On the Art of Writing: A Workshop with a famous YouTuber, Dogen - Articles | APU Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

On the Art of Writing: A Workshop with a famous YouTuber, Dogen

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On October 11th and 18th, I had the opportunity to participate in an on-campus two-day workshop to study the “Art of Writing” from our very own Beppu-resident YouTuber, Dogen. It was a great chance to learn from Dogen himself, who is a Japan-based American YouTube content creator with 564K subscribers. Luckily, as part of my internship program in the APU Admissions Office, I and other interns were offered the chance to attend, to learn more about the art of writing content for social media and branding purposes. Safe to say, this turned out to be a great experience that opened me up to new perspectives.

Day one of the workshop was mostly lecture based, whereby Dogen took time to share with us about his journey of becoming a writer and what his writing process was like. This was interesting for me as I have rarely had the chance to learn about writing from the perspective of a YouTuber. I particularly enjoyed the section where he described the steps he goes through when he writes, which he illustrated using his “viral” Tweets. I was surprised to learn how much effort he actually puts into crafting them, particularly how he spends around two weeks to re-write and perfect his original thought or idea. With the insight I gained from his presentation, including tips on content writing and creating a personal writing process, I came out of that day`s workshop looking forward to the next one.


Everyone had the opportunity to become a “writer” themselves on the second day of the workshop. Following the previous session, trainees were given homework to come up with two “jokes” related to APU to share as part of the workshop`s activities. This funnily enough turned out to be one of the hardest assignments I have received as a university student. No matter how hard I tried, I could not come up with what I considered to be a good enough joke. After consulting with a few friends, to help get my creative juices flowing, the best I could come up with was: “APU during a typhoon...students battling against the forces of nature to get to class”. Though my sense of humor left me feeling a bit embarrassed and reluctant to share my “joke” with fellow attendees, during the workshop Dogen`s encouragement built-up my confidence. After each trainee shared their “idea” Dogen ensured we worked collaboratively to make the joke even better, an activity new and unfamiliar to me.


All in all, it showed me the importance of having a creative writing process even for the smallest of “ideas” and that good quality writing takes time to craft. Moreover, I learned that when it comes to your passion, it's never too early to start, and that if you have a dream go for it, without fear of being judged or failing. Through learning about how Dogen began his YouTuber career, the major risks he took by leaving behind his full-time office job, and his passion for content creation, I could reflect on my own dreams or goals and what holds me back from striving towards them.

Writing has a big impact on the quality of work I do as an Intern for the Admissions Office, where I assist in leading online webinar presentations, creating promotional videos, and coming up with social media captions. Dogen's advice on what constitutes a strong piece of writing, the ideal writing process, and how to be critical of oneself assists in developing my skills and contribution as an intern. Due to participating in this workshop, I am sure the content I contribute for webinar presentations or come up with for social media captioning will be more engaging, entertaining, and well-thought out. Furthermore, I believe the new perspectives I gained will improve the quality of the undergraduate thesis I am undertaking before graduating.


Salome Mungai

Salome Mungai

Salome Mungai is a Kenyan APS student with a passion for societal reform, education, and learning. In her spare time, she works with her student organization APU MeWe to spread awareness of the importance of mental health for university students.


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