Recently, I have been working on my passion project at school. “Passion projects” are something we do here at The Innovation School, that give the students a chance to work independently. It is a personal project that each student can choose and explore themselves. I chose to study writing and journalism, and I am also writing the school play this year. I have been setting up interviews with local writers and journalists to learn more about the creative process, and I write as much of the play that I can each day.
I just had my first interview last week, and learned so much about the writer’s experience and discovered so many things that I can add to my own life in writing. The important thing to know as an aspiring writer is that the opportunities are endless. I am learning that if I feel like I should do something, and I am deeply passionate about it, then the best way to overcome the stress and anxiety of thinking that I can’t do it, or that I won’t have the capacity to really put my voice and personality into the project is to just jump into it and ignore the fear of not getting it right, or making a mistake.
Writing is a beautiful thing, because you take something that you believe in, or something that you think should be said and you express it through words. You can hide it in the paragraphs, and let people try to figure out what it is that you’re trying to say - as many talented authors do - or you can make it known to your readers, and be straightforward with it. Both of these options are applicable, and can be used together in a story to make it interesting.
One of the many things that I appreciate about The Innovation School are the teachers; I am inspired by them every day. My teacher has shown me that I can go after big potential opportunities. She is the type of person who impacts peoples’ lives, and gives them confidence. All of the teachers have wonderful stories to tell, and whether they know it or not, this in itself is inspirational to me. The woman who started this school made a brilliant decision, and being here is an amazing experience.
Every time we start a new block at school, our teachers give us new options to read for the book club. This block, I chose to read a book called “Hidden Figures,” which is about four African American women who work at NASA throughout the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. The storyline seems very interesting, so I think that it will be a good read. I have enjoyed reading and writing for a long time now, and firmly believe that the reason I can write well is because I have a passion for reading too.
This is one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson. It is titled, “There Is No Frigate Like a Book,” and I think it really portrays the beauty of reading:
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.
The first time I read that, I remember thinking “Wow, I can’t believe that this woman can put this feeling into words!” These are the kinds of things that really inspire me to get better at writing, so that I can be able to express my feelings with words like Emily Dickinson and so many others like her. Without the world of words, there would be no writers. And without those talented authors who write the books we read, how would aspiring writers find inspiration? Everyone can be inspired by the world around them, but the people that we meet, and the authors we read about are vastly important as well.
I love J.D. Salinger’s works, and I think that he did an astounding job at writing Franny and Zooey and The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger could put meaning into the smallest of sentences, and leave the reader staring at the page thinking for a while. I just recently read Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and I think that he was also an amazing author who was capable of writing about things that we as humans often ignore and don’t acknowledge as much as we should. These are the kinds of writers that we need more of in this day and age. Steinbeck wrote beautifully and acknowledged the hard things. I finished Of Mice and Men and felt changed by the sadness of the heartbreaking ending. To Kill a Mockingbird was also one of those books that left a lingering feeling of satisfaction after I read the final sentence, which was dedicated to the wise Atticus’s love for his children. I have been inspired by reading, and listening to writers talk about their experiences. I think that for anyone who wants to be a writer and is passionate about the craft, reading books abundantly is the first step to pursuing it.
I have lived in a world of literature and writing for what feels like quite a long time now, and I have found that it is the best place to go when reality becomes too much to handle. And as we all know, life has been pretty crazy over the past couple of years filled with Covid-19, along with life’s usual ups and downs. Everyone misses what it was like before wearing face masks and applying great quantities of hand sanitizer. I will always find refuge in the world of literature and words. In fact, one could argue that it is wider and far more colossal than a simple world. From this point on, I will refer to it as a universe; a vast, beautiful, intricate universe compiled with words and sentences. From my point of view, the universe of words is a beautiful place to be.