Writing as My Definition of Community

PICTURE AlexisI never fully understood the meaning of community until I came to Douglas Anderson to study creative writing. Previously, I’d attended an arts middle school for theater, where I found life-long friends and transformed from a shy writer churning out pages and pages of fiction in her free time to a boisterous, enthusiastic performer carrying polished monologues under her belt. I auditioned for both theater and creative writing for Douglas Anderson—the first only to see if I’d get in, and the second with the actual desperate hope of getting in. After being accepted for both, I was forced to make an important decision I’d already subconsciously made years before. Because writing holds much more significance to my personal growth and future, I chose writing.

In middle school, my theater community was my first real impression of how it feels to belong somewhere. Here, it’s different. Writing had always been just a side hobby—an art I practiced after everything else that not many people knew was as important to me as it was. But being around writers every day, given the same assignments and struggling through similar issues as I am, who are just as passionate about writing as I am, not only deepened my own passion for writing, but gave me a deeper sense of belonging that I’d never experienced before.

I find my Junior Poetry class to be the most unifying. Learning tools such as sound in texture and meter in poetry and the collective excitement my class shares for these tools we’re introduced to that we can now utilize in our poetry, like keys for various locks that remained anonymous freshman and sophomore year, reminds me why I chose to further my study of this art. The community of the Creative Writing Department solidifies my passion for writing and serves as a foundation for exponential growth in my craft that I will carry under my belt for the rest of my life.

-Alexis Williams, Junior Editor-in-Chief