Before you read this, read this.
mmm (sips coffee)
mmm (pets dog)
mmm (eats banana)
Are you back? Did you read it? Man, I love when people like Terry do that … pulling back the curtain on digital composing. As I was reading his piece it occurred to me … we work differently. I was reading as he talked about the lists he makes, the lines he draws out, the resources he has at his finger tips, the thoughtfulness that goes into what he composes (in this case, with Zeega). He’s got a system.
He leads with the brain, and reaches for the heart.
I start at the heart, and aim for the brain.
What I mean is that when I do what Terry explains he is doing (honoring someone’s blog post by remixing it with digital media via Zeega), I dive in and let the muse take me to where it will in a person’s piece. I’m searching for anchor phrases and trying to find the center of the blog post. I hate to admit it — but I don’t think too much about it. I trust my instincts to find where it is I need to go.
Mostly, it works. I think. And Terry’s process? Oh yeah, it works, too. Both of our methods work, and there are probably a myriad of others out there (what’s yours?) but mostly, they seem a mystery to your audience. Doing as Terry has done — showing what he is thinking about as he composes and the tools he is using to compose what he is thinking about — is a valuable analysis, providing insights to the writer.
Here’s a Zeega I did this week in honor of Jim Groom’s fantastic piece about connected learning called Connected by Design. My composing process?
- I read Jim’s post quickly once after finding it in my Twitter feed (via #ccourses)
- Went back, read it again
- Opened up Zeega
- Picked phrases and sentences that resonated with me. Interested that he had also chosen some phrases and ideas from others, using those as anchors in his text. So I am anchoring my anchors in his anchors. Recursive anchors?
- Considered fonts. Spent more time in fonts than anything else. Not sure why. Seemed important. How does shape of letters inform our composition? Not satisfied with fonts but gave up on it after a time.
- Used the Zeega search engine to find animated gifs as background (struggled here for a stretch … what’s too busy? what’s evocative? what pushes up against the words?) Thought, what about still images? Fell back to animated images. Seems more Zeega-like.
- Did a search for “connected” on Soundcloud. Replaced one track with another when I noticed the Stereo MCs in the mix. Like the shuffling hiphoppiness of the track. Connects to the freeflowing ideas of Jim’s post (in my mind, anyway).
- Published Zeega and posted and shared with Connected Courses.
Peace (in decomposing the composition),