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

Making Peace

anna blogRelationships aren’t really something that I’m good at. I’ve never been the type of person that has had an easy time with making connections, whether they are romantic or platonic. I know the main reason behind this is me trying my best to protect myself from disappointment and heart-break, but I also have started to realize that walking this earth alone isn’t the correct way to live.

In the beginning of August, I decided that I would try something new, so I decided to make a connection with someone I knew I cared about and had the potential to love. it was a decision that terrified me but I had promised myself that I would try to change and put myself in uncomfortable situations. It turned out to be amazing, while it lasted. I knew going into something like this that it would eventually end because everything does end, but somehow I made peace with that and continued to fall for him.

It all ended less than a month ago. I originally thought this would completely wreck me and close me out to the world again but the loss ended up doing the opposite. At first it hurt to know that I wasn’t enough for someone who I believed was everything but the entire situation taught me that it’s okay to feel things, to let people in. I was now more open than ever. I wouldn’t cower away from  another opportunity to love someone again.

Now that Valentine’s Day is starting to make an appearance, I don’t feel like I’m going to miss out because I’m no longer in a relationship with him (platonic or romantic). I’ve made peace with the idea that I’m better off alone and I’m content that way. I’ve learned that happiness is found within me and not within someone else.

-Anna Dominguez, Junior Poetry Editor