Elli: Student Coordinator

BLC Senior: Media Arts Major

Favorite Quote: "Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” ~Barbara Kingsolver

CommentaryIsolate your thoughts and allow them to flourish, completely oblivious to the outside world. Embrace divergent thinking and challenge conformity. In essence, pursue your creative passions with purity and an everlasting devotion to your truth for you are the only one capable of offering it to the world. 

 

Lyla: Social Media Manager

BLC Senior: Media Arts Major; English Minor

Favorite Quote: “Write until you reach the edge of something, whether it’s the world, the community you live in, or your skin.” ~Bhanu Kapil

Commentary: Fear is that great and terrible thing that looms over us all. Don’t let it keep you from writing. Those who hear, understand, and are willing to help are those who matter. Don’t let the judgment of others keep your words hidden. I refuse to. Because when I was writing, slouched on my bed, typing away like a madman in the dark, I found something that matters. The phrase that will save the world. Those words that sliced my skin open in surprise and let fall everything that was hidden in me. I implore you to do the same.

Ian:

 
BLC Senior: English & Media Arts Majors
 
Favorite Quote: "Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard." ~David McCullough
 
Commentary: I love this quote. It simplifies the scary act of writing to something everyone understands: thinking clearly. You're transforming the ever-swirling jumble of thoughts inside your head into something organized and permanent. It's hard, but everyone has thoughts, so anyone can do it. It's comforting, it's rewarding, it's beautiful.

 

Amber:

BLC Senior: English Major, Spanish Minor

Favorite Quote: "Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window." ~William Faulkner

Commentary: My family would say that I never needed a reminder to read. As an English major, it often seems that there is pressure to have read all of the literary "classics," most of which I have not read! I appreciate Faulkner's reminder that everything we read has the ability to teach us truths about ourselves and the world, or simply teaches us how to communicate through writing. Everything that we read, just as everything we say or do, has an impact and shapes who we are. 

 

Abby:

BLC Senior: English Major

Favorite Quote: “When you’re writing, you’re trying to find out something which you don’t know. The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out. But something forces you to anyway.” ~James Baldwin

Commentary: Sometimes when I write, I’m overwhelmed with words. How can I possibly select the appropriate or ideal ones? It’s tempting to walk away from the whole dilemma. Baldwin encourages me (and other writers) to push through. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about writing is that being vulnerable is okay. Whether I am writing about something I am scared to write about. Whether I need to ask for help with my writing. Whether I must find the courage to sit down and crank out the words. As Baldwin suggests, writers must push through anyway.

Ethan:

BLC Senior: English & Religion Majors; Communication Minor

Favorite Quote: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug" ~ Mark Twain

Commentary: Great writing is impactful; it changes us on a personal level that almost nothing else can reach. The difference between good writing and great writing is in the chosen words. It may seem like picking between Skittles and M&M's, but in reality, you're choosing to hit your reader with a water gun filled with cold water that will wake her up.

 

Sydney:

BLC Senior: English Major, Communication Minor

Favorite Quote: “Perfectionism… is the main obstacle between you and a shi**y first draft…. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” ~Anne Lamott

Commentary: I’ve often let perfectionism stop me from doing things for fear it might not be good enough. Lamott is right- perfectionism is a main obstacle for many people when it comes to starting things, especially writing. A professor once told me to aim for “good enough” while drafting. Between this advice and Lamott's quote, I am reminded that I need to start typing even if it is garbage. If nothing else, starting somewhere gets the creativity flowing, and once that river is flowing, you can hop on your creativity canoe and paddle to success.

Hannah

BLC Junior: English Major, Legal Studies Minor

Favorite Quote: “Every form [of writing] is difficult, no one is easier than another. They all kick your a**. None of it comes easy.” ~James Baldwin

Commentary: This quote spoke to me because it's so true! No one is gifted with the ability to write well (or to want to write well). It's not always fun. Everyone struggles with writing; the more you do it the easier it gets. Just keep going, keep writing, keep working at it, and eventually it gets easier.

Jenna:

BLC Freshman: Psychology Major

Favorite Quote: “Fear is felt by writers at every level. Anxiety accompanies the first word they put on paper and the last.” ~Ralph Keyes

Commentary: Whether a twenty-page thesis paper or an email to a professor, writing is stressful. We, as writers, face potential criticism from everyone who reads our work. However! Although the writing process can evoke stress, anxiety, and self-doubt, it also evokes creative expression. As a writer, we get to transport our thoughts and images into someone else's mind. I try to remind myself of this as I write to work past the anxiety that I have. After all, I get to use my voice to illustrate my ideas. That's amazing! 

Maida:

BLC Freshman: Studio Art Major

Favorite Quote: “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ~Octavia E. Butler

Commentary: Any creative process, whether writing, composing music, or painting can be an incredible outlet for joy. However, the act of creation does require commitment. You have to lean into your work and put in the time to truly develop your skills. As you continue to practice, you develop your style, and each piece of writing helps you find your voice. So persist! Strive to find your voice and make your writing your own.

Kat:

BLC Freshman: English & Religion Majors

Favorite Quote: “I write, I scratch out a word here and there, I scratch out a line, I change things; then I put it away for the day, come back the next day, realize the entire thing is crap, and cross the whole page out with a big X.” ~Kristin Cashore

Commentary: This illustrates my writing process perfectly. I tend to be my own worst critic, and my first draft almost always finds itself deleted in its entirety. No matter where I am in the writing process, I sometimes reach a point at which I realize I have plateaued. When I get there, I am forced to make a decision: accept my current level of quality or scrap the entire project and start over. I love this quotation because it explains that this process is okay. It is acceptable to start over. When I hate my first, or my second, or my third attempt at a writing project, this quotation gives me hope that I can start over and make something better.