To my fellow Scribes:
I know there are not many of you, and I know that what I post on this blog is not always top priority. Still, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you — for reading and being there and caring.
I’ve been on hiatus from blogging for the past few weeks for a couple of reasons. One: I had to take finals and graduate high school and the general amount of things to do and goodbyes to say became a tad overwhelming. Two: I really needed to take some time to get my head straight. My personal life is in a bit of an upheaval, and the stressful transition has not been gracious to my mental health. I’m sure many of you can understand.
The summer before my senior year of high school, I attended the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, which is a writing camp that draws teenagers from all over the world. For my senior project, I wrote an essay about what I took away from that summer. Today, I would like to share an excerpt with you.
When my parents greeted me at the airport after IYWS, they wanted to know how I felt about the experience.
How I felt? How could I possibly explain to them how I felt? What I did? Who I met? I struggle writing this paper now because a part of me fears forgetting. I don’t want to forget what happened in Iowa, and writing about it cements the knowledge that it is over, and runs the risk that I will miss a detail that at the time, felt so important, so crucial. I want to do my experience justice.
I suppose how I feel is…relieved.
I am relieved that I am not the only one who prioritizes writing over sleep and social interactions. I am relieved that I now have a network of friends and teachers who will help me, honestly and often brutally, improve. I am relieved that there is a place where saying that you want to pursue a writing career is not given leery looks and paired with questions like, “Ok, but what are you going to do to, you know, make a living?” I am relieved that there are writers out there who can make a living and enjoy their craft for what it intrinsically is — and maybe they don’t make a lot of money, but they’re happy where they are. I am relieved that writing isn’t an unrealistic dream.
It might not seem like much, but learning and writing and reading with aspiring writers and established authors has helped restore a bit of faith in myself. I think that before Iowa, people had me convinced that writing is a creative hobby, but it is not a livelihood. It is not something worth studying or pursuing professionally. You do it in your down time, and don’t expect anything from it. A lot of people, people who I considered friends, told me that they admired my work, but didn’t understand why I would want to fork over college tuition to study literature and composition. My friends at home wanted to be physicists and doctors and engineers, professions that, in their words, “paid off.”
Now, I am going to expect everything from my writing. My pay off will be my own satisfaction.
Attending the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio was a great, immeasurable relief.
Thank you, fellow Scribes. I am pleased to announce that my hiatus is over, and I have an entire summer’s worth of writing tips, poetry, and prompts ready to share with you. 🙂