The Power of Maps
Writing Portfolio Reflection
Throughout the course of the semester I have been publishing my writing, both creative and formal, to my writing portfolio. While there are parts of my portfolio that I felt have really worked, there are definitely also sections that I think I could have stepped my game up on. That being said the portfolio is really just a way to make my writing more accessible, as the writing itself is what is really important. I think that my writing this semester has definitely been changing and growing although it is hard for me to say if it has necessarily gotten objectively better over the course of the semester. The biggest change in my writing has been regarding my voice as the author and how that comes through within my work. In some pieces on the portfolio it is very clear that I am the author because they are free writes or creative pieces based on my life and so it would be very hard to make it seem impersonal. However the big change that I have observed since high school is that we can now write in the first person. In previous academic papers I would write carefully and revise making sure to take out as much of my opinion as possible. Now that I can write in the first person I have found that it is easier for my voice to come out and when I make revisions a big part of that process is trying to sharpen and bring out my voice more throughout the piece.
An area I think I struggled in, and frankly still do, is my time management and how that effects the quality of my writing. Even as I write this now I am very aware of the fact that I did not get this writing in by the deadline. This was due yesterday and I am sitting in GQ at 12:28 AM writing about my portfolio knowing fully that I could have better organized my time to have this done 2 days ago and that because I didn’t get it done earlier I won’t have time to proofread and I might not make it up for my 8 AM jazz class tomorrow morning. This late night writing habit is not new to me and I think that the effects of it show up in my writing. For example, my first maps paper was on a map of Scotland, which I swear I really tried to write early I stared at my computer for 8 hours (I timed it) and I could not work on it until the last minute. Anyway, in writing that essay I missed out on a crucial element of the map which is that it spans multiple pages. I wrote about one incomplete section and spent time analyzing why other important parts were missing. Turns out wasn’t because of any of the random reasons I made up, I just wasn’t looking at the whole map. This is actually the essay that I want to re-look at. Now that I know there is more to the map I want to see how that changes my perspective and further build my analysis. In terms of how I can adjust my writing process (and in turn better influence my writing) I have to admit that I am pretty stuck. I have been in this late-night-coffe-fueled-hellish-writing-craze-cycle since 10th grade and I have steadily gotten better and better at staying up later and later although it’s always just as stressful. What I have found recently (although too late for this semester) is that getting out of my room and to the library between classes really helps me get my work done and I am less easily distracted. I am going to try applying this technique to my revisions for my final paper and see if that helps me. I know that in my final paper one thing that I want to look at more specifically is the region where Edinburgh is as that is where I have family connections and have spent a lot of my time. This section wasn’t included in the small chunk that I looked at and I remember that there were some differences from Edinburg and its surrounding areas as mapped then to how I know it to be. I am overall relatively proud of my writing portfolio and I look forward to revisiting this essay because I am very aware of my room for growth.