Writing Process

Jonathan appears to have spent many many hours developing his strategies for writing. How has Jonathan become successful in his techniques? Well he starts by stating that writing is a skill that you can develope and is not something one is born with. He gives two important things to consider, which is writing takes effort and practice. He also states five fundamental sections to consider. Planning, research, draft/revision, and most importantly your topic should be something you are passionate about. There are many strategies you can use in writing but remember to keep your goals challenging yet achievable.

The video gave me the impression that there was a lot of time and planning involved in just writing  a simple blog. Seeing this I now feel that the time I spent in the past writing  on various topics, was in a sense, empty and shallow. However this video did bring something to my attention that I think is valuable, which is time management. Proper planning ahead of time will give you the time and space you need to set a timeline for each goal you have set along the way.

I believe that the “calendar” strategie as I have come to call it, would be crucial for me to make proper planning of what I am going to write about and setting each section in a way that helps me achieve my goals every step of the way. Or in other words it will help me prioritize what I need to do in a beneficial series of events.


Essay: Ancestor Money by Maureen F. McHugh

“Ancestor Money” by Maureen F. McHugh— Beautiful blend of fantasy/reality” Ancestor Money”,conveys a writing style of the likes of which I have never experienced before. This is a story of a woman named Rachel who is deceased and is living out eternity in the afterlife. McHugh does a wonderful job of tying in all religions in a way that coalesces with each other.

The story begins with Rachel receiving a letter from Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong where her granddaughter made an offering to her which she chooses to accept. The story goes on to annotate Rachel’s travels and her anxiety about leaving her afterlife home where she felt so comfortable.In her travels Rachel experiences the culture in the afterlife in a similar way that you would find in the living breathing real world, except there is a twist of demons and caring souls. Throughout the story Rachel is in constant panic and constantly feels a sense of unease at being away from her Swan Pond home and it isn’t until she is reunited with her quiet little home that she feels calm, and her soul is finally able to rest once again.

Critical Reading Essay

“The Sanctuary” (the world’s oldest temple and the dawn of civilization) by Elif Batuman is a paper outlining the earliest known civilization. Göbekli Tepe according to Elif is estimated to be be eleven thousand years old predating the great pyramids of egypt, and the earliest known cuneiform texts.

When I selected this paper, I based my first opinion on the title, thinking this was going to be a paper written strictly on fact and evidence (which just so happened to peak my interest), but it didn’t take me long to figure out that this was not going to be the case. So almost right from the start I felt betrayed and a little disappointed  

Reading through this paper I noticed that there were infact supporting evidence for this claim, however to me it seemed that the author spent more time telling about his travels than he did writing about the facts to support the information. Or in other words, it seemed that Elif was more of a tourist than a researcher. However Elif took a position as mostly a neutral party on the subject, he notes several different people from different fields who took sides on both hard evidence and hypothetical stand points. So perhaps this was his goal all along.

From my standpoint I had a hard time trying to figure out exactly what information I was supposed to be receiving. Was this an informative paper?  A log of a tourists perception? Perhaps this was about the local population and how they evolved through time? Was it about the culture of the local population? Was it about the culture of the ancient people? I think the best answer is simply that it was a log of what Elif had seen and experienced strictly out of his own curiosity.

So what could Elif had done different? In my opinion,to alleviate this confusion I believe the author should have stuck to one topic and started at the beginning with the archaeological facts, and progressed through time to the present day, using supporting evidence all the way through and tying each section of the paper together in a way that helps the reader follow a certain timeline throughout history. Instead I found myself jumping from one topic to another. One paragraph i’m reading about traffic, then the next i’m reading about biblical texts, then onto archaeologist interns, then onto a little back history about an archaeologist named Klaus Schmidt. I felt I was being pulled  in every which direction and never felt that I gained a firm hold on the text which is how it remained the whole way through.

It is important to note that although the text was all over the place, there were facts involved, along with stories, theories, conclusions based on evidence. But it wasn’t until the conclusion of the paper that I lost all sense of direction. There was a lot of time spent talking about past culture and how ancient people lived. But when it came to the conclusion, we end with Elif at a public prayer shrine with a local woman standing behind him praying. My thought was “what does this have anything to do with the paper I just read?”  Not to mention this thought had occurred several times during my reading. So if are looking for confusion and wanting to go in every direction possible this would be a good read for you. But if you are looking for structure and information, you better stay clear.

My introduction to writing

My introduction to reading and writing started very early in my life. When I was born I had many medical problems, which left me confined to daily treatments on a breathing machine for hours at a time. While my mom was caring for me, she started teaching me how to read and write. So before I had reached the age of five and entered kindergarten, I already knew my abc’s, could read very basic childrens books, spell simple words, spell my name, and had a basic understanding of sentence structure. These skills had given me a firm foundation and gave me a giant head start above everyone else my age.

Because I had started reading and writing so early, literature became something that I was comfortable with and felt a strong connection towards. As the years progressed through school, homework became more and more common. Never fail, my parents and family friends were always there to lend a guiding hand and stress the importance of a quality education.

The next big leap happened when I was traveling every day for gymnastics practice. Five days a week my father and I traveled two hours a day, to Eugene Oregon for practice. So during the trip there and back, homework and studying was always a priority. Most of the time a family friend would tag along and when that happened I received two solid hours of study time as well as being quizzed for spelling tests. Which to no surprise I did very well on.

Fast forward three years, I am now in the sixth grade. Up until this time I spent many hours reading childrens books and writing short stories, although I did read for my own pleasure, I didn’t really spend a lot of time writing unless it was something that was assigned for school.

One day while I was wondering around my parents house, I found a book that caught my attention. Looking at the book in my hands I realised that this was the thickest book I had ever held, and for some reason I knew that I was going to read it. Holding the book like a lost and found treasure, I showed it to my mom and asked “mom would it be alright if I read this?” After a moment of hesitation (which I would only later find out why) she nodded and gave me permission.

Reading was slow, some of the words I had to look up in the dictionary to find their meaning, but I had no problems being able to follow along and use the words in the book to create a movie within my own imagination. About half way through the book, my teacher at the time gave us an assignment in which we had to choose a book to read, write out a portion of the book, and give a speech about it. Since I was already reading this book, it was a no brainer what my report was going to be on. The only problem I had with my report was being able to find a portion of the book that would be interesting enough for the audience and yet appropriate for the kids my age. Eventually I settled on a couple pages and did my report on those, to which none of my friends even had a clue what I was talking about.
As I turned the final pages with a sense of great accomplishment, I realised that not only had this book been a challenge that I was able to accomplish, but had also been my introduction to book reports, reviews, and later on the dangers of plagiarism. Looking back, I realised that “Follow The River” by James Alexander Thom, had been my transition from reading and writing about children’s books, to advancing me into the world of more advanced literature and novels.


My name is Joel Morgan, I am currently a student at Umpqua Community College, majoring in computer information systems.