Life With Others is a narrative approach at the human connectivity that is found within storytelling and self reflection. Through this self published short book stories of others are told that recount times of trouble, times of sorrow, times of rebirth, times of being found, and times of how we continue to fight on anyway even when keeping forth in the path of our lives seems like some improbable task. This book recounts those stories while also calling for a meditative reflection, allowing the reader to dig deep into understanding what their life looks like, and how to forge the life they want despite the pain and suffering that tries to hold us all down. This book is written in a way that will allow you to break barriers dear reader.
Prior Experience Related to the Project
As a College Senior I have developed experience in past academia settings. In my News Reporting Class with Dr. Bhayroo I was able to learn the art of interviewing. This includes how to transcribe the interview, find leads and pull quotes. Interviewing can be very complex and it takes a unique type of skill to be able to pull a story from a 10 minute conversation. Creating a narrative from an interview allows you to wrap up someone’s story in a bow and present it to the audience at large. I also gained experience in my Visual Design class with Dr. Knight, that prior experience was important in implementing the visual design of my book, such as color palette, and how to entwine text in a way that makes it enticing for the reader and keeps them engaged.
Challenge of the Project
The challenge of the project is the timeline. Given that we only have a semester to complete and implement a project so near and dear to our heart and passion is tough given that time constraint. There is so much that we wish to do to make our project polished and fresh and reflective of all it is we set out to achieve. For example if given more time I would have loved to ensure the accessibility of my book. This includes creating audio content for those that may be visually impaired. For now I can make sure that I am designing in a way that is inclusive for all different types of audiences. For example I can ensure I am using an appropriate color palette for the percentage of the population that may be color blind.
Prep Work and Background Research
For my prep work I did a lot of self reflection and research. I wanted to be inspired in order to create something meaningful. This consisted of digging deep and looking at what has been done and what is out there and what I as a creator can add to this meditative reflective human connectivity experience. This included looking at the famous Glennon Doyle’s Untamed Journal, Brandon’s StrangersProject, and Humans of New York individualized stories. The last bit of background research I most recently have done is read through the book “Dear Freedom Writers.” This included pieces that the generation of today wrote to the original freedom writers. The generation of today was seeking advice on monumental life events that they have gone through, asking the freedom writers simple yet complex questions, such as “does life go on?” This research was important because I am setting out to connect audiences and people, to gather real world experiences, stories of defeat and found success.
Primary technologies and/or Software
My primary technology is the use of Google Documents for organizational purposes, my own personal journal, my voice memos in which I recorded all interviews that took place, Canva for design purposes, and Blurb– the application that brings this all together and gives life to my book and what has been spinning in my mind for so long.
Throughout the semester we have worked on various important topics like inclusive design and the importance of ensuring our work reflects DEI practices. I have ensured this by including and amplying diverse stories within my book. It was very important to me as a writer and creator that all individuals can find a safe space within my book and to be able to reflect in a mindful and meaningful way. I wanted people to feel seen and heard as well as uplifted. By making sure my project is inclusive and diverse in nature was of utmost importance to me.
I have had a very unique creation process for Life With Others. I have followed different steps within designing my book:
Step 1: Prep the interview questions (these questions have stayed the same for every interviewee and it was so interesting to see the different routes the individuals would go with the questions)
Step 2: Hold the interview and have the interviewee complete the consent form
Step 3: Transcribe the interview and begin to highlight key takeaways that will ensure a compelling story
Step 4: Write the narrative from the highlighted aspects and pull quotes from the interview
Step 5: Take the narrative to canva and create a meaningful design
Step 6: Bring the design over to Blurb to build the book, Life With Others