aMusing(s)

An attempt to collect, sort and make sense of my thoughts.

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What does this magazine look like?

What do I put on the front cover of my publication? Argh. It is so hard to find something suitable.

What does a fashion and politics magazine look like? I don’t want it to be all abut fashion or all about politics but I don’t know how to find a middle ground…

On the positive side: there is a whole first draft done and now I’m waiting for Josie’s notes on the second half and then a once over. George has a first version of the document which is awesome and the project is getting there.

Starting to get a bit paranoid about everything turning out OK and in time.

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About time I wrote a blog.

Dear blog,

You will be happy to know that I have been mostly productive lately. :) I now have:

  1. First draft of my Introduction
  2. First draft of Literature Review/Theory chapters
  3. Half a first draft of Methodology Chapter
  4. First drafts of all the articles
  5. Two mock-ups of the magazine

I still need:

  1. A complete Methodology draft
  2. A complete Conclusion draft
  3. Editing and revising the articles
  4. References/Bibliography/Appendix
  5. More magazine mock-ups/refining the design

I am aiming to have a complete first draft of my exegesis for Josie by the end of the week. We meet on Monday to discuss it. Hopefully it is good feedback and then all I need to do is edit and refine and no major re-writes. I think that there won’t be anything majorly wrong with it as I feel a lot better about everything I have written. Once I have a complete first draft and feedback I am then entering into the stage of editing, proofing and printing which is exciting!! :D Everything needs to be as close to perfect as possible before it goes to print.

Josie has also secured two examiners for my project: Dunja from LipMag (which I suggested) and Nasya (pretty happy about that!). The third person Josie suggested is Phoebe Montague aka Lady Melbourne. Nothing has been confirmed yet but I would be pretty happy with those three choices. The business end of a project never looked so good!

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Blogging helps.

I just tried writing three different starts to this blog and my brain said “No”. I guess that pretty accurately describes how I am feeling right now. However, it is nearing 3.30pm so that definitely explains it.

This weekend George did a rough mock up of what the magazine might look like just so we both had an idea of how much space the articles themselves take up. It needs a lot of work but I am pretty happy with the length of the articles themselves.

I want to try and get a complete first draft of the exegesis done by the end of next week so I can start editing. Then I will feel much better about everything.

And that’s about as much brain power I can muster for this blog post.

Inside and out.

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More writing

Well…after a particularly stressful week I have managed to keep to my promised writing schedule. So after a lot of research and reading I now have the first draft of my political feature. I would say YAY! but I’m pretty exhausted.

The good news is that I now have first drafts of all the articles. The other good news is that George will be working on mock-ups this weekend. This means that I will have some semblance of a project to show next week. That is certainly exciting. However, I foresee A LOT of editing in my immediate future.

Writing this feature was probably the hardest and most nerve-racking of all of the features. Mostly because I am terrified that people will read it and think: “She has no idea what she’s talking about”. Adrian says this is normal performance anxiety. So let’s just roll with that. I guess I felt a lot of pressure with this one because I kept talking about it so much. What I did with this is that I wrote it pretty straight up just to get everything I wanted to say down. The next stage of editing will be working with the style and tone of the article. Making it a bit more conversational and seeing how it fits with the other articles.

I did a lot of reading for this article. I must have printed a tree of articles on the issue. The other thing that helped was the TV story Stu and I did in third year about asylum seekers. That gave me a base for the argument then I worked in the current debate. Sadly, not much has changed in regards to the issue. Well except for the utter fail that is the ‘Malaysia Solution’.

