there’s definitely a format I’ve developed, it’s beginning to worry me. I want to be a beat reporter, so being able to tell the same or similar stories is certainly a useful skill. However, I worry that in developing this style I’ve sacrificed creativity of writing and topic choice. Large chunks of my writing have been devoted to either baseball or basketball, especially these days. There may be the occasional report on a sports book I’ve read or the World Cup, but those articles are few and far between. I fear that my ability to write has become too focused, my interests not diversified enough. What if I wind up covering hockey in my next job? What am I going to do then?
Now, part of me realizes that I can only cover what is available to me. I’m not a reporter yet. I don’t have a press pass. I don’t write for a real paper or website. And baseball is the only thing on right now (minus the Tour de France, and there’s no way I’m covering that). So I take what is given to me. But out of respect to my readers (or maybe just reader) I feel like maybe I should be doing more. I fear that my writing has gotten stale just a year after beginning it.
This is not to say I haven’t been proud of some of the pieces I’ve created. Recapping the Wisconsin football game I actually attended was great, as was my coverage of the Boston Derby Dames. And my upcoming article on BLOWW (Boston League of Women Wrestlers) should be very comprehensive and interesting. But in looking back on my writing, it’s hard to say that anything has improved. My grammar is a little better, editing takes a little less time, and I’ve done a half-decent job of shortening sentences and cutting out unnecessary words. But these are minor improvements at best. I still feel like virtually the same writer I was before I started this process. So the question becomes: should I continue? I’ll be in grad school soon, where I’m sure my writing style will be dissected, critiqued, and corrected. I may look back at this whole project and see it as a waste of time, a reminder of a time when my skills were just not up to snuff.
But I also have long since realized I’m a far harsher critic of my own work than anyone else is. Oftentimes this goes to the point of absurdity. It is very easy to lose track of the positives in all the negatives. So I put it to you, dear readers (or reader): what’s changed? Do any of you find value in this blog, or am I just blathering to myself?