I would say my biggest passion in life is writing. I love to create fictional worlds and characters that have intricate and interesting details, and forming a plot that entices people to keep reading. That is why my goal in life is to become a novelist. I used to say published novelist, but after taking this course, I have learned the different ways of publishing, and now I can see that I am already published, from this website of course. My perspective of the publishing world has changed over the semester, and it has brought new ideas and ways of putting my work out there, and I’m super excited to continue working on my online self.
I think my site has grown the most in the content department. I was reading over some of my older book reviews, like Puddin’ and My Brilliant Friend, and I think they were good, but they feel a little disconnected and nervous. Which is probably accurate. I was nervous while writing up my first few reviews because I obviously didn’t want to get a bad grade, but I also wanted to show my personality and what books I like, and be quirky and different. I was trying to be too many things at once and reading back I can see how stressed I was about posting reviews on the internet. My first peer review, Amanjot, was super sweet in her post, but said that there were a few grammar errors here and there. I was a little embarrassed by that because I’m an English major, but I also paid more attention in my future reviews and posts, and hopefully got all of those errors over with!
My site really has grown with me. In the beginning of the course, I had a purple and white background and a few posts up for the public. The aesthetics of the page were confused and held back, just like I was in class. I was trying to fit in with the people around me because, honestly, everyone in this class is talented and many had done something like this before, but I have never posted my writing and opinions online in this way before. However, my second peer review, Lily, mentioned that my site could have more direction and placement. I definitely agree, so I got working and made my site something that I’m proud of. It’s not perfect, there are no sidebars or side menus, but I love the banner on top and how the last five book reviews float at the top for easy access. My intended audience is book-lovers, so those reviews are the most important aspect of this blog.
I have created my publication in a way that I believe reflects who I am as a reader, and as a person. My posts usually have positive and fun vibes, because I wanted this site to be a sanctioned moment for readers to enjoy books and discussions, and have a little break from the outside world. I never made any posts too serious, and I mainly reviewed books that I recommend whole heartedly. I took a lot of inspiration from the website, The Spines, because I really love the owner Megan, and her positivity and fun posts! Her site is designed beautifully, and her posts are always easy to read and very lighthearted. I never wanted to make a site that would offend some people and defend others, I just wanted something light and refreshing that anybody could enjoy, and I believe I achieved that.
My perspective on publishing has changed, like I mentioned in the beginning, I used to think the only successful way of publishing was the traditional route of publishing companies. After taking this course and hearing a multitude of successful stories, I would like to withdraw that opinion and replace it with, publication is everywhere, and everywhere in that is success. If I never get traditionally published, I will be heartbroken, but I now know that I can still be a successful novelist without the publishing house. I can post my novel on my website chapter by chapter and still get money from my readers. I could publish it as an eBook or on WattPad (if that app still exists?). Basically, I can still be an author without the publishing house and I think that was a big lesson for me to learn. All the people that have been rejected by publishing companies and have novels on their shelves waiting to be traditionally published, there are ways to get your work out there and share your love of reading.
Overall, this course has taught me so many useful things. I have learned how to make a website, first and foremost, and now if I ever need to make one again, I can do it no problem. I learned a lot about online blogs and social media, and so many other useful tips and tricks. I also got the opportunity to go to the Emerging Leaders Summit in February, and I was able to meet so many incredible people in the publishing industry. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything and I’m so grateful to Suzanne for allowing me to participate in that. Publication 101 is not just a class where you make a website and post fun, crazy things online. It is a class that teaches you about the new technological world that we now live in, and how to succeed within that. It gives you knowledge and experiences to use in your everyday life, and you can make incredible connections with people like Suzanne and Ellen, and possibly jumpstart your career. I really loved this class and I would recommend it to everyone at SFU because the experiences and memories are worth the tuition.
Klair, Amanjot. “Adventuring Through Julianna’s Eyes.” Klairams Footprints, 29 Jan. 2019, klairam.com/.
Lily. “Peer Review 2: Unlike Any Other Book Review Blogs.” Lily in Stripes, 27 Feb. 2019, lilyinstripes.com/posiel/peer-review/.
Prokott, Megan. “The Spines.” The Spines, 2019, meganprokott.com/.