DCW502 Writing and Contemporary Practice

Radio Show Script: Social Media and Writing (Final Draft)

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Hello, my name is Dulk Dogan, and today on the kiss me hardy show at Fresh FM, I’ll be taking a look at how to become a financially successful poet through social media.

I would like to start, first of all, with a selection of poems from two of the most revered poets of our age, Rupi Kaur, and Atticus, also known as Duncan Penn.

I do not need the kind of love

that is draining

I want someone

who energizes me

-rupi kaur

our backs

tell stories

no books have

the spine to

carry

-rupi kaur

I am

made of water

of course I am emotional

-rupi kaur

I’ll let you into

my soul

but wipe your feet at the door.

-atticus

Life had broken her

but she was still there

persisting

in the shards

of her

broken pieces

-atticus

They mocked her

curly hair

but little did they know

the power of her mind

under there

which painted her

imagination

with all the colours

of the world.

So, you want to be a world renowned poet? I assume you might, if you’re still listening. It’s a noble goal. It will be financially rewarding, it will earn you money, it will increase your wealth, and it will allow you to buy more things. As an added bonus, your self esteem may sky rocket until you think you’re the voice of a generation. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The thing is, it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds.

You will have to spend quite a few hours honing your craft. You will have to create an online persona that helps to increase brand awareness, and you will need to attain a basic understanding of popular social media aesthetics. Above all, you will have to maintain an absolute personal and ethical neutrality through the entire process.

Well, let’s get to it then, shall we?

So, first off, we need to learn how to write poetry. Otherwise what are you going to post?

The best way to write poetry that will sell is by learning what people are thinking and then giving it back to them in a repackaged form so that they think you have a profound insight into their situation. And if you want your poetry to sell well,then you don’t want to focus on a niche group whose thoughts go against the grain and make people think critically about their beliefs, because that’s just going to turn the majority of the population right off.

Therefore, of course, we’re not going to go around talking to strangers or anything. Their unique experiences will only alienate the people who would otherwise buy your books and merchandise. What we’re going to do, instead, is take some time to peruse the most liked and shared posts across every social media platform we can think of. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit – it’s all good stuff. Now write them all down.

The most potent material, you’ll notice, is usually some combination of relationship troubles and one or two other categories. So that’s what we’re going to focus on, particularly if it involves a girl who is emotionally weak, but still persevering. At this point you may be wondering if it matters whether you are male or female, or if you really have the right experience or insight to be writing about this subject. But, I promise you, it doesn’t matter at all, so don’t ever doubt yourself in this area. All the information you need is in the posts.

So, once that’s all done, you’re going to have to tackle that blank page or phone screen, possibly for the first time. It can be daunting, but just remember, all the information you need is right there.

Now, I have a confession to make. The last poem that I read out at the start – if you remember it – was actually one I wrote specially for this segment. I thought it would be an excellent example of how to put these ideas into practice. So let’s take a moment to analyse it a little bit. First, I started off with:

They mocked her

curly hair

but little did they know

the power of her mind

under there

And already we’ve got a winner. It capitalises on female empowerment, the struggle against subversive modern racism and the underdog complex, all in just a few lines. But there is one major thing missing from this poem that will leave it floating in social media limbo if it’s not remedied. Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a few seconds.

No, it’s not the fact that the woman is never actually described as having any individual value beyond being a woman, but good try. The thing that’s missing is a recognisable cliché! These can occur naturally in your source content, but sometimes you will really have to rack your brain to think of something appropriate.

For this poem, I think I will take a page from Atticus’s book, as it were, and introduce the concept of painting with a lot of colours.

So, the revised version is:

They mocked her

curly hair

but little did they know

the power of her mind

under there

which painted her

imagination

with all the colours

of the world.

See, at this point, you may feel some discomfort when you consider the fact that the woman in the poem is only being used as a hollow object of feminism and probably male desire, but, honestly, it doesn’t matter. It won’t matter to your readers, so it doesn’t have to matter to you. All your audience will want to recognise in this piece is the idea that the woman in the poem has a secret inner world. All they want to hear is that there is more to a girl than her looks. It’s that simple.

And I know, it’s obvious, right? It’s degrading and insulting. But you know what? I’ll say it again, it doesn’t matter to your customers, and it doesn’t have to matter to you. Remember, you’re in this to make money. And on that note, we can smoothly transition into brand awareness and creating an online persona!

So, as far as your online persona goes, the most important thing I have to address is that it should NOT be you. You are imperfect. If you think that hunting animals for food is okay, you’re going to have to keep that under wraps. If you have no problem with gay couples, but think that marriage should be between a man and a woman, do not let that show. You might fetishise emotionally damaged girls, but you do not ever want anyone to know that.

Actually I’ve just revised some of this today, and it turns out the last one seems to be acceptable. Huh.

Generally, your online persona should fit into one of two forms: either you are an extrovert who just wants everyone to love each other, or you are an introvert that just wants everyone to love each other. If you decide to be an introvert, be sure to lean on this and present yourself as a victim of circumstance, as that is the easiest way to get people on your side. However, no matter which one you choose, you will still need to diversify. Remember, you need as many customers to identify with your writing as possible.

And the reason you need this is because you are trying to create a brand. If your name is Dulk Dogan, for instance, every time you post, you are pushing the ‘Dulk Dogan’ brand. And if you are lucky, you will reach the merchandising level, which Atticus currently enjoys. At this point you can sell clothes, hats and jewellery, all sporting paraphrased forms of your own poetry. That’s where the real money comes in. As far as this facet of poetry goes, I would have to say Atticus has the best handle on it.

But anyway, don’t get too ahead of yourself. We haven’t even posted our poetry yet!

So, you remember how we got all our ideas from the most popular posts on those social media sites? Well, we’re going to feed it right back to them, so post your stuff everywhere (preferably to Instagram, but Twitter and Facebook will also work). Also, you’re probably only going to want to post, on average, once a day. It will take a while for your peers to generate good content for you to recycle, so you don’t want to use it all up at once. However, if you do run out of ideas, you can always steal a couple of lines from Hunter S. Thompson or something. It’s unlikely anyone of significance will notice.

Now, at this point you might be worried about what people will think of your poetry. Are they actually going to support you in your pursuit of financial success? Will they really be too blind to realise that their own pithy commentary is just being fed back to them in a repackaged form that exploits their struggle in a confusing new world of uncertain expectations? And what if someone calls you out for all of this and argues that you haven’t actually made any effort to contribute to art in a meaningful way and you’re only interested in making money?

Well, I’ll tell you what. Slap your poetry on a nostalgic black and white background, or, even better, type it out on a typewriter from the 70s and crumple up the paper before you take a picture of it, and the majority of them won’t give it a second thought, which is exactly what we want to prevent them from doing.

Soon enough, any critics who have the audacity to point out the lack of any real effort or originality in your work will be overrun by your hordes of diehard fans. Your critics will be drowned out, and headlines across the world will attest that you are the T. S. Eliot of the 140 character, selfie-obsessed, millennial generation.

You are now a world-renowned poet. Well done.

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