Published on November 26th, 2020
My first job writing articles (and not dumb rants) was as a part of my school newspaper, writing articles on what goes on in our universe from a high school students point of view (don’t try to find it; I don’t identity as NightScript when doing anything locally and there are hundreds of people that share my real life name). Of course, I now believe it’s a propaganda machine and making a name for yourself would be much better done if you did it on a personal blog, but I am proud of these students for trying to represent the school. Though, that ain’t helpful when your representation is of poor quality, such as an article I wrote and want taken down. In a recent meeting, I expressed the idea of potentially deleting articles that were irrelevant and old, since I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t proud of my work. My collegues, however, want to show the growth that they’ve made for their college application, which makes me wonder why people would like to show others a lack of quality as “progress”.
Looking back at older work is nostalgic for most, but I view it as a sign of embarassment. Standards evolve, styles improve, and I don’t want to put my best quality work right next to one that looks like it came out of a teenage girl’s diary. The issue isn’t limited to writing but rather, as a representation of anything that would be presented to a general public (so everything but code). Books would not be interesting if there was no climax and instead was just like modern TV shows, having no overall plot. Songs are one thing that need to flow, since shoving a billion words when you only have 2 seconds to say them would result in no one being able to listen to what you’re actually saying without looking at the lyrics (yet I am starting to doubt the legistics of that, seeing as how that’s basically the fate of modern rock and rap songs).
Last Saturday (from the initial publishing date), I ran into a real-life friend of mine (of course following COVID-19 precautions). Just like others who I think wouldn’t be interested by articles with a niche audience, I’ve used the “What is Considered Ownership” article to introduce him to the site. He noted that the language quality used is quite unlike the one I express myself in currently, which showed I have evolved in my writing skills. When I explain that it was old but it’s the only topic that would apply to a global audience, I was told “well, you gotta constantly develop your skills”. Of course, he implied that over time, my writing would improve, but I don’t think that’s the actual story. So what is the case? How does our style change and how are skills developed? Experience? Inspiration? What makes us into how we are today?
Experience — History that doesn’t determine anything
Over the past 2 months, blog articles on this site have either seen a massive rewrite or a structural change. Wording was improved, images were added, sentences flowed better and the detail was enhanced. However, notice that out of 18 articles I’ve ever writen, only 7 (this being my 7th article) have actually been published? The rest is either on the web-server but just not linked to or are too underdeveloped so they were moved to discord channels. If we were to give a hypothetical rate, I write 3 articles every month, but only one end up published. It kind of wears me down and demotivates me, hence why I’ve writen in a more personalized manner with my later articles.
My first ever article was the “What is Considered Ownership” article, but between that and July, I was going to follow up that level of quality talking about the school system and how it can be revamped. However, that article drifted off path and ended up just being a rant about College Board and how awful they were. I ended up taking aspects of it and placing them into other articles, but the main topic about learning styles never got adapted. I then tried to take the gaming section on my home page (back when it was text heavy instead of the grid layout) and perhaps make that an entry, but that also drifted off the path from “hey, I like complex games” to a Project Plus advertisement and “Mario is a boring platformer”. Yeah, not what I had in mind. I had to reuse a thread I previously wrote on Mario Making Mods about a potential Sonic Mania sequel, which turned into “Classic Sonic: Infinite’s return”. This article is nothing like the original one I had on Mario Making Mods, yet it’s not a downproof to my belief that experience =/= progressive development. That’s just because of the medium that blogs are compared to threads on a forum software.
It’s not some foreign issue from the past either, as it’s rather a common occurence that also just happened this month. The original article planned to come out was supposed to focus on the current election going on in the United States as a way to give my opinion on current events. However, it smeered from “Hey, I have high respects for some republicans but I think Trump went too far” into “WEAR MASKS ULTRA-FAR-RIGHT-WINGED REPUBLICANS”, which is out of line when I start attacking people. This article was made to replace that one, hence why it’s much shorter in comparison to my other ones. What I would like to derive your attention towards is the dates of these failed articles. The failed political article was written this month, after I rewrote 4 other articles. As you can see, if quality improvement was based on time passing alone, I am either extremely forgetful or I should just quit. But these faults don’t happen just to me, because I’ve seen other people make masterpieces only to revert back to their old quality.
