Community Through Writing

Logan Blog Post PictureI will never forget the day I was accepted into Douglas Anderson as a freshman, a fresh teenager, a creative writer. I expected to learn about imagery or symbolism or whatever colleges were looking for at that point, but didn’t anticipate how important a community can be towards honing my writing skills. The experience that I have gained as a result is nothing short of invaluable.

Class activities were surrounded by group critiques and group discussions. When my submission was accepted into Élan, I was offered a glimpse into the inner workings of the magazine, and the staff who critiqued my piece to help it get to the place it needed to be. I saw a force that was indestructible: teamwork at its finest. This, I thought. This is what I want to have.

And so the years have offered me such as I have wanted. If I need help with a piece due the next morning, I can text a classmate and they will offer me points for revision. If I need help with a piece I have written on my own time, I come to the same group. And, with my entry into the Élan staff, I have found the community of editors to be all I desired and more. There is always help offered, and there is always a person at your side who understands.

It is a horrible feeling, to think of a future where I do not have the connections I possess now in terms of accessing writers who can help me further my work, and vice versa. Consulting writers is the foundation of how I write; I need unbiased judgement on the pieces I’ve drafted five times. I need fresh eyes on the pieces I don’t know how to finish. Community has changed the ways I write for the better; community is essential to writing. After all, how would Élan have begun if not for such a strong foundation of writers?

-Logan Monds, Junior Social Media & Marketing Editor

Writing Communities

1-writingIt pains me to think that some people finish their education and never read another book. Words have woven themselves so deeply into my life. If I stopped reading and writing I wouldn’t be myself anymore. It would be like reincarnation.I don’t know who I would become.

Lately, I’ve been telling myself this quote a lot: “Dream big, work hard, stay focused, and surround yourself with good people.” Right now my classmates and I share a common goal to work hard and focus on becoming better writers. A community like this should never be taken for granted. It should be appreciated completely.

Pretty soon, I will graduate from high school, and perhaps, I will never see some of these amazing people again. My creative writing class has become a family. Writing reveals such intimate, personal parts of ourselves, and over the past four years, my classmates have come to understand, accept and love each other. It takes a lot to create a community as strong as the one we currently have.

It’s strange to think where we’ll all be ten years from now. Which of us will stay writers? Which of us will get married, have kids, or live somewhere other than Jacksonville?

Maybe our decisions will not only surprise others, but ourselves. I’m such a calender, plan oriented person. Maybe I will make a decision and forget who I am. Maybe the person I will become will be better than the person I am now.

I can’t believe that all of the years of learning, workshopping, and critiquing are almost over at Douglas Anderson.Whoever the members of my class become, we will always know each other within the experiences of our pasts.

I can’t ignore the power of having other writers in my life. People influence each other. I want to stay connected with other writers. Being with other writers creates an even stronger desire to create an art with words.

I will forever try finding other writers to connect with. The power of a writing community creates incredible bonds and paves pathways for improvement.

In the future, the worst thing that could happen to me is that I would wake up one morning and realize I never pursued my passion.

My life is all about the people I surround myself with. Graduation, the summer, and the start of college will really test me. Staying connected sounds like a good plan, but people drift, and meeting new people and making connections takes a leap of courage.

For right now, I’m going to appreciate every moment I have with this writing community. We’re all different and come from different areas of Jacksonville but we cam together for one thing. The love and support a group of strangers can create when they come together is powerful. I can’t say thank you enough for my experiences here at Douglas Anderson with my teachers and peers, who have become my writing family.

-Kat Roland, Art Editor

What We Love

February is a month set aside in remembrance. It is a month to remember historical leaders of the past, and to remember those we love. It is a month of showing passion about the things for which we care. Check out this month’s Vlog, where the Elan staff tells you just a few things that they love. What are some things that you love? Is it writing, like us? Or something else entirely?