Challenge Journal – Writing After College?

I’m not sure about anyone else, but I’m a just a little nervous for life post-grad. While I’m grateful that I have a job that I’m incredibly excited for, there’s a lot of things about college that I’m going to miss: waking up a little too late, staying up with my roommates just to talk, football games, walking in the diag, and, well, writing.

My college experience has been shaped by the writing that I’ve gotten to do – through classes (specifically the minor), my journal, and extracurricular activities. I’ve written for online magazines, for a startup, and for myself. I’ve found a place for writing because of my passion, but also because I’ve carved out the time for these activities. I’ve been passionate about writing from such a young age, and I know that’s not going to go away the minute I graduate from this University. But, what if I don’t have the time post-grad; no, what if I don’t make the time? In college, that time has been carved out for me, but not anymore.

I don’t think that my love for writing will necessarily go away, but I am scared that it will start to diminish until it’s really just me writing in my journal once every couple of days. How do you all plan to make time for writing post-grad when you’re balancing work, health, and a social life? How can we make sure that we don’t lose all of the progress we’ve made throughout our time at Michigan?

When do you know that you’re done?

Whenever I submit a paper or writing assignment, I have made sure to read and read and reread and then reread again each and every word/sentence to make sure its perfect. The Capstone project, however, has proven to be a bit different. While I’ve read through every post for my blog, I still don’t feel like they’re ready – does anyone else feel that way?

Recently, I had to submit a term paper for my major’s Capstone course. It was 10 pages (single-spaced!), and it was long. It was full of detail, and, naturally, I wanted to do well. I scrutinized that paper over and over again, reading it multiple times even when I didn’t make any edits. I could have been done at 9pm the night it was due, but instead I turned it in at 11:45.

I guess my question here is, how do you know when you’re done? The thing about writing is that it can always be read again. You could always make changes if you want to, so what’s another read through? How many read throughs is too many read throughs? It seems as though I adjust my piece every time I read through it – either changing an adjective or removing an article or removing an entire sentence. An essay or piece of writing can always be improved, right? So how do you know when to stop?

I’m hoping I figure it out soon! With the Capstone project due so soon, I’ve been thinking about my editing capabilities over the next couple of days. Anyways, I wish everyone the best of luck in the final stretch. I cannot wait to see everyone’s final product!

Lack of Visual Creativity?

I’m not sure if anyone else is finding this to be a challenge, but my inability to navigate any website online is starting to cause a few issues. To provide a bit of context, I’m creating a blog on Wix, which doesn’t sound like it would be that hard (I mean, I blog in my free time on a Weebly site, so I decided to give Wix a try- how hard could it be). Right now, I’m wishing I decided to stick with Weebly. First off, I’m having a bit of trouble with the site. My blog posts keep saving, but not in the right place. Has anyone else had this happen before? If so, how did you fix it? While this has kept me up a few nights, it’s not even the worst of it.

The biggest problem I’m running into is how to make my posts visually appealing. I had the exact same problem in my Gateway portfolio. I never knew how to align the text, insert photos, or provide the reader with a certain “vibe.” I was constantly told to center my texts, or provide more white space, or insert a photo that I took instead of a stock picture. It was the hardest thing for me. And sadly, I’m running into that problem again with my Capstone project. While I have a better idea of the “vibe” that I’m going for (bright colors with lots of white space and photos of myself and my friends), I’m still figuring out how to align text on my page so that it’s appealing to read. I’m thinking about going through my Gateway portfolio to figure out what I finally did to be successful, as well as other portfolios on the Minor in Writing site to get some ideas. If anyone else has tips, I would love to hear them!

I hope everyone is chugging along in these last couple of weeks. I cannot wait to see all of your finished portfolios. Best of luck writing!

Making a Website, Yikes.

Well there are 7 weeks, or if you want to get technical 47 days, until graduation. I honestly could not tell you the sequence of events that has gotten us this far into the semester. We already had MLK day? We had the polar vortex over a month ago? Spring break is something that happened?

Seriously, this semester has been flying by and I can’t believe we are about to graduate. However, coming close to the end of my final semester at U of M is not as exiting as I expected it to be… With graduation comes finishing up the capstone. With finishing up the capstone comes making a website. With making a website comes an overwhelming amount of decisions related to format, color scheme, content, layout, etc.

I just made a rough draft of my website for the storyboard workshop that will be taking place regarding my storyboard tomorrow. It took a lot more work than I expected. I tried to make my website look like other podcast websites, with a more simplistic design, an easy to navigate layout of episodes, and some brief information about myself. The design looks more juvenile than I expected. I tried making it look similar to this: or this but as of now it looks like this:

Yeah, it has a long way to go. I realize the link you are clicking on (if you are clicking on this in the future) is not the same as the one I am referring to now. It might look a lot better by the time you get around to reading this post. But as of now it is a little unorganized, a bit incongruent, etc. I encourage any of you who have not started making your website to get on that soon, or to at least brainstorm what it will look like. Bon chance, good luck!