by Caitlin Hertzberg
As early as I can remember, I’ve always been a writer. I’d always been gifted diaries throughout my childhood, swirling gel pen tips to doodle hearts in the margins near the names of boys I crushed on, spilling the ink of my secrets onto lavender-scented paper. I would steal phrases from overheard conversations and work them into melodies that tortured me from inside my head (I still do this). One of my earliest memories of being a writer is from 4th grade, ripping out sheets from a 99-cent spiral notebook and begging my grandmother to “staple it good” down the middle so that I can write stories like Judy Blume and Jerry Spinelli.
Notice I make no mention of writing in school: The kind of writing with strict sentence and paragraph minimums, about topics I couldn’t care about no matter how hard I tried. The kind of writing that you work on for weeks on end in the overheated computer lab, revising, revising, revising, memorizing the teacher-provided rubric until every word of your assignment sounds like an owner’s manual for a VCR.
by S. E. Roberts
Writing is not a career that has ever paid enough money. Now, I’m not talking about bloggers or journalists, who could certainly stand to make more but don’t necessarily have to. I’m talking about novelists, poets, and short story writers, those artists who are self-advertising on social media, submitting to literary magazines, and publishing books of their work, all in the hope of being recognized and well-compensated for their work.
by Garret Castle
The amount I write varies from week to week. Despite my attempts to form a routine, my writing is still left to necessity and whim. But there is one consistent means of writing in my life: social media. The scope of my social media usage is primarily limited to Reddit and occasionally Twitter. While there are times when the discussions I get involved in make me regret writing the original post or comment, I have found that social media has been a positive boon to my writing and has helped me grow as a writer. While social media can be used to reinforce unhealthy habits, I believe it helps promote literacy more than it hinders it.
by Amanda Smera
Not once in my life have I had to wonder what it is like to not know how to read or write. And I am guessing that, if you are reading this right now, neither have you.
But what if I told you that in some countries, reading and writing are not as reachable as they seem to be? That for some people, reading and writing is seen as a privilege and not as a common practice?
by John Castle
I remember being eighteen and sitting in my therapist’s office one summer day. I sat in the center of his large couch with my hands folded as he read to me from an old beaten up spiral notebook with several tears, stains, and scribbles that decorated it’s pages. Each page described a fear, a confession, a hatred, a sense of sorrow, all with a tone of dread and hopelessness. I was taken aback by what I was hearing, and a part of me questioned whether the author was being a bit dramatic. It was astonishing to hear the amount of pain the writer of this journal had been in. The only thing though was, this was my journal. I was the one who had filled these pages. All of these fears and frustrations were mine, and I had spent a good portion of my summer that year documenting them in that very notebook. Except, at that moment it was as if these feelings didn’t belong to me at all.