I am a Writer

lex bpTowards the middle of my sophomore year, I began losing my love and need for writing. I had exhausted the typical topics I was used to writing about, written about so many things I needed to write about, and worked out so much of my internal conflicts that I was… happy. So happy I was another cliché. Being in this satisfied place, I didn’t know what was next for me so I kind of just avoided that topic altogether, for a while at least. I figured it would go away, but, of course, it did not. I still had the rest of my life ahead of me, much less the rest of the school year and there were assignments due. While I was in this stuck place, lacking addiction I once had to writing, I wrote so many awful things about being happy. That’s when I began to think, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I don’t know if I am capable.” It wasn’t until I wrote a poem about new-found love, ironically the least cliché thing I’d written in so long, that I regained the knowledge that I am a writer.

I still did not feel like my normal, writer self, but after a talk with one of my beloved fellow writers and mentors, I made the decision to take the summer to stop, breathe, and stimulate my mind in other ways I had not; I needed the time to recharge and rediscover myself. I needed to stop over-thinking. I spent the time trying new restaurants, going to art museums, and going on long, hot hikes through nature. I did not read or write until one night I pulled out “If Only You People Could Follow Directions” By Jessica Hendry Nelson to loan to a friend. I decided to reread parts of it and sobbed in my bed for hours. Every emotion I had ever felt in my whole life came rushing back into my body and I thought about the first time I had ever read anything written by her. In the midst of self-discovery and freshman year the essay “Rapture of the Deep” was an in-class read. After that, it was like the marrow that had been sucked out of my bones was put back; I knew I was a writer.

It was inside of me and there was no going back; I could never not be a writer.

When I read Nelson again over the summer, it rekindled the sort of hunger we, as artist, feel in the bottom our chests to create, but also explore humanity. We are very curious human beings; we want to know. I want to know. Through my journey this far, I’ve come to realize that I can write about my situations or the things I am still struggling with in a way that is not sad or happy, but simply thoughtful. Writing does not amount to happy or sad; it amounts to the meaning of life or, what meaning you give your life.

Lex Hamilton, Co-Marketing/Social Media Editor

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

Rejuvenation Of Writing

KB PicTo be a writer does not mean that that piece of you is always going to be accessible. Sometimes, you can go weeks or months without feeling the need to put anything of value into this outlet. Often times, it is a certain circumstance that takes this fire from you. Ironically, this becomes a cause of misery that works as fuel to start back up again on the individual’s journey as a writer.

Personally, the experience that made me temporarily quit writing was when I got my first speeding ticket. It was not the ticket that really took my motivation, but the fact that this fine resulted in me losing my car for several weeks. In addition to this, I had to work to gain the funds to pay for it. Without this transportation, I realized how much freedom I didn’t have before I gained my license. This confinement resulted in me remaining indoors, wasting my time with sitcoms and the drawn out plots of video games.

While this may sound like a pleasurable alternative to leaving the house, as it usually is, it quickly became lonely when none of my friends could be reached through anything other than text and the occasional phone call. I lost my motivation to try to do anything. It seemed that with my loss of freedom came the loss of responsibility and admiration for the kind of life I was on the path to living.

As I noticed more frequently how far behind I was on the lives of those I once cared about, I decided something would have to change. I found the old bike that I had once been closely acquainted with before the introduction of a car. The wheels weren’t deflated yet so I kept riding north until they gave out to the sand they met. I seemed to have forgotten how close the beach was to where I once lived. By this time, it was nearing sunset and the sky lowered its eyes to cast shades of violet, grey, and pink along the thin space between the sea and the sky. I sat beneath an abandoned life guard chair as people left the spectacle of the shore behind. I remained stagnant, moving the sand gently over and under my toes thoughtfully.

As dramatic as it sounds, I felt so filled and peaceful then that it only felt appropriate to pull out the notebook that followed me everywhere and its accompanying pencil; I had to write. Though what I wrote wasn’t anything incredibly eloquent or beautiful, it was enough to make me feel as if I had rejoined the untied ends of my disconnected attention together. From there, I suddenly began to turn back to my methods of using writing as a form of release. This practice allowed me to gain peace with myself and my decisions.

As an appropriate accompaniment to this rejuvenation, the next week was the beginning of school. The reconnection with my friends and a well-planned schedule made it much easier to remain consistent with the art I practiced and how often I produced it. Since I have begun again, I feel as if I am reconnecting with an old friend. Though I am behind, I am confident that writing is something that will follow me through everything, despite its ebbs and flows. In my experience, it is the most underappreciated foundation of the human temple. I hope to one day not neglect this pillar as often as I have, as I clearly see that this practice only truly has a positive impact on the life of the writer and, if the writer is successful, the reader.

Kathryn Wallis, Junior Art Editor