Inspiration — Lazy & Perhaps Delusional
Watching how Hiroiko Araki (the creator of JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure) develops characters like Giorno Giovanna has been a major source of personal inspiration, as opposed to my former identity which is similar to Fugo. However, I am not Giorno; I am NightScript. I can see who I want to be through other people, but I chose to be like them; it’s not because “oh, funny hair dude make cool poses”. I take certain aspects that I see of him but I don’t want to be Giorno IRL.
Inspiration is helpful for getting new ideas, but the thing is that if you’re getting your idea from elsewhere, then clearly that idea already exists. The whole point about making a unique experience is to see your style, not whoever you plagirized from. Sonic’s idea about having speed being a reward rather than via a simple button press is what gives it its appeal. The Mario & Luigi series took the RPG formula and added timings + a quirky story. It all depends on presentation and uniqueness. Progression by copying is not progress but rather plagirism.
It’s why I hate those that try to be the next big thing; If your aim is popularity, than you would sacrifice quality and uniqueness. I love Scott the Woz and his style of jokes inspire me, yet taking his jokes and just placing it onto my articles won’t make me into him. I could have very well added in “Progressive Development is the process of changes through which a developer’s body matures into a skilled developer capable of sexual reproductio~this is the Wikipedia article for Puberty”, yet that joke has already been made in his 2D to 3D video. It wouldn’t be funny saying the same joke someone else already made. To repeat the sentence I wrote above, progression by copying is not progress but rather plagirism.
Feedback — Other viewpoints
But if you’d like to know what isn’t plagirism and what the ultimate leadup for progressive development, look no further than feedback. You get direct answers from those you get inspiration by and because of the experience factor, you won’t make those mistakes again. I now realize why my friend is always looking for feedback, and while I don’t think he’s right in the sense to punish those who don’t give feedback, getting a reply makes you feel like someone actually wants you to improve and took the time to read what you had to say. Come to think about it, I now understand why receiving “k” is offensive, since you don’t even put in any input but instead did the bear minimum that you couldn’t have even write the full “ok” sentence. Of course, unlike the people back in 2017, I won’t ban others for simply writing out “k” but I now see how it offends others.
As frightening as it may seem for some (myself included), opinions are developed anytime anything gets shown to anyone. Personally, I put too much focus when someone calls me annoying, as it discourages me to continue on. When publishing articles or asking for polls, I always wonder what I can do to improve. Sometimes, I even openly state that I would love to be corrected. I could be stuborn and debate my ideas, but I try to keep an open mind and hear the other person out (except when it comes to bigotry or rudeness, I have no tolerance for those). I always appreciate when people either take the time to read what I have to say (hence why I’m shortening this blog post; just for y’all) or test my products and show me how they use it. Either way, it’s important to be considerate.
Don’t have any friends or people aren’t interested? Feedback doesn’t always need to come from someone else. Feedback could be developed by reflection, either in your own developer eyes or by placing yourself in someone elses eyes. Feel free to look at others work and incorporate that into your article. I never said that inspiration is banned; just that you cannot plagirize.
I guess that’s a note to end on; the others who say that it’s via inspiration or experience aren’t wrong. However, it’s nothing compared to what you can get by feedback. At the same time, feedback needs those two back bones.
- You wouldn’t listen to someone if you weren’t inspired by the way that they thought of situations. Also, feedback needs limits in order to keep the project to be inspired and not plagirized
- Applying the feedback and making sure that you won’t repeat the same mistake again is experience. In other words, constantly relying on feedback means that you won’t grow yourself.
This article might have led you to think that you could reject evolution and inspiration, yet that’s far from the case. What I’m trying to say is that the basis of writing evolution isn’t purely based on experience but rather, a merge of experience, inspiration and feedback. All three of the triangle need to be in there, and to let feedback reign supreme. This is why I believe in open source; so people can send in pull requests on how they think a piece of code should work. This is why I encourage others on my Discord Server to constantly read and correct me. Feel free to take risks and if you truly believe in something, feel free to ignore the feedback. However, always open yourself up to receiving it; they might spot something you missed.