In this project I attempt to synthesize the course materials up to this point in a way as to analyze the affect of time and my schedule on my writing process.
I think my biggest struggle with this project, and something I didn’t understand at first was finding a main idea or a connection point, especially since I decided to do a nontraditional approach, using a website. Another struggle was staying focused and actually writing, rather than tinkering with the web design. I really enjoy design and so editing and creating with Squarespace was really fun and an outlet for my creativity, but it also tended to be a little distracting. On the other hand, I find ways of getting distracted with regular papers as well, so this kind of distraction was at least sometimes productive. Another setback was being ill on one of the draft days, and so I definitely feel I missed out on feedback I could’ve gotten from a classmate. I feel I definitely struggled with some of the things listed in the syllabus under what the project was not and got hung up looking at my past through rose-tinted glasses and trying to write too much about that part of my writing process.
Because of this project and the course materials, I found myself thinking that I could be labeled as a writer, something I’d been wary to say. One of the nights I was with some friends at the Union, I ended up showing them a couple poems, and to my delight they loved them. I additionally used a bunch of friends’ feedback on the design on the website, and with the help of Google (and my Dad) transferred my domain (caitisrandom) to be in my possession. I hope to continue the blog portion of this project as a reflexive writing activity, and maybe link my writing to my twitter, and have more people read what I write.
The website-based decisions were made based on aesthetic and themes that displayed text well. I like neutral colors for the most part and I like (what I deem to be) aesthetically pleasing photos, so I wanted to combine that. My website is very similar to what my Tumblr page is like. I additionally wanted something user-friendly, and a theme that was suitable for managing both my blog and the class project. I started tinkering with the website early on, before I had very much content to put on it, even.
Because the website is something that people can find or stumble across on the internet, and something I could use to market myself or my writing, I think I took this seriously and considered a broader audience, as you mentioned in class. The thought of other people viewing the site pushed me to make sure the design was simple, clean, and easy to follow. I wanted something elegant and modern, and I think I achieved this aesthetic. I also wanted the tone to be more casual than some of my literature analysis papers, and I think I succeeded in that.
Collaborating with Maddie in class led me to some decisions in later drafting, like including more extensive and reflexive mentions and in the project, and her comments also lead me to decide to tackle the main point aspect from a perspective of time. Without her suggestions, I don’t think I could have chosen an angle to a main idea, because at the time it seemed that some of the ideas did not connect.
Without the collaboration of friends, and thinking about this assignment in advance, I probably would have stuck to a traditional paper and I’m glad I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone and did the website. It was honestly a really exciting and challenging way to channel my creativity for a writing assignment, and I thrived on hearing positive feedback from friends and my Dad. I ultimately felt more confident about the assignment after sharing it, and thinking about keeping a process log was interesting in defining how my creative process works.
9.11.17 checker at work, wrote ideas for paper on the back of draft for ENGL 580, solidified website, compiled sources
9.11.17 - 9.14.17: Late nights in Union, between studying for other classes, worked on website
9.11.17 - asked my father about domains, and acquiring “caitisrandom.com" from him
• domain transferring was a little confusing, but ultimately figured it out
9.12.17 working on website between classes, continued to check on domain transfer
• shared website with Dad
• shared website with friends Justin and Morgan
• shared website with a few other friends
9.13 Ideas draft
9.18 - gone from class, worked on draft 2 and revisions; solidified “main idea”; worked late in union with justin
9.19 - worked in union again with justin
9.20 - shared work with friends Andy, Evan, and Austyn
9.20 - finalizing designs, photos, editing