Written By Sonia Charles, Guest Writer
As a writer or someone who wants to write more, it can be hard to find what you might be looking for when you first come to AC. Even if you have been at AC for a while, it might be difficult to seek out the resources you might need to start your adventure as a writer. With my experiences as a writer at college, I thought I would share some easy tips and tricks that could help you grow in your creative expression as well. I’ll be focusing on creative writing for this list, and these are more like suggestions I have rather than a “how to guide”. Everyone moves and grooves at their own pace, and it’s all about finding what works best for you.
Getting involved with the literary scene on-campus!
AC has some fun outlets for expressing creativity. Going to events like open mic nights, writing group sessions, workshops, and so on can help you learn more about what other students are up to while also getting your voice out there. This is another great way to meet other creative minds, but it gives you something to look forward to when it comes to your creative work, especially if you want to test out your latest piece in front of other people.
Don’t forget to read!
Reading is great for everyone, especially writers. If you are working on a specific project, like a horror story for example, it could be helpful to read other horror stories to get some inspiration. Reading can often serve as a reminder on how you might want to consider your own writing projects or even inspire another aspect. It can help as research or even a break from what you may be working on.
With all of this said, I strongly recommend that you refrain from comparing yourself to the writers you read, or any writers in general. You are the author of your stories with your own distinct voice and style. Everyone is different and their talents shine in different ways too.
Ask for help!
It can be helpful to have others see your work and give feedback, so that way you know what you can add or change about what you already have to make it better. If you want more one-on-one help, try making an appointment with a tutor at the Scarbrough Center for Writing. All of the tutors can help with any writing assignment, including creative writing projects. You could also find feedback from a writing group or even your fellow writing friends! Getting feedback can seem a bit scary at first, especially when you first start writing, but it can really help you grow as a writer and develop more ideas to improve over time.
Get your work there!
Once you complete a piece of creative writing, consider submitting to a literary publication. Austin College does have its own literary magazine called Suspension, and they publish poetry, short stories, and art in a print edition very year! There are many places to publish your work like antonym, The Firefly Review, Brown Sugar Lit, and several others. You get to share your work with the community and see your name in print. How exciting!
Take care of yourself and have fun!
Even though creative writing is done mostly out of enjoyment for creating stories and expressing yourself, it is common to feel a lot of pressure. So, it is important to take care of yourself. Writer’s block can be frustrating, but it can be helpful to take some time away from your writing to focus on other matters like your academics, your friends, other hobbies, and most importantly, yourself. Be sure to take breaks, go on walks, drink water, and to stay healthy, no matter what you might be pursuing. Also, make sure you are enjoying it. Take it at your own pace and find your voice through all of this.
Thank you for making it to the end of this list! I hope this helps you as you venture into your creative expressions!