Defending Writing

winnie picAlmost mid-way through my sophomore year, I just lost writing. I felt no want or even a need to write and the work that I was producing I didn’t care about. Having lost this practically innate feeling that had always been a part of me was strange and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong. Can there be a wrong way of writing?

            At this time, in our creative writing class our teacher, Ms. Bundy, had us studying Magical Realism, which I didn’t really like anyways, so I blamed my not-so-enthusiastic attitude towards writing on the fact that I just couldn’t write Magical Realism. It was denial in its finest form. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write, but that I just couldn’t. Or this is what I told myself.

At this time, my life was the epitome of a teenage movie. I bathed in my teen angst. Writing seemed trivial in comparison to everything else happening because it seemed like everything was happening to me and I had no way to stop any of it. In the spare time I could wedge into my day, I used to write. I carried my journal with me everywhere I went. And now, my journal laid haphazardly in the space between my desk and my bed, mocking me, so I hid it underneath schoolwork and that was my new excuse; I was too busy with school to write more than I already had to.

I kept coming up with different excuses to defend the fact that I just could not stand writing. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Writing became a chore. I watched episodes Criminal Minds, instead of revising a story or a poem, and I saw no problem in this. I went on like this through a good portion of the second quarter because it was fine. Ms. Bundy didn’t comment on how my pieces were lackluster or the fact that my notes turned into chicken scratch.

It wasn’t really until winter break when I realized how much I missed the act of writing. I missed having the drive to want to sit down and write anything whether it be amazing or absolutely horrendous. Winter break meant that I had an excessive amount of time on my hands. With winter break came a tsunami of various emotions, ranging from joy to desperation to anger. I felt heavy from everything I wasn’t writing.

So, I forced myself to journal. Every day, I made myself sit down and write. It didn’t matter what I wrote as long as I was writing. Honestly, it was a chore and I loathed it, but I still did it. I still sat down with my journal and wrote. Slowly, it began to feel familiar, less mechanical. I felt light again. I had to learn how to love writing again.

Winter break ended and I worried that I would fall into the same habit of creating excuses to not write and slide back into the same funk I was in. I refused to make writing my New Year’s resolution because no one ever commits to those and I needed to commit to writing. Making time for writing is hard and I don’t write every single day and I wish I could say that I did, but that’s not how it is. For me, writing is a way to take a weight off of myself and put it onto paper. If I could weigh my journal, it would weigh 2000 pounds.

There are nights where I choose writing over sleeping because I know I cannot carry that weight anymore, which is okay. Writing is a matter of making life easier because that is the only way I know how to.

Winnie Blay, Junior Managing Editor/Submissions

Poetry

cover-65-54c54763e0833Poetry has always marveled me with its ability to craft words together and create magic on a page. The power present in and between words, hidden in the white space and embedded in the title astonishes me every time. I have found strength in the confined space of a poem, and this art form has taught me more lessons than simply what is seen on the page.

Enjambment helped me overcome boundaries. Forced me to take leaps and surprise myself. Titles taught me to take control. Meter gave me a voice in its melody. Listening to my whispers amidst the commotion of life. Hyperboles warned me not to take things too seriously. Metaphors took me deeper. Forced me to understand all sides of a story. Taught me to explore the mind. Ambiguity allowed me to keep things to myself, to have secrets. Symbolism changed the way I viewed minuscule details. Suddenly nothing felt insignificant. Imagery gave me colors and instructed me to paint. Images awakened my world. Sensory details found their way around my body, hiding under my tongue and deep in my ears, becoming a part of me.

Poetry has given me a different outlet for expression, one where I challenge myself to understand my own perceptions. It has pushed me to understand the origins, implications and the underlying details. Poetry has transformed my process of thinking and has inevitably affected the way I respond to the world.

For the beauty it holds, and the power it has given me, I am incredibly grateful for the art of poetry.

-Briana Lopez, Junior Social Media Editor 

Why I Read the Same Novels Over and Over Again as if That’s Normal

downloadMy mother cannot read the same book twice. She just can’t do it. She has made exceptions for franchises like Twilight and Hungry Games, but only as a refresher before she goes and sees the movies. She is constantly looking for new material to entertain her, new characters to meet and new plot lines to follow. I, on the other hand, can’t put a good book down.

The first time that I read “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell was in sixth grade. It’s 1,024 pages long and I finished it in a weekend. Since then, I’ve consistently read it again once or twice every year. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day or am feeling entirely uninspired in my own writing, I’ll flip to the part where Rhett steals a horse for Scarlett, or where Frank Kennedy falls in love with a girl dressed in drapes as if that’s where I’d left off, and read on from there.

I’m not a fiction writer. I write fiction, sometimes, but it’s not how I identify. I am, however, a fiction reader. I love analyzing the same plot line over and over again; I love crying when my favorite character dies or losses love all  over again. I enjoy it just as much as I enjoy finding new literature to read.

I think, in part, it’s because I understand how much a writer has to go through to create something like this. To write a novel, or even a poem or a short story, a writer has to know their characters fully. We don’t usually make things up as we go along. We usually plan things out, we think about who our characters are; we think about how and why these things are happening to them. To a writer, their characters are real people. So to me, when I read about them, these characters are real people too.

The best part of writing is that it encapsulates humanity. I think that I read the same novels again and again because I can relate to them, even if the story does take place in Georgia during the Civil War or in a constant loop of reincarnation. I see myself in the characters and in the lessons they learn. I want to see their triumphs, to laugh at the funny things that happen in their lives and even to relive their heartbreak. Novels remind me that everything ends, but also that everything can begin again. It’s kind of hopeful. And so, I can’t ever really move on from a story that truly touches me.

Do you have any novels like that?

-Savannah Thanscheidt, Web Editor