Who am I?
Who am I as a writer?
Who am I as professional?
To paraphrase, “I can’t define me, but I know me when I see me.”
Putting together a portfolio or vanity project, as I am referring to the assignment/project, is a work of self-love. Seriously. I am attempting to put together a showcase of the best of me. Maybe not in the best examples, after all I am supposed to show growth somehow-why a simple link to any of my blogs will not suffice, I do not know. But I am also the guy who does not understand why cargo pockets are considered unprofessional. To showcase me, I have to…well find and display examples of me that I feel represent me and answer any of the questions I posed above. To deny that this is an exercise in vanity or self-love will only get me a portfolio that looks like many I have seen recently.
Know your enemy. Scout out the terrain first. Two maxims that will serve you in many situations. With those maxims in mind, I searched out other portfolios. I was disappointed. Perhaps I found the wrong examples, perhaps the people who had themselves on display were feeling lazy, just doing it for a grade, or forgot about their portfolio; regardless of the reason, the examples I found got me a list of don’ts. I guess that is a start. If I had to put a finger on what I saw, was a lack of self-love. If a portfolio is a representation of you, should you not LOVE yourself and what you put on display?
However, the problem with self-love is that you may not be completely honest with yourself. To that end, in a checks and balances sense (too much West Wing), I have started enlisting other people to assist me. I am building a village of people to point out the blemishes, the flaws, and keep me on my toes. The initial villagers Jessica, Sara, and Barb have done a good job and surprised me. I believe, I have mentioned I write erotica. Not all of the time, in fact without a prompt and someone to send the story too I cannot spontaneously write erotica. I have tried, but you say to me I want to read a story about X, Y, and Z, I can write erotica. I am pretty proud of my erotica. However, just because some people say good and I am proud does that mean that the erotica I chose really is best example. I paired down to what I thought was representative of my ability to write and asked them to read, not edit, just read and tell me what they liked and if possible why.
Confessions (I know that title means nothing to you) was said to demonstrate my ability to tell a story and entice at the same time. That made me smile. Comparing two other stories to 50 Shades of Grey did not make smile. I know that she meant in terms of action, not in language and dialogue used, but not what I had thought nor wanted to hear. And that makes my point for me. I was considering one of the two she compared to 50 Shades of Grey, but reading her comments (more extensive than I wrote here) showed me a flaw in my thinking or perception of the story when compared to others.
In the end, when this portfolio is finished, there will be a lot of people to thank, a village. People who are interested will be able to see representations of all that I write…you don’t think the blogs are everything I write do you? Maybe the portfolio will answer the questions. Right now, I know me, I am having a hard time defining me.