Aspiring writers release their creativity through literature

Kelly Klein

Some students achieve glory amid screaming fans while performing onstage or racing down a sports field.  But, for others, personal achievement is hallmarked simply in paper and ink.

While sophomore Blake Alm is currently working on a novel, juniors Jade Granger and Maggie Doyle prefer to exercise their writing skills through poetry and short stories.

Since his freshman year, Alm has been working on an 800 page novel about a young man trying to mature and come to grips with the ugly side of life.

JUNIOR MAGGIE DOYLE works on her poetry on her antique typewriter. After submitting her poetry to a contest this year, Doyle was published in a collection of poetry called In My Lifetime.
JUNIOR MAGGIE DOYLE works on her poetry on her antique typewriter. After submitting her poetry to a contest this year, Doyle was published in a collection of poetry called In My Lifetime.

Alm said that he limits his production of the book during the school week. Alm, who said that he hopes to be published soon, finished his first draft around eight months ago.

While Alm has focused on long-term projects, Doyle prefers writing short stories and poetry.

After entering her poem called, “Who Did Strike Out the Light,” into a contest, Doyle was published in a book entitled In My Lifetime.

According to Doyle, applying for contests is simple.  She said she contacts companies by Googling competitions and groups. She then submits her poetry and receives the results within a few months.

Doyle said she has been submitting her work to writing competitions in hopes of becoming recognized by colleges and publishing companies.

While both Doyle and Alm have chosen to make their work public, Granger said that she believes teenagers are not yet stable enough to make an informed, public statement through writing.

“In my opinion, teenagers are changing too quickly in their ideals and their sense of self to set themselves up in a firm enough position to take on the responsibility of speaking for a wider audience,” Granger said. “I’ll write for myself, and only myself, until I’ve reached that point.”

Granger has written a few dozen short stories, similarly to Alm and Doyle.  In addition, she has started three novels that she has yet to finish.

Alm, who also describes himself as an aspiring author, said that the process of writing a novel is a very gradual progression towards the final product. In order to keep the novel progressing at a steady pace, he said that he sets small goals for himself every day.

According to Alm, editing his book without any help has proved to be hard.  He said that he finds it difficult to balance priorities of school work, sports, and writing his novel.

“If you’re looking at these goals as a whole, it’s pretty daunting,” Alm said. “But if you take it two pages a night and in small chunks, before you know it you have something worthwhile.”

Alm said that he was inspired to write simply because he enjoys it and wants to write about intriguing scenarios that stimulate discussion.

On the other hand, Doyle said she chooses to write poetry and short stories because she wants to make a personal connection with her audience.

“My goal would be to help anybody if they’re in a situation where they’re feeling alone, for example. I try to be relatable,” Doyle said.  “I think the message I send depends on what I’m feeling in the moment.”

According to Doyle, writting has been an essential part of coping with her everyday life.

“I have always felt like I need to write,” Doyle said. “I’ll have situations where something will hit me and I know I can’t lose the thought, so I have to write it down.”

Doyle said she chooses to write randomly because she likes to get her thoughts down immediately before she forgets them.

Granger, who does not plan on getting published any time soon, said that she chooses to write because she wants to explore life through the literary medium.

“I write because I don’t understand. I write stories because there are things that I want to explore,” she said. “Sometimes real life doesn’t provide extreme enough outlets to look at those too closely.”

Although all three students conceded that writing isn’t the most lucrative profession, they plan to incorporate literature into their future careers somehow.

“Being a poet isn’t really realistic, but it would be my dream job,” Doyle said. “That or a lyricist.  I know that I have to write when I’m older – it’s definitely something I want to do.”

Similarly, Alm plans on continuing to write in his future.

“Admittedly it might not be the most concrete career plan, but it’s something I will always want to do,” Alm said. “Even if writing would be parallel to another career, it will definitely be something that I continue to do.”