Author Archives: Milton Jang

My Experience as a Publisher: PUB101 and Beyond

Okay, I need to admit something.

I actually enrolled for PUB101 way back in the spring of 2019. I didn’t take it then (because it didn’t fit my schedule), but I was interested because of the positive things I’d heard from some of my friends at the time. I did, however, attend the first lecture to get a feel for what the class was about. And it was great! It was in an actual physical classroom. Anyway, I ended up dropping the class in the second week because it didn’t fit my schedule. But really, I secretly thought, “I can do this class on my own without even taking it! Maybe I should start a blog then?” — I’m honestly so glad I did because I learned so much about myself as you will soon read (this class was great too 🙂 ).

So, I did (after a lot of contemplating and people on the Internet convincing me to), I started a blog. I wrote about stuff and ideas I’d been thinking about, did some reflections on life, and shared my thoughts on interesting videos I came across. I was just trying stuff out, writing about a whole bunch of topics, and trying to figure out what it is I was interested in. Eventually, I did, and that’s where my blog stands today. Obviously, I fast-forwarded time on the details of this one because you know, brevity.

First and foremost, my blog is for me. It acts as a personal museum of my past where I can go back sometime in the future and indulge and get lost in my own past self — like a digital garden (Basu, 2020). It isn’t all selfish though, and I think it’s best explained with the blurb I have on my home page:

“I don’t consider myself an expert at anything in particular (yet), nor do I consider myself a seasoned veteran at the game of life—though being an extremely knowledgeable and wise sentient shaman would be epic. I’m only 21, and I’ve got a lifetime of experience ahead of me to embrace. My goal with this blog is to share my reflections on my life (past, present, and future), important lessons I’ve learned, and talk about anything and everything that fascinates me. My hope is that through reading the assortment of stories I’ve written you’ll be able to see life in a more positive light.

That’s essentially what my blog is about. It’s a treasure chest of ideas filled with things ranging from life experiences, personal stories, poems, reflections, things I’ve learned, and much. It’s me sharing my journey through life. At the same time, it’s me sharing insights. It’s me sending out an encouraging message with each of my posts. It’s me trying to be the light in someone’s day.

There’s one topic I know more about than anyone else, and that is myself. (Nguyen, 2020)

And who is my blog for? It is for people interested in personal growth and self-love. That being said, there is a slight quirk to that, and to explain, I want to draw attention to my mission statement:

Writing to inspire personal growth & self-love for the millions. Living to spark joy in the heart of one.

The quirk is that I am writing for people, for those who don’t believe in themselves yet, for lost souls who don’t know they are lost. I know that’s general and obscure, but that’s my goal. Because I’m a storyteller. My posts aren’t blogs or articles, they’re stories—stories I genuinely believe can help people and that people can connect with or relate to.

Which is a great transition into my next topic (!) — value. What value am I providing through my blog? And to whom? I touched on this a bit above, but I’ll expand. Again, it goes back to my mission statement. I ultimately want to help people live better lives. For example, if I want to instill a lesson on the importance of random acts of kindness, I will write about an experience I’ve had where someone did something nice to me and how that impacted my day and how it made me feel. The value is delivered through the stories I tell.

Editorial, design, and content — let’s talk about that. How am I addressing my audience through these channels? I think the core of this is the reader-on-website experience, so I’ll start there (the blog post page of course).

Each one of my posts has a featured image (the one that appears at the top) that relates to the post’s content in one way or another. I source these from Unsplash because all the images are clean and professional. This matters because of first impressions. I choose to use a professional image because it subconsciously sends a message to readers about the quality of the writing. Those two factors don’t necessarily correlate with one another, but if I used drawings I made in Microsoft Paint as my featured images instead, you can see what I mean. People wouldn’t take what I am saying as seriously. And I do want to make an impression on people.

Now moving onto widgets. I have a couple. If you’re reading this you can see them on the right. I’ve got a little blurb about who I am at the top, a search bar, recent posts, archives, and my favorite: reading music. Err, well, technically they’re videos, but, videos can be of musical content! *thumbs up emoji* I really like this addition to my blog because I feel like music (the right type of course, not hard-rock or metal) helps people get into the mood of reading, for me at least.

Comments. No one has commented so far, but I do send what I write to my friends and receive their comments through messages. How has that influenced me? It’s been really nice to hear from them and what they thought of each piece. They love what I write and always encourage me to keep writing.


At the beginning of the semester, I thought the publication of the self was just about an expression of self — since that’s what I had mostly done with my blogging up to that point. And in part, that’s a core feature of publishing yourself. YouTube’s old slogan used to be “Broadcast Yourself” (Parker, 2019). But what I’ve learned is that publishing is also about the audience and what they want. There has to be some sort of takeaway.

