Defining Myself As A Writer

The experience of joining the staff of Elan has not only provided me with a new perspective on writing in general, but has encouraged me to think about my future as a writer. I have known that I wanted to write since I was a child, hurling through school with a pen and paper in my hand, falling in love with each and every writing or English class I could take. In fifth grade I realized that writing was truly the thing I wanted to pursue and from then on have pursued it whole-heartedly, leading up to my days at Lavilla and Douglas Anderson. My passion has come from my own words, but also the passion and inspiration I see in others. Elan has given me that opportunity to find inspiration so easily in the work of other artists just like me, yearning to have their voices heard.

Although I knew I always had this wild passion within me from a young age, my teachers clueing in to my love for words through my attentiveness to my work I hoped would get published one day and the highest score you could get on an FSA writing test. However, all I could say for myself for the longest time was “I want to write.” My family members and friends would ask me what I wanted to do and I simply answered “write,” but this answer did not feel good enough, considering that the world thought of writing as a hobby, and up until a certain point, I did too. I often felt discouraged because I wasn’t sure how to apply my passion to an actual career, continuously searching and coming up with different genres to choose from, but still nothing that would guarantee a job.

It wasn’t until I began at Douglas Anderson, and really until my junior year when I joined the Elan staff, that I began to see writing differently. Rather than picturing myself sitting at a desk as a freelance writer, I saw myself in an office, working with others and creating something that allowed me to expel the creative passions I have had since childhood. Surrounded by my classmates who not only loved to write, but were also working towards the same goal of putting together a book filled with inspiration of other artists, felt exciting and important to my writing journey.

Joining this staff and participating in all of the smaller steps as a team made me realize that there are many more options than simply “writing” as a career. As I begin to choose my college and build my future, I know my goal is to work on a literary magazine in my adulthood and earn my MFA in college. These past two years on the Elan staff has made writing become real to me and now when someone asks me what I want to do when I grow up I can be certain that when I say “write,” there is far more to it than putting a pen to paper.

Lexey Wilson, Senior Editor-in-Chief