I write for myself. Sure, a particular piece might have an imaginary target audience, but at the end of the day the purpose of every piece I write is inherently selfish. The idea of practicing such an unashamedly selfish act on a regular basis is something I’m exploring in my Why I Write piece, so I don’t want to spend too much time on it here. But the point remains that writing is my favorite way of making sense of the world, and this sense is mine alone. Now of course the beauty of written word is that it allows us to share my ideas with other people, and for them to share with me, but these ideas are inherently personal ideas. Since I write for myself, the sense I make is, at its core, for me.
As a result of my self-seeking orientation in writing, I like to pretend I don’t care about how I present myself as a writer or who my audience might be. But as much as I enjoy pretending, when I catch myself in a moment of pure honesty I can admit the importance with which I consider the image I present. I want my reader to connect with this image and find a piece of it in him or herself. I want my reader to question the world as I question the world, to be honest and sarcastic as I am honest and sarcastic, to reflect as I reflect. In order to establish this connection, I need to present myself as a writer in the most honest way I can: through brutally transparent reflection. In being honest, I have to acknowledge every part of who I am. I cannot hide the engineer, the Californian, the skeptic, the writer, the Christian, the sassy, loving, be-there-at-four-in-the-morning friend and be honest at the same time. By being honest, I can make sense of my world. By being honest, I can help my reader who might not be able to sympathize to at least empathize. By being honest, I can reach an audience of people willing to listen. Because I write for myself, my initial audience is just me. But when I expand that audience, it can include my peers, my family, or even people I haven’t met (and will never meet).
But I feel like all of this is more of a mission statement for my work as a whole. (I do tend to have a penchant for the melodramatic.) These are all ideas that I want to tie into all of my work, my ePortfolio included. I want my work to be distinctive, not falling over itself in an attempt to be cool and unique, but bearing the distinctive mark of my personality. A friend once described my style as “casual grace,” and this is the style I want to emulate in my ePortfolio. The look and feel I’m going for with this collection of work is a little bit Pacific Northwest hipster along with a taste of East Coast prep and a dash of California gurl. I want the ePortfolio to be accessible and interactive, since the best way to connect to reflection is also reflection. I definitely want the space to be a multimedia space, so my reader gets the chance to experience a taste of how my brain works: reading a phrase and thinking of song lyrics, conceiving an idea and tying it to movie scenes or memes, making connections right and left. If you haven’t gotten it yet, I’ll make it obnoxiously clear: I want to use my ePortfolio to make connections. At the end, that’s what it’s all about for me, and what I want to make it about for my audience.