So anyhow, now I have to dedicate the weekend to working and writing the Pause Fest program which is exciting but I feel like I am in a dire need of sleep. Maybe if I pretend I’ve had enough sleep *ponders*

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Similarities and Differences

So I had to think through this in order to make some valid points in my exegesis (thanks to my supervisor Josie). And here it is:

How my project is the same as other women’s magazines:

-       Written in the form of feature articles

-       Fashion story – packaged as it might be in a women’s magazine

-       Uses conversational tone/language

-       Uses language specific to fashion

-       Has themes that are common to women’s magazines: fashion, empowering women by providing positive examples

-       Will be designed to make it look like a stylish women’s magazines

-       Targets a broad yet specific audience

-       Makes assumptions about women’s interests: these assumptions are that women are interested in fashion and politics

-       Ideally, I would like to have a range of article lengths because this is typical of women’s magazines. There will be quick reads such as the Q&A piece and column but there will also be a longer fashion piece/profile and political commentary feature.

How my project is different from other women’s magazines:

-       It makes very different assumptions about women’s interests. Instead of saying that women are only interested in sex, beauty and fashion my magazine proposes that women are also interested in political commentary (but it doesn’t mean they can’t do that in a pair of designer shoes).

-       What general interest women’s magazines are proposing is that above all women are interested in sex and objectifying men – this seems to be an agenda in contradicting men and so in the magazine that I am proposing I have focused on fashion and writing about it well and political discourse. I will acknowledge that women might be interested in reading about sex but there is no need to fill 80% of a magazine with articles about it. This is where I think women’s magazines are now out-dated. What Ita Buttrose did was great and revolutionary but the Australian women’s magazines haven’t moved on from that.

-       An assumption that I have made is that the women who would read this kind of magazine (AB demographic, tertiary educated, 25 and older – I will need to expand on this and I am researching that now) don’t need to be baby talked. What I am conscious of NOT doing is speaking down to my audience. Michelle Grattan and Annabel Crabb are very well known political writers among the best in the country. The assumption that I am working on is that the type of women that would read their articles would also be interested in reading mine and more than capable of understanding them. I am also assuming that my reader is politically informed enough to understand a discussion about asylum seekers. Of course I will write it in the journalistic style to explain complicated concepts but I don’t think I need to dumb it down or pretty it up for women to be interested in it. According to The Monthly’s readership profile 40.51% of its readers are female – that’s 54,000 women! Compared to 55,000 men that read the same magazine. Not a big difference. While 352,000 read Cleo, according to Roy Morgan research, the readership profile is very different. I will dedicate a chapter to outline the differences of these audiences and the audience I imagine for the magazine that I am proposing. * Will include these figures in my appendix*

-       So, I am not inventing a style of writing but rather borrowing from different styles (which is also nothing new) and it isn’t a vanity project about my personal journey or voice – what I am proposing is a magazine concept that will aim to re-negotiate the definition of what a woman’s magazine IS.

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A box is ticked!

I have written the first draft of the Ana Diaz profile! YAY! At 1149 words long it is looking mighty fine to me :) I have to admit I was a little bit overwhelmed when I sat down to write this article because the interview went so well and I wanted to do it justice AND there was a lot of interesting information that I wanted to include.

So what did I do? I did what I do best - organise. I spread out the seven pages of interview in front of me then used a green highlighter for “facts” and a blue highlighter for “quotes” and a yellow highlighter for “anecdotes”. According to Tanner, Kasinger and Richardson these are the three most important thing in a feature. Then I organised them in a somewhat chronological order. I started with her debut at LMFF then summarised her achievements, talked about her starting her label and reflected on the first collection. Then I put in an anecdote! YAY for anecdotes. I talked about her influences and character put in a small anecdote and then took it back in time before she studied fashion design. I finished with talking about her latest collection and then again summarised her achievements but this time I added what she hoped to do in the future. 

One of the things that struck me from the interview with her is that she was a really fun and approachable person (we were giggling the whole time which I made sure to include in the profile) yet she also had a very grounded and logical approach to the industry. She also said that one of the things that inspire her is “having a vision and making it happen”  - which is exactly what she is doing! So I made this the theme of the piece. Overall I am pretty happy with the first draft. Now I will give it to Josie for feedback but in the mean time I have ticked off a box! *victory dance*