That takeaway can be in the form of practical advice and steps, a take-home question that makes people think, or just making people feel something.

This idea that publishing = expression + catering towards audience needs & wants was further reinforced in my mind as a legit concept by me also being part of the publishing team in my club. As the editor of SFU LYFE, a personal and professional development platform for students, I have to make sure the articles my blog writers submit are suitable for the SFU LYFE audience. If they are and do have a takeaway of some form, perfect. But if they don’t and lack a takeaway or the message is lost in the wording of it, I have to be strict in helping sort that out before the article is published.

Looking forward beyond PUB101, I plan to continue blogging and writing. And though I don’t plan on taking PUB201 since I don’t need it for my publishing minor requirements (but we’ll see), I for one will continue to write eternally until the end of time. I also have another secret blog which I won’t disclose the name of here, and I plan to pick up where I left off on that. I kinda stopped posting stuff to that blog in June of this year, and I want to use what I’ve learned in this class and see where that goes.

Adios!
—Milton


Basu, T. (2020, September 03). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/

Nguyen, M. (2020, October 06). What to Write About When You’re Not an Expert in Anything. Retrieved from https://medium.com/illumination-curated/what-to-write-about-when-youre-not-an-expert-in-anything-a414572972e7

Parker, T. (2019, May 05). YouTube quietly removes “Broadcast Yourself” motto from its official blog. Retrieved from https://reclaimthenet.org/youtube-removes-broadcast-yourself-motto/

Written From The Heart

On Dec. 1st, I submitted my poem, Everything I Wish I Told You, to the publication Written From The Heart on Medium and as of yesterday it was approved and published! When I saw what happened I was in a bit of shock, thinking, “woah that happened?” I shouldn’t be surprised—because it’s a small publication and I expected to get in—and even though I was fairly certain of the results, I was still surprised.

Which is weird, because in my mind it had already happened, but at the same time not really. Because in those two days of waiting and wondering what’s gonna happen, doubt kicked in (as it always does). But anyways.

I feel like we are somehow hurting inside but none of us truly want to tell other people how we really feel. I wanted to break that ice.

I originally drafted the poem as a message to one of my best friends on Aug. 10th. I was having a rough day and needed to express how I was really feeling to someone. I don’t do that very often, especially at a low. I called it: The Book of Truth: Everything I Wish I Told You But Wouldn’t Couldn’t Shouldn’t.

And it was exactly that—a list of thoughts I’d been having and constantly thinking about that I so desperately needed to get out. How I sometimes hate being asked, “how are you?” because the answer I give is a flakey “good, thanks,” but never the answer that is true because oh let’s just move on shall we. Or how food can so delicious and so tasteless simultaneously. Stuff like that.

I ended it by saying: “There are 100,000 other things I wouldn’t, couldn’t, and (probably) shouldn’t tell you. I am scared to death to tell you all this, but I know my flaws are what make me human.”

It felt like I just dropped a bomb.

An emotional bomb.

Made of words.

On bad days, we feel like losers. Like the entire world is caving in on you. So let it.

But don’t dwell in your misery forever. Remember, you still have a choice. You can feel bad for yourself (which is a totally viable option depending on your situation; sometimes we just need to be sad) or you can take the necessary steps to make yourself feel better.

Workout. Go for a run. Punch a pillow. Write in a journal. Call a friend. Tell someone. Go for a walk. Listen to some music—zoning out to Fight Song by Rachel Platten and Brave by Sara Bareilles on repeat is actually what helped lift my mood up on that particular day, so I highly recommend. You do you.

I See You

Something strange happened to me this evening. I was on my usual 45-minute walking route on the final stretch before I would make a right onto my block. It was at the local school in my area. People were coming out of cars and I could see kids gather outside the front doors, what was going on I have no clue.

So I’m walking at a moderately brisk pace—headphones in and audiobook rolling—and I’m eager to get back home for dinner. But then I see this man coming in opposite direction, and from a distance, I could tell his pace was much slower than mine. For some reason, I slowed down—just a touch. I don’t know why.

And as we passed, I chose not to ignore, but to look at the man. He was 50-looking. If I had to put a number on it, it would be 50. No more, no less, just 50 flat. He was a Caucasian dressed in black (?), but to be honest I don’t remember much of his attire. What struck me most was his face.

He had what I could only describe, a stone face. One with moderately chiseled wrinkles; some cut deep, some only blunted the surface of his skin. Like most elderly people, his face was well worn-out with clearly marked contours. In that brief moment that our eyes met, his face reminded me of the Grand Canyon.

