Being on the Elan staff has shown me that there is more to being a writer than just putting words to paper. By that I mean writing is a craft that takes practice to be improved on. Earlier in my life, I never really practiced writing. It was never something I did for myself, it was mostly just a prompt I was handed or an assignment due in the next class. Writing like this can make it feel more like a job and less like an art. On the staff, I saw the work put in by other members and realized that being a writer involved work outside a pen and paper. Production of work is very important, of course, but if there is no outreach, no work towards spreading the arts to the community in and out of the walls of the publication, then there is no publication.
On the staff, I was exposed to a lot of writing in different genres from very different voices. This exposure has impacted my own way of writing. I think it is very true that to be a better writing, one has to read. I use to think reading published work from masterful writers was what improved another writer’s art. Being able to read the work of young emerging writers has taught me techniques of stylistic choices and character in all genres.
What I hope to bring to the staff next year is what I’ve learned personally as a writer and what I learned in my positions on the staff. Again, as a writer, I learned the importance of reaching people with writing, taking our art to the community. Through the positions I held, I learned what it is to take responsibility for this outreach and what it means to be a member of the staff.
-Lindsay Yarn – Website Editor/Creative Non-Fiction Editor