Project Planning to Avoid Past Predicaments

With Halloween just around the corner I can’t stop thinking about pumpkins, witches, ghosts, and of course…the final project for my digital rhetoric class. Obviously the last item on this list is the most exciting, as I am going to have to create my very own multimodal artifact..gasp! I’ve done a good number of these in the past, some of which were so embarrassing (particularly high school group-project ones)  I have no idea how they saw the light of day. Don’t believe me? Click here, skip the first 30 seconds or so where we couldn’t get the music to work, and share in my mortification. It’s so bad that if you watch it, I’ll instantaneously start convulsing wherever I’m at.

In order to avoid looking back on your work and wanting to crawl into a hole, you should understand that the planning process for complex projects is super important; you can’t just wing it and hope for the best. Garbage like the obesity video from high school is what happens when you just wing it. It is a waste of time to put projects out into the universe that are so terrible that they aren’t persuasive…and no matter what your intentions were, if you don’t portray important topics well you may come across as being ignorant.

For my multimodal project I think I’ll continue with the theme of examining the minimalist lifestyle. After the last project (which can be found here) I learned that arguments that promote minimalism typically occur via still graphics with text, or videos that contain a first person point of view. I discovered that many of the arguments are made by either encouraging others to give the minimalist lifestyle a try in order to see what it is all about, such is the case with Pinterest Posts that have quotes or even challenges, or by sharing one’s first hand experience with minimalism via Youtube. Essentially, what the movement boils down to is clearing the physical and mental clutter from one’s life. How extreme you choose to be when you take on this task is up to you.

Because I’ve found that the people who promote minimalism sometimes come across as being extremists, I hope to create an artifact that makes minimalism seem like a realistic possibility as opposed to a crazy, far-fetched lifestyle. I think that I will target people ages 20-35 who are just starting out in life, and are often as overwhelmed by life as they are willing to change aspects of their identities in order to be happier. I see this age group as being the most mold-able as they are not yet set in their ways, but I also see this group as being easiest to target simply because I am a part of it and can understand and empathize with them which may influence my ability to be persuasive.

I know what makes many of them tick; I know the struggles that they have and I’d like to, for lack of better words, prey upon these things in order to have an argument that is worth listening to. For instance, many of us are deep in debt because we’ve gone to college, but we are pressured to have the same relatively expensive lifestyles as our parents and grandparents had…lives that focused on consumerism and striving for the American Dream of working working working so you can get rich and buy more stuff. I feel that a lot of us in the age group defined above recognize that replicating our family members’ lives is either unattainable, or not worth it, but we don’t feel comfortable (or maybe we don’t know how) to live any other way. That is where I come in…I want to show others that by practicing minimalism one can live a happier life. To do this, I think that I’ll develop a 10-15 day minimalist “challenge” that I will film myself completing. It will be a challenge that is realistic, and that encourages others to pick and choose minimalist ideologies that help them feel happier and less stressed.

Header image Courtesy of Viktor Hanacek

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