Only, a sad Grand Canyon. Because this time I really saw him. I didn’t just look at him, I saw him. And as I did, I wondered, “what are you going through?” and “what troubles are happening in your life?” Again, I don’t know why, why on this evening, and why with this man. Maybe because he was walking out at night, alone, and slowly—but then again, I do that sometimes.

And at the same time as I thought those thoughts, I felt he was talking to me with his eyes and his look—ohh that look. This is what I drew: “You have it so good, you don’t know how good you have it. You’re so young and have a whole life in front of me. Just look at me. I’m frail, old, and lonely.” Then I felt guilty.

Like two trains that pass each other on the railroad, the man was gone, and I was… somewhere. I hadn’t noticed it, but my brisk pace had become a leisure stroll, and I forgot I was even listening to an audiobook. And once again, I don’t know why.

It really made me think. I also didn’t believe that just happened and everything I was experiencing. And then it hit me.

“Please see me.”

Though the man didn’t explicitly say those words, that was the message I received from… somewhere, somehow.


It’s weird because normally you just walk past people on the streets and go about your day. From experience—and in general—teens and young people always seem to ignore you. But old people? They’re different. Not all of them, but enough to make me notice. Because they’ve lived life and they’ve gone through some hard stuff. And they look at you differently that way.

Empathy.

Regret.

Compassion.

Mystery.

Longing for the past.

Hope for the future.

We live in a world filled with self-centered, egotistical people who

And sometimes, all we want is to be seen. We want other people to feel our hurt and see past who we present ourselves as. I know I do. And I think it’s our duty to give that gift to those people. The gift of just knowing someone out there sees where we’re at.

Community Guidelines

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

Henry James

I’m going to keep this short since there is no need to extend regulations beyond what needs to be said. Too long and we get something like terms and conditions we blindly scroll past, and too short, well, there’s no such thing as that. Without further ado, here are the rules of my if you are going to engage with my content:

1. Be Kind

This goes without being said. Be a nice human being. Any comments made should not be aimed at hurting others. Have respect for one another. I don’t need to explain to you how to be nice—Google it if you want—because you already know.

2. Share

If you read anything on my site that helped you or think could benefit someone else, I’m asking you to please share it with them. Many times, people go through hard things without anyone else ever knowing. I believe that if we can be nice to people and care for people always the world will be a better place. This doesn’t need to be a grandeur gesture. It can be as simple as sending an encouraging message. One day, they will forever thank you.

If you can help one person change and that one can help someone else, you can make a huge impact. Just do what you can do, even if it seems very small—because it might just turn into something really big.

Sadie Robertson; Live Original

Moon Mother

I am in awe at what I experienced tonight. It was something I never would have expected to happen. My walk wasn’t just any ordinary walk. It was an enchanted evening excursion. That still, is an oversimplification and watering down of actual experience.

This is an encounter I had with the moon. She was so bright and so perfectly round. I’m not sure what quite happened, but now my relationship with the moon has forever changed.

I’ve never actually stopped to appreciate the beauty in nature. I’ve always just admired it as I continued my walk. But not tonight. And It’s so different when you just stop walking. It’s a whole another experience.

Mother Moon,
Out of nowhere, you appeared
Atop the deep blue sky and
Between dancing clouds,
The beauty of the mirage
Was in the blend of it all.

Mother moon,
I took a photo of you with my phone
But quickly realized nothing can capture
You in all your glory,
Better than the human eye.
Not any Hollywood camera,
For witness is above all.

Mother moon,
You pierce the night sky and
Captivate me enough to follow you
Into the middle of a field.
So seductive you are,
You attract like a magnet.

Here I stand, memorized
You so strikingly bright,
It is cold and dark,
Yet damning divine.

Here I sit,
On the cold and wet grass,
Listening to worship,
And staring at you,
Wondering why.

Mother moon,
Your cloud friends are gone,
What happened to you?
Oh but now I know,
Beauty is fleeting,
And now I must go.

Mother moon,
I feel your presence,
Are you watching me?
Like a lighthouse,
Like a watchkeeper,
Always keeping an eye out,
And with you, I feel safe.
Because wherever I go,
There you are.

a poem that will change your perspective on life

This is a poem by Jon Jorgenson, an author, speaker, and spoken word poet whose YouTube videos have been viewed by more than 20 million people. This is a poem about our life and how we get so caught up in the details of our day-to-day routine that we lose sight of the grander scheme of things.


When I was seven years old, I flew in a plane for the first time,
And I created a game for myself.
Count the number of backyard pools you see.
You miss one, you lose.

