Amateur Guitarist


Kleon’s “Show Your Work” really elicits a sigh of relief, and particularly from college students. Perhaps we are the most acutely aware of our being unqualified for “real world success.”
This is the first time I’ve ever been encouraged to embrace my amateur-ness, and that, for one, is an assignment I feel fully capable of doing. I’m an amateur. I’m a dreamer deep down and a recovering perfectionist, and those two qualities want to cancel the other out.

Amateur Editor


Because I am an amateur in many regards, narrowing this blog to a single topic took consideration. After deciding to dedicate the following words to my novelty as an editor, Austin Kleon's quote under the heading "Be An Amateur" struck as applicable to the topic of this blog: "The world is changing at such a rapid rate that it's turning us all into amateurs."

Amateur Photography


Another of my creations
Austin Kleon’s book “Show Your Work,” advocates for being an amateur. Trying something new that you’re not trained in is both exciting and invigorating. Especially if you’re not half bad at it. One thing that has always interested me is photography. My uncle, sister, and mother all ran minor photography companies, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I really love editing my own pictures and putting words with them, especially lyrics. It gets super cliche, I promise. But it's still fun for me to explore different styles of editing and playing around with something I took.

The Photography Community


The first chapter of Show Your Work describes how I learn to become a better photographer. I'm the president of the photography club here at Clemson and I try to create an environment where we can all learn from each other, even though we're not equal in skill level. We all have something to contribute, and there's no right or wrong way to approach a shot. Some of us like to freeze motion and others like blur because it shows speed of motion. Sometimes we take pictures of the exact same things, but edit them differently. Even if we choose not to take someone else's advice, it helps us figure out what is and isn't our style.

I Am and Will Always Be an Amateur Poet


First off, I loved that Austin Kleon not only says that being an amateur is a good thing but he also embraces it. We often think of the word "amateur" in a negative way but Kleon says that they have an advantage over the professional. We are all amateurs. I realized that I was an amateur and that I loved being one when I read Kleon's definition of amateur: "the enthusiast who pursue's her work in the spirit of love." That is a beautiful way of describing the amateur.

Amateur Traveling


I’m an amateur traveler. I can figure my way from point A to be B better than most, walk through several airport concourses with the familiarity and comfort of a second home, and know what brand of champagne is cheapest in several different countries. On the other hand, my sense of direction is sometimes seriously lacking, my complete lack of coordination results in many accidents, and I have seen maybe 1% of this Earth. I am an amateur because I still have an infinite number of things to learn. I am an amateur because traveling is my passion.

Drawing Amateur Style


Drawing is something I’ve always done, whether on a relaxing Saturday morning or just doodles in my notebook during class. I’ve never had an art class in my life, unless you count elementary school art classes. I just grabbed a pencil and began drawing things I love. I have to tell you my first pictures were horrible, but that never stopped me. Drawing for me was really just practice makes perfect. Now I’m working on drawing people, and I’m focusing on the difficult features like eyes. Here are some of my sketches that I’ve been working on lately:


Welcome to the Future of the Book!

David Blakesley Photo

So that we can get to know each other a little better, please post a comment/reply to this message in which you

  • describe where you are from
  • give your course of study and year in your graduate program
  • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
  • tell what you would like to get out of this course
  • describe one or more of your favorite books and what you like about it (or them)

I'll start. I've lived in the Clemson area for five+ years now, having arrived as the new Campbell Chair in Technical Communication at Clemson in Fall 2010. I came here from Purdue University, where I was the Director of Professional Writing and Professor of English for ten years. I became an Adobe Education Leader in 2014. I earned my PhD from the University of Southern California in "Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature." My areas of specialization include rhetorical theory, digital and visual rhetorics, print and digital publishing, information architecture and content management, and film theory and production. In 2002 I founded Parlor Press, an independent scholarly press that has now published about 220 titles. Parlor Press also manages production and editorial operations for a number of journals, including The WAC Journal, WPA: Writing Program Administration, Composition Studies, JAEPL, Community Literacy Journal, and PRE/TEXT.

Cover of Name of the Wind

I'm excited for this course because I love reading, writing, and making books with other writers and scholars. I enjoy networking, collaborating, and innovating, (any successful publishing effort requires all three working in concert). I'm enthusiastic about the future of the book, both as a print artifact and a digital platform. I read many books on my Kindle Paperwhite, usually novels. I'm a big fan of Hugh Howey's Wool books and his approach to self-publishing, finished Robert Jordan's gargantuan Wheel of Time series two years ago (a feat), and more recently enjoyed Andy Weir's The Martian, which began life as a self-published novel (like Wool).While waiting for the next installment from George R. R. Martin, I read Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle (The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man's Fear, both of which are highly recommended. All of these books create new and original worlds, which I suppose is one of the great things we enjoy about fiction.