You’ve just got to do it

Alright, everybody, my e-portfolio is finally done!

What I’ve found really interesting about the e-portfolio is the process it takes in making things come together. While we were drafting our e-ports throughout the semester, answering the questions that the sheet demanded of us, I didn’t really take my responses that seriously. That is to say that I was answering the questions merely for points rather than coming up with answers I found genuinely interesting. This stirred anxiety within me because I felt like I didn’t have any answers and my portfolio may turn out for the worse.

Once I started working on my portfolio, however, I started realizing that the answers I came up with were really relevant to creating good work. I just needed to give my ideas a try and put them into action in order to see that they were in fact effective. While I talked earlier in the year about making my work a matter of sScreen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.41.32 PMelf-character development through the portfolio, the idea of it seemed to abstract to believe in. I couldn’t imagine how to untangle the mystical interweb with its hyperlinks, its countless images, and its unexpected shortcuts. But as I began to do so, I saw that I really could make a portfolio that served to develop me both as a writer and as a character. 

I did this by choosing a template that allowed for many different pages. Every page was a moment of my development as a person or writer (for instance, my origins or my experimental stage were their own page). Under these pages, I posted work that exemplified these stages of development. These works not only reflected how my writing was changing, but how me as a person was changing. The use of media in this way was quite effective because I was able to use my portfolio as a way to do more than just showcase my writing–I could make it into a piece of writing in itself. It was a narrative that used documents, images, titles, and comments to create the long and ever changing story-arch as a writer I have had over the past four years. The work really made me reconsider what writing was because I felt as if every time I dug through the internet or my archives for photos to put on the page, I was doing research for a paper. Every time I changed the way a box looked on my page, I felt like I was tweaking a sentence. In a way, new media made writing a matter of manipulating everything! Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.41.44 PM

Though this portfolio can be considered a personal narrative in a sense, it is not a diary by any means. I kept the audience in mind the entire time I constructed this. One part of my audience is agents or other publishers that may be interested in investing in me as a writer/storyteller. My ability to make my portfolio into a piece of character-driven literature would attract them in itself. Also, if future employers in fields within which I am just now gaining interest (public and environmental health), they would see how I came to these interests over time and could tell that I am convicted to their causes. Overall, I want my audience to see that I think that being a writer is a matter of identity. It is a matter of feeling that your life is deeply connected to your writing and you must cross the two to truly study either.

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