In Fitzpatrick’s chapter about authorship, I already found myself intrigued with the first page. Writing wasn’t ever something I fully enjoyed especially in comparison to reading. I found it to be a judgmental space where people would nitpick at the little things (it’s ironic how I ended up as an English major because that’s exactly what I’m doing with other people’s writing) and yet people described it as a place to express yourself where you are allowed the freedom to write whatever and however you wanted. Fitzpatrick brings up the idea that Western society has associated authorship with this idea that it has to be original, completely creative, productive, and that YOU are associated with your writing. YOUR REPUTATION IS ON THE LINE. And I realized that this is exactly what I associated with writing as well. I feel like I’m not creative or original enough to write anything special that hasn’t already been written about before (But that’s not what it’s about, is it?). There is no better author. And it doesn’t have to be an individual process if you don’t want it to! I always found collaboration a huge advantage when it comes to anything in life, whether it be for studying or coming up with an idea or just talking through life’s problems. And the digital world and its technologies has encouraged this even more, especially when it comes to writing. We can share! Sharing is okay! There are so many digital platforms out there that allow this collaboration to take place, such as Google Docs. I would throw an essay on there and I can get as many people as I want to read it and share their ideas about improvements, etc. Now through the discovery of all of these different platforms, writing has become something that I am rethinking of experimenting with, not just alone but with other people too, and that is what this chapter aims to do: to “demonstrate why thinking about authorship from a different perspective — one that’s always been embedded, if dormant, in many of our authorship practices — could result in a more productive, and hopefully less anxious, relationship to our work”.
One aspect that Fitzpatrick mentions that digital writing has transformed is that it’s not just about the finished product. Digital platforms have introduced new forms of writing, such as the blog, which is a prime example of how writing can be an ongoing process, it doesn’t have to focus on when it is finished. People can continuously comment, the author can continuously link different things to their posts, and there can be a continuous amount of versions! Blogs expose the variety of steps in one’s writing and this is something that we will have to get used to when using certain platforms which Fitzpatrick states in his article, “even more frighteningly, perhaps, we’ll have to become willing to expose some of our process in public, to allow our readers — and our colleagues — to see some of the bumps and false starts along the way.” I experienced this anxiety when I created my first travel blog (and my first blog!) while studying abroad last semester and people could see my observations, my thoughts, and how I produce my experience through weekly posts. Some days I cared more about the finished product but some days I didn’t and there would be posts where I wouldn’t edit them and just allow the posts to stand as they are because it showed my initial thought process. So blogging has definitely taught me how to show my process and to not be afraid of it.
One other aspect that I really liked that Fitzpatrick brought up is how “digital technologies in scholarly publishing will allow us to begin to shift our thinking about the mode of our work away from a uniform focus on the text-only formats that scholarship has traditionally taken, encouraging us instead to think about the ways that our work might interact with, include, and in fact be something more than just text”. Digital texts are usually hypertexts where they include multimedia and other characteristics aside from plain text. This can also support the idea of collaboration, how we can use other people’s research and thoughts and add them into our own writing. They can complement our own work. And this illustrates how even though we may write a blog individually, we can still collaborate with others in subtle ways.