New Site on the Block: My E-Portfolio

I’m happy to announce that after hours of clicking buttons and dragging icons and drinking cups of coffee, my E-Portfolio is finally ready to be shown to the world!

I have never built a website before, so this was a daunting task to say the least. I didn’t even know where to start, and my design idea took at least twelve turns over the course of the past two weeks. Finally I landed on a colorful yet muted palette with abstract texture images and a simple, sleek format. I hope you like it as much as I do. Here’s a little sneak peek:

I decided to include my three experiments, final project, Why I Write assignment and selected entries from my writer’s notebook. This combination shows a mix of my personality and my passions as a writer. Overall, I’m really proud of my work on this website and am excited to share it with the world.

To check out my full e-portfolio, click here!

Advice to Future Gateway Students

Hi. If you’re reading this, you’re probably just starting your journey as a Sweetland Minor in Writing student. Congratulations, I’m excited for you! The first step in your experience is the Minor in Writing Gateway Course. Hopefully, this post will give you a few tips and tricks to get the most you can out of this class! Here are just a few things I’ve learned this semester:

1.Use your writer’s notebook

Bring your notebook with you on weekends and mornings and between classes on the bus. You never know what interesting conversations you’ll overhear that could inspire a poem or story or response. It will also help you stay in the mindset of a writer outside of class.

2. Stay on track with deadlines

Workshopping in groups can be really useful, but only if you actually have something to be workshopped! Try to keep up with deadlines for your experiments or other pieces for the course, because it will help you get the most out of the course and your experience in the minor.

3. Listen to your peers

During the tote bag reading sessions or workshops or any time your classmates share their writing, really listen. You might find inspiration in a line or in their style that will push you further as a writer.

4. T (or whoever your Gateway instructor is) is a great resource

When you hit a road block in one of your experiments or your final project, don’t be afraid to make a meeting with your instructor. T has helped me through some very confusing moments with lots of my pieces. They offer an outside perspective with experience to guide you.

5. Make sure you enjoy it

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself when working on these projects! Just because they are a part of coursework doesn’t mean they have to feel like a task to check off of a list. Remember your roots as a writer and follow the topics you’re passionate about!

Folding Up My Final Project

For my final project in the Minor in Writing Gateway course, I’ll be finishing my experiment 3: a pamphlet encouraging readers to start a journal.

Actually, I’ll be writing two pamphlets. I realized part-way through my experiment that I was really trying to address two audiences that were very different: adolescents and college students. I’ll be writing two different versions of my project using language and resources that are best correlated with the audience in mind.

I targeted these two age groups because these time periods are highly stressful and are when many mental health problems first show up. Since journaling has many emotional and mental health benefits, I thought it could be especially useful to these groups.

My sample from Experiment 3, aimed towards the college demographic.

This project is really meaningful to me because songwriting, which was my form of journaling, helped me through some really tough times in middle and high school. I was able to rant, tell my side of the story, ask questions, or create a happy ending all through my songs. I would love to help others find this release and explore their writing in a new form through this project.

I plan to finish designing the pamphlets and then print some out to distribute. I might stash some on campus to see what happens, or T suggested reaching out to a local high school to see if they might be interested in having some available to their students. This way they can actually get in people’s hands and, hopefully, impact them in a positive way. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this project!

Not Knowing What’s Next

The experiments are odd projects. They are utterly open-ended and can feel, at first, like you’re being thrown into a void. But when you hit your stride, find your perfect genre or angle or sample, you finally see where it could go. Although I’ll tell you a secret, I often have no idea what I’m doing until I get to the end.

Working on my first experiment felt like a break from doing homework. I chose to do a video vignette with hand-drawn animation based on a song from my notebook. I was learning a new genre, new software, and being visually creative – which is something I don’t do often enough. I was 80% out of my comfort zone, but I was forming a new one.

My second experiment wasn’t quite the same satisfaction but was still a great outlet for exploration in creative writing, a genre I am even less familiar with. I wrote a short story expanding on the lyrics of one of the songs in my book. In the beginning, I thought having a strong outline of the story from my song would make writing easier. In the end, however, I found the outline restricted my freedom. I was able to add a lot of detail to characters and settings, but the direction was already laid out for me, and I didn’t want to majorly change the plot. Although I would say the experiment was a success, I think I will try creative writing in a more open context next time.

I’m excited to see where the third experiment will take me. I want to keep the creative energy of the first project, but incorporate more writing like the second. I’m thinking about a pamphlet on how journaling/songwriting can be used as a coping mechanism for teens. Or maybe a website or even a bookmark with information on it. This use of journaling is largely why I wrote so many songs throughout high school. They helped me sort through emotions and situations that I didn’t want to talk to anyone about. Instead, I could vent or create characters and stories that said what I could not. I think sharing this as an option for people who are going through a rough time could help them, as it helped me.

My list of fun facts and a book with stickers

I’m a 5’6″ communications major, I own too many pairs of earrings, and my favorite breakfast is a chocolate chip bagel. One of my favorite activities is thrifting with my friends, and I love to cook. I have a collection of bags (plastic, paper, canvas, you name it) and a passion for the performing arts. Oh, and my name is Lucy. I guess that bit is important, too. Most of those facts aren’t especially relevant to whoever you are reading this, but I figure they’re a little more interesting than your average introduction spiel. I’m currently in my first semester of the writing minor and am so happy I took the leap and applied last semester. I’ve been able to expand my writing and explore my own voice in a way I haven’t before. I’m excited to continue growing in this course, and to take on my first experiment.

My origin piece is a sticker-plastered notebook that I’ve owned since seventh grade. The cover is warped, the binding is ripped, and there are at least six pages missing. Here’s a peek:

Inside it holds most of the songs I wrote between 8th and 12th grade, totaling over 35. Some are fragments of chords with lyric ideas jotted down in the margins, others are fully completed pieces. Interacting with it now is a complex, self-reflective process. Each song represents a different stage of my life, a snapshot of how I viewed the world in that moment. Those five years were transformative. The notebook shows my apprehensions and my growth. I’m excited to revisit these experiences through fresh eyes and use my experiments to bring these songs into my life as it is today. We’ll see where they take me. Wish me luck!