When I turned twenty-one, I flew to Los Angeles,
Which was a first for me on two accounts:
My first time in L.A,
And my first time losing the swimming pool game.

For the least captive audience ever,
You try and tell me what to do in case of a water landing.
But what you don’t understand is I put the frequent in flyer.
Collecting reward, which really only amounts to flying more.
Gazing out my rounded rectangle, I never miss the takeoff.
The slow zoom as things bigger than you fade smaller and smaller until they become so distant that I can’t even squish them between my fingers anymore.

Imagine how a bird must feel the first time it swoops down to land on the ground and thinks,
That house is much bigger than it looks.
I like it better up there.
Where you’re the first to know the weather,
Suspended between time zones and atmospheres,
I get antiquated with the clouds,
Cheating death and gravity for $329 plus tax.

From up there, I see where roads begin and end,
And I want to cheer on the cars, you’re almost there, it’s just around the corner, you just can’t see it yet.
From up there, I see small clusters of light reminding me of brain activity scans
And I think, a city is perhaps a synapse of God’s brain.
Lighting up where connections are being made with the almighty,
Which makes sense why most of the earth below is so pitch black.

With the seatbelt sign turned on and the man in the aisle seat white knuckled on the arm rest,
I remind him that no plane has ever crashed from turbulence.
But if we had the choice, don’t you think most passengers would give up before it passes?
What if on the ground we had no choice but to strap in and wait it out?
How many still fathered children would there be?
How many unsigned divorce papers?
How many unread suicide notes?
How many of us would stick around if we knew that what is turbulent is ultimately harmless?

And that, though annoying, the change fee is necessary.
Because change never comes free and I’ll gladly pay the price if it will get us where we’re going faster.
But we fail to recognize that if your name’s on the suitcase,
It’s just gonna come around again, and again until you grab it.
The turnstile of life keeps kicking back what you refuse to pick up.
In other words, we all have to claim our baggage before we can move on.
From up there, I can see all that.
But from down here, I’m lucky if I even take the time to look up and wish I could fly.


The Poem’s Meaning

The slow zoom as things bigger than you fade smaller and smaller until they become so distant that I can’t even squish them between my fingers anymore.

Our world as we know it (our house, neighborhood, school…etc.) looks so much smaller when viewed from in the sky. It’s comparing taking off from a plane to taking a step back and zooming out of our everyday lives and looking at the bigger picture.

“From up there…”

Our live look very different when we look at as a whole. I remember hearing this phrase that goes something along the lines of: “you can’t see the bigger picture when you’re in the frame.” And that’s so true.

From up there, I see where roads begin and end, and I want to cheer on the cars, you’re almost there, it’s just around the corner, you just can’t see it yet.

Sometimes in life, we feel so trapped and hopeless. We ask ourselves, “when is it going to end?” This is talking about how when things are hard and it all seems so difficult, it feels this hardship is never going to end, and by looking at your life as a whole, you can see that it’s almost over, you just can’t see it.

I remind him that no plane has ever crashed from turbulence.

Turbulence: the struggles and hardships of life.

When you experience turbulence on a plane, you buckle in, hold tight, and eventually it subsides. It was temporary, no big deal.

But how many of us give up on ourselves when life gets hard? Like turbulence, our troubles are temporary.

From up there, I can see all that. But from down here, I’m lucky if I even take the time to look up and wish I could fly.

From up above, when we look at the bigger picture of our lives, we can see it all: when our hardships begin and end, how far along the next storm is.

But when we’re on the ground, when we’re so absorbed in the day to day grind of things, so focused on how tough things are, we don’t ever stop and think about life as a whole.


Key Takeaway

The turbulence that pervades our lives seems to last forever when we’re so engrossed in trudging through the viscous muddy waters of life. It’s so foggy that you can barely see three feet in front of you.

We become tunnel visioned, and we start to lose hope.

When you’re in the gutter and down in the dumps, take a moment to stop, zoom out, and remind yourself that turbulence is temporary.

In the whole scheme of things, the whole however many years you’ve got left, how bad is it really to get through this horrible month, or this stressful week, or this bad day?

Word Infographic

This week I made an infographic about myself. My initial idea was to have my name in the middle and have words sprout out like tangled roots to represent the idea that all these things are part of and attached to me. I decided to go with a simplistic typographic infographic mixed with black and white icons over the typical colorful infographics with lots of vector graphics because this was more… me.

