Odds are, here at the CT is where it starts. I’m sure there are many writers in college that don’t engage with their student paper. I’m sure there are birds that fly backwards. I’m sure there are fish without gills that hold their breath for their entire lives.
There are instances of unpredictable courses and paths in all things.
If I would say anything, it’s this: bet on a predictable course. If you want to write, you have to write. It sounds intuitive. It’s not. Life has a way of making excuses for you. Getting yourself an arc and an outlet is essential. The CT can be that predictable course.
It’s cute to play dumb and imagine yourself an unrealized genius, until you’ve run out of youth and time. Hangovers and backaches may evolve into real concerns. It may become ever harder to roll the rock back up the hill.
If you come to college like me, as a 19-year-old, about as much use to anyone as wet toilet paper, you may find that slow burns are the best, that setting yourself on a predictable course outside of academia can build you up in a fashion most wholesome. Or you can be someone that only writes for their classes, and see where that gets you, I don’t know. For me, academia had a habit of warping passion into painful obligation.
Enclosed environments based around common passions are fantastic. All you need in common here at the CT is curiosity. The birds will come flying backwards. Your unpredictable opportunities will arrive.
In the meantime, if you work for the CT, you may teach yourself to write. Maybe you’ll win some awards, make friends and learn how to walk on your hands and perform other circus acrobatics―but if you teach yourself to write―that will be most important. And not just that kind of writing that’s for you, in those self-indulgent run-ons with too many adjectives. I mean write for an audience. For the ages. As high and far as your aspirations might reach, you’ve got to learn to put your right and good words down.
Does this sound like projection? It is. This is as much a love letter to a younger me, thanking him for choosing the CT, as much as it is careful advice to anyone that’s young and wants to be a writer. To be a plumber, one must plumb. Is writing so different? Thank you to all of the sweet souls at the CT and the SMC for making it the haven that it is.
I’m off to fly backwards now. Okay, goodbye.
Jesse Adcock Copy Editor