Jennifer ShirleyMrs. CorbettAP Literature7, April 2012 Senior Project Speech I am one of many adolescents that have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.When I was eleven years old my brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. From that dayforward I knew my life would not be the same. Two years later I lost my cousin to cancer whenshe was only eight years old. After what I have gone through in my life one would think I wouldbe bitter towards life, but that is not the case. I have sought to better understand myself and theworld around me, which leads me to my research topic. My research topic is how literature canbe used as a therapy tool. While doing my research paper I sought to find how literature can beused in therapy through writing journals, letters, and poetry. I learned from my research that“shamans and witchdoctors chanted poetry for the well-being of the tribe or individual”. Also, Ilearned that literature as therapy is called bibliotherapy. For my project I wrote a book of poetrywhich is essentially my personal therapy tool that explains my life journey. My product is my book of poetry and photography. I chose this product for three reasons:to honor my lost loved ones, to express my grief, and to challenge myself. This product was not an easy one to undertake.There are many steps to writing a book and I shall explain from step one. First off, I had to writeall of the poems as well as the introduction dedication and the inside panels. This step is the most
time consuming and can get very tedious. But it is also the most rewarding. But a close second istaking all of the pictures that accompany and reflect each poem. Once the initial writing wasfinished I had to go through and edit my writing. I edited my poems three times and then I had afriend edit them and lastly my literature teacher was generous enough to give the poems a finaledit. Once the editing was finished I went back through and made all the corrections needed.After having the poems corrected I could focus on organizing and editing my photographs. Imatched all the photos to the appropriate poem and then began to edit them. I kept thephotographs as raw as possible for a more authentic look. Most of the photos just needed to becropped and changed into black and white. By this time the meat of the book was completed so Imoved onto the layout which includes spacing, fonts, page numbers, and inserting blank pages.Which many seen easy enough, but it is very tedious considering that you are looking at close tothe same format as you were before which makes it very hard to commit to a design. Next I hadto determine what I was going to entitle my book. I wanted the title to describe the whole bookand my life all in one and I think I have achieved that with the title being “The Rest is StillUnwritten”. Once the title was chosen I had to design my cover. In designing my cover I wantedit to reflect the book, the title, and me. I first fell in love with poetry while reading ShelSilverstein’s poetry in elementary school, which is where the whimsical design comes in; thewords are all in my handwriting and are traits that I find important in life. I also chose blue as thebackground to represent the sky which seems to never end. Also I chose the font and size for thetitle as well as sizing the font to be placed on the spine of the book. The book was now finishedand I had to apply for an ISBN number in order for my book to be kept in libraries. And I finallyhad to decide on the price of my book which I had to take in account the hard cover and thejacket which is a more expensive style, but since my book is an art piece rather that a novel I
found the hardback well suited. Once all of this was settled I sent my book off to the printer. Ithen received a proof which I read over and sent for the rest of my books. My project facilitator was Farris Yawn the owner of Yawn’s Bookstore in downtown Canton. I chose Mr. Yawn for a few reasons: He owns his own publishing company, he enjoys publishing local authors, and he is extremely good at what he does. He helped me to understand what goes into writing a book and he helped me break down the overall product into smaller goals so the process did not seem as daunting as it really was. Writing a book, many challenges arise such as; formatting issues, writer’s block, and picture editing problems. For example, we had to overcome the formatting issue of page numbers. I had to manually insert page numbers which may not sound bad but since I had blank pages in my book due to picture and poem match up I did not want the blank pages numbered. So in the words of Mr. Yawn, we had to trick the computer into thinking that the blank page did not exist by inserting two different page breaks. Also, I had to overcome writer’s block which can be very discouraging. At some times I had to just close my computer and walk away from my writing, otherwise I would be too frustrated to continue my work. Finally, I had to deal with picture editing. My laptop does not have a camera card reader so I had to download all the pictures to my mother’s computer and then use a flash drive to transfer them to my computer, and then I began to edit them. From this process I learned that Microsoft Office Word can do a lot more than I use to give it credit for. Also, I have learned that I can do anything if I try and that through publishing my book I have had a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders and it has really helped me to open up. I would enjoy writing another book in the future, not
only does it feel good to write, but seeing your name on the cover of something soofficial is mind blowing. I have learned that writing a book is not just about writing, it is also aboutformatting, color, book size and many more factors. Also it is about putting your soulonto paper and conveying emotions through words. I want to challenge all of you to keepa journal and leave all your emotions on the pages. You will not believe how liberating itis and when you go back and read previous entries you will see how much you havegrown.My future plan is to attend Western Carolina University in the fall and major in physicaltherapy rather than psychology because I am afraid that I would not be able to leave mywork at work. But with physical therapy I will still be helping people overcomechallenges they face in their lives. Thank you for all of your time and I hope you have enjoyed my presentation.Please feel free to ask any questions you have.