Some of the text is hard to read because of how small I made it, so I’ll explain here. In the top right is a list of the social media that I use; the paragraphs in the light gray text are two quotes I find inspiring; right next to the ‘Nature’ heading is the list of books I’ve read so far in 2020; and finally, the words in the top left are song names and artists I’ve discovered this year organized to look like a sound wave.

Blog Review: poetposits.com

This week I will be reviewing poetposits.com which is a blog ran by Lisa, a black student, and her tagline on her homepage is: “The Life, the times , the thoughts , the poems and the assignments of Lisa a black student.”

As it stands, the site isn’t very marketable to its intended audience. When I first visited the homepage, the first couple of things I noticed were: the generic ‘your logo’ icon in the top left, the fairly low resolution stretched image (which also has a watermark), and the grammatical errors under the main heading. Some suggestions I have is to remove the logo as it currently only stands as a distraction, find a similar-looking high-resolution image off of a site like Unsplash, and tidy up the grammar in the site’s tagline.

My comments on the About page are similar to what I just mentioned. The site would benefit from fixing up the grammatical errors (there should be no spaces before a comma) as well as adding a bit more description to the page. Right now, there are only two sentences on the About page describing who Lisa is, so adding more information about herself would help out her audience greatly to get to know her more.

Moving onto her Blog/Poems page, I do appreciate the sidebar she has going. There is an ‘About This Site’ section which gives a bit of extra detail about what the site is about and a ‘Find Us’ section which includes an image of Lisa and where people can contact her. She does, however, include her e-mail and Instagram information as plain text. While it gets the job done, I would suggest trying to find an Instagram widget that embeds an Instagram feed onto the site so that people wouldn’t have to copy and paste a username into Instagram on another tab.

At the time of this writing, there is only one blog post which is a poem. When I check out the course work page, I see there are plenty more process posts for this course. I would recommend Lisa to continue to post more poems to fill up the page more and so that people have more content to read.

Gary Vaynerchuk states in a video that the process of marketing yourself especially for more personal sites like Lisa’s involves building up your personal brand. There is potential for the site to garner an audience, but there needs to be more focus on fixing small details like grammar, adding more information to the home and about pages, and adding more blog posts.

Everything I Wish I Told You

One

You ask me, “how are you?”
And I say, “I’m fine.” 
NO. 
I’m. 
NOT
“Fine.”
I lied. Sorry.
To answer your question,
which by the way
I hate with a fiery passion, 
I’m horrible. 
Miserable. 
In pain.
Fragile as glass.
I could break under the pressure
of my own existence.
As tragic as it may sound,
I want to die.

Two

When I suffer, I won’t tell you. 
I know you care. I know you want to know.
Because I thought,
maybe
it’s best if I let you be,
and maybe
you don’t care at all
about my problems
and how much I hurt,
but maybe
I’m
totally
wrong.

Three

I often wonder what the world
would be like without me. 
If I made a difference,
If I even mattered.
Most importantly,
if I touched
your
heart.

Four

I feel so whole yet so empty, 
so complete yet so broken inside, 
so connected yet so alone,
and I don’t know why…
Why
why
why?

Five

I love food,
but sometimes,
food just tastes like
gray paint and nothingness.
Michelin star restaurant,
Gordan Ramsey pasta,
or even my favorite
macaroni and cheese
(mixed with ketchup),
I couldn’t care less.
No offense.

Six

I wish I were a ghost
so I could cry in peace.
Vanish from the world
and all its gloom n’ doom.
No more locking myself in closets, 
no more trips to the middle of park fields,
no more burning alive in showers.
All things I do to escape. this. world.
Like a tortoise, I curl up 
in my secret hideaway,
not wanting to explain
why I’m sad,
so just
let
me
be.

Seven

I don’t even understand myself. 
How can anyone understand me?
Can’t you see how lost I am?
Wandering around aimlessly,
in a meadow of flowers,
collecting acorns,
like a child.
Please.
Go away.
No, wait.
Come back.
I didn’t mean it.
Just hold my hand,
and look into my eyes.
You’re my only, and all I need.

Eight

I am sad, 
depressed,
and lonely.
Thank you.
For being here
with me when I 
needed you the most.
Because of you,
I smile and laugh.
Superficiality sucks.
Rawness rocks.
Suffer with me and
let pain be our tea.
Let’s heal together, 
relate to one another.
Let’s be friends,
until the end.

Nine

I like you.
I really like you.
I really like like you.
I love you.
I really love you.
As a person,
romantically,
as a friend,
I honestly can’t tell.

Ten

I am scared to tell you all this, and
there are 100,000 other things 
I wouldn’t, couldn’t, and 
(probably) shouldn’t tell you. 
But I will.
From now
to forever,
to infinity
and beyond.