There’s nothing quite like getting lost behind a pen. Or a pencil. Or a keyboard.
Whatever the tool of choice, the power of writing, reading, and imagination can take us anywhere. And we at the IYWP encourage everyone to journey to those destinations as much as possible.
I asked some of our staff and interns a question this week. What do you love the most about writing? about literature? Here were their answers:
“I never thought I would be a writer in any professional capacity. I started writing poems in middle school, and through high school and most of college, it was a really private thing that I did for myself. Now it seems both strange and inevitable that I’ve made the most private part of my life into the most public part of my life. I think for me, the most valuable thing about writing is that it’s a process of acknowledging that nothing is cut off from anything else: it’s a way to examine all the things that interest me, that delight me, that I’m afraid of, that I don’t understand, and put them into this much larger tradition that every other reader and writer is also participating in.” – Zoe Polach, IYWP Teaching Fellow
“I love reading because it allows me to feel a connection with people I’d otherwise not have been able to meet. It’s one way to see the world without traveling.” – Olivia Roberts, Intern
“My favorite thing about literature ties back into the sociological imagination, which C. Wright Mills defined as “The awareness between personal experience and the wider society”. I love how consuming and producing literature increases my awareness and engagement. Reading and writing allow me to make sense of things, to explore from other perspectives, and to make connections. Literature is one of the most powerful tools we have available when it comes to building empathy and making change.” – James Hirsch, Intern
The world of the written word is a special place. It’s a place that doesn’t discriminate, and doesn’t restrain. Instead, it helps us bloom. It resides within us, and leads us on beautiful journeys through the unknown parts of ourselves. So, whatever tool you decide to use, remember that writing isn’t just any journey –it’s your journey. And in the words of the famous Sylvia Plath, “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.”