I think there came a point in my time at Douglas Anderson where I began to question a lot who I was. Part of it was the typical teenage questioning of trying to find out who I was and who I was becoming and who I wanted to become, but the other part of me was questioning who I was as a writer and what it meant to be a writer and if I was even valid in calling myself a writer. It is hard to imagine being able to claim a part of your identity when you are on the cups of everything changing in your life.
Coming into Elan I couldn’t imagine begin a part of something as solidifying as being a part of a literary magazine. It was like a token to me being able to say I am a writer. Maybe if I was a part of something bigger than I could truly be able to call myself a writer and not feel guilty about it.
There was an odd sense of guilt because I felt that since I had trouble being even to claim the writer part of myself. How could I be a part of something that other writers go to?
As I went through my first year on the staff, I had to adjust. I had to adjust to being able to call myself a writer because that is what I am. It will always be a part of me in some way, shape, or form. There is no way for me to try and hide that aspect of myself and I have tried. I through myself into Calculus class and physics and swore that I was never going to study writing ever again. It was denial in its purest form.
I am afraid of losing the part of me that found solace in writing when I go to college. Elan allowed me to feel the power that my own words can have and the power that other people’s words also have. I had forgotten the weigh that words hold.
I want to be able to carry with me the need to spread the love for writing that manifested itself in me through my time spent on the Elan staff. I think that’s what I want to give my junior, too. As managing editor, I spend an ample amount of time reaching out to other schools and students to encourage people to submit to Elan. It is tedious, but I enjoy sending out the emails because receiving an email from someone in China submitting to our literary magazine. It sounds horribly stupid that sending emails can be something that I enjoy, but I am also the person that says she enjoys math and will rant about derivatives when given the chance.
It has been difficult for me to call myself a writer because there is so much I don’t know about myself and am still learning about myself. I thought that all I could be was only a writer and nothing else because of the way I see the world in such black and white terms. I didn’t realize that I can be a writer and someone who majors in math and someone who enjoys sending emails.
– Winnie Blay, Senior Managing Editor