By Tatum Spurck
When some think of creativity, it entails a paint brush and a canvas splashed with an array of colors. When others think of creativity, it involves a pen and paper with a story to tell; this is creative writing.
Recently, West has introduced an entire class dedicated to creative writing taught by Melissa Searls. The Creative writing class was previously a club, also taught by Searls. “I have a great passion for creative writing. I absolutely love it,” said Searls. “The fact that I taught the [creative writing] club for four years and my background as a writer, they made a great choice for [the class],” Searls adds.
The idea of a Creative Writing class has been up in the air for years prior, but never been allowed to make because taking an English teacher away from an English class would cause other English classes to grow in number.
Senior Braiden Allen, a student in the Creative Writing Class, has been long awaiting this class. “I’ve always been interested in writing since Elementary School and Middle School. I’ve been monitoring this class for a duration of my highschool years and it only made it in this year. I was really excited so I jumped at the opportunity to take it,” said Allen.
Senior Chris Wilcox is taking a different approach to this class; he took Creative Writing to hone his writing skills, but to also help in other areas academically. “I thought creative writing was something that could transition well into other classes. Just working on refining my techniques, and not only to become a better writer, but a better essay taker, a better debater, and looking at things from a different perspective,” Wilcox said.
Searls plans on keeping her students inspired by doing outside-the-classroom activities. A few weeks ago, Searls took the students outdoors on a foggy day and they had to write in detail about anything they could imagine emerging from the fog.
The students also had to write a six word story, which is exactly what is sounds like- a story with six words.
Not only does Searls plan on giving the creative writing class students unique ways to demonstrate their skills, she also wants to “expose them to as many genres and styles [of writing] as [she] can, so that way they have a sampling of as many varieties and aspects as possible and they can choose what their strengths are.”
Allen has found her niche in writing fiction, some based off of anime. “Anime has lots of weird stuff in it, and getting into strange things that aren’t like our world is what mainly inspires me to spread my ideas. I take different pieces of different things and make my own thing off that,” said Allen, who plans on becoming an author.
Junior Katie Penticuff also wants her career to be in the field of writing. “Writing is fun for me, and it’s relaxing. You want to do a job you like, and that’s how writing is for me,” she said.
Penticuff channels inspiration for her writings from books, and TV shows, but mainly from her day to day life. “I get most of my inspiration from real life, because if you want to write realistically, you have to get [inspiration] from real life,” said Penticuff.
Wilcox also draws on experiences from his life for inspiration in his writing. “You may not necessarily write about exactly what happened, but you take away the emotions you felt and the lessons you took away and apply it to your writing,” said Wilcox.
A lot of people who don’t have the same drive and passion for writing may wonder, “What compels one to write?” Some write therapeutically, others write as an escape. Allen falls under the latter. She says, “I find the world we live in a bit boring. I can control my own realities when I write. [Writing’s] a way to express myself in a way that I don’t think I could replicate anywhere else.”