Process Post #11

written and posted Nov 28 by Mallory Mariano

After Dark With Mallory: A Retrospective

A retrospective look at the progression of my site, at the end of the course, styled in a Q&A format of twelve fundamental questions.

What is your favourite book reviewed on After Dark With Mallory?

Swimming In the Dark. Hands down, every time I read that article, it hits me the amount of progress I’ve made with regards to developing a professional voice (if I do say so myself). I read that book back in July, so I would also say that creating a well-worded review was not easy. I remember that particular story, especially the ending, being especially painful. So the idea of revisiting it in a review didn’t seem like the most fun idea, but I am glad I did. The review features some of the best ‘review’ prose that I have ever produced, and I definitely am considering including it in my professional portfolio.

What is your least favourite book reviewed on After Dark With Mallory?

Probably my first reviewed title, These Violent Delights. Only because I genuinely had no clue how to write a literary criticism piece, and I find re-reading my work back to be one of the most abhorrent things. The creative voice will be off, and I am sure that it could use some heavy editing. The book itself is great!

Are you satisfied with the design of the site?

Ever since I landed on the set theme back in early September, fairly early on in the semester, I immediately was in love. Over time, that feeling has dampened slightly, but overall, I do enjoy what I’ve created with the site. And every person I have shown the site too, is in agreement: the site, at least upon first glance, is minimalist yet professional; feminine yet austere; intellectual yet accessible. All reactions that I am happy with.

Are you satisfied with the typography of the site (header, header bar, body, etc)?

In short, yes. Typography, typeface, and font, are one of those design features that I am still personally not 100% acquainted with, and yet I am in-love with the end-product. The header stands out, the body text typeface is legible yet professional, and the sub-header bar is aesthetically pleasing. I’ve never been a fan of serifs, and this is very much reflected in the final product, at the back end of the semester.

Are you satisfied with the predominant colourway of the site?

Colourway was one of those things that, I felt would ostensibly ‘come to me’. And come to me it did. The neutral, white/black tones of the site feel so genuinely like me; if you know me in real life, then you know that I avoid colour like an allergy. So it is only fitting, that my ‘online self’ would reflect this disposition, accordingly.

What book(s) do you wish to have reviewed for After Dark With Mallory?

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Anything Sarah J. Maas

Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Piranesi by Susana Clarke

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

The Salacious Players Club Series by Sara Cate

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

My Dark Vanessa By Kate Elizabeth Russell

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (my current read….I am head over heels, absolutely obsessed with the 1000+ page novel)

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Something by Colleen Hoover, just for fun.

Who do you think the site is for?

I think that if you are a reader who dabbles in many genres, much like myself, then there is content on this site for you. I have not made it a secret that I aspire to write literary criticism comparable to work found in notable publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, etc. So perhaps readership for my site could also appeal to visitors of these platforms as well.

Who do you think the site is not for?

Non-readers may find it difficult to connect with any of my content on the site, for obvious reasons!

Can you see yourself making any money off this the site? Turning it into some kind of passive income?

Perhaps! It is not something that I have paid too much heed. I could look into Google Adsense, in addition to promoting the site on my personal social media channels.

Can you see yourself maintaining and creating content, reviews, for the site past the duration of this course?

I have thought about this, and I truly go back and forth. At this point in the semester, the site may just get pushed to the wayward as I think about projects/hobbies post-the end of this semester. But at the same time, reading is my only hobby. If I find a book that absolutely sweeps me off of my feet, I may once again find myself compelled to write about my experiences.

Like I said, my feelings on the subject definitely waver.

Describe your feelings on blogging now that you are in the tail-end of the semester.

I have massive amounts of respect for professional and or freelance bloggers/content creators. I grossly underestimated the sheer amount of work that would be involved in a regular, or semi-consistent posting schedule. Everything from planning, drafting, editing, designing, curating, and overall overseeing the running of the site, pushed me to my absolute abilities as a student, an academic, writer, and creative.

Will I attempt a career at freelance blogging? I have thought about it. As mentioned in previous process posts, the next logical step would be to try and get my work published in some kind of publication. To boost my credibility as a writer.

I do recognize that, if I were to go ‘all in’ in creating content for my site and trying to monetize my efforts, it would require a full-time focus. While I am not discounting this, there are other avenues that are immediately more pressing/demanding of my time and energy.

Where do you see After Dark With Mallory five years from now?

Hopefully, I would like to see this site in a place where 1) content is being made regularly and 2) my brand has distinguished itself even further. Perhaps the site would act as my official author website/platform? Perhaps I have one or two published works out in the world? Perhaps I have something of a readership; a collective people who care about what I write, what I have to say?

If I have taken anything from PUB101, it is that I should remain unapologetic about my message; to mean what I say, and to stand firmly in my beliefs and how this is projected out  into a world that is increasingly connected online.

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