We’ve recently welcomed Emma Eatman as a spring intern for The Cooler Minds. A fellow Texan, Emma is now studying communications and political science at Howard University. Here, she describes her relationship to writing as she was growing up—and how college has reawakened her passion for written expression. ~Lisa
My love for reading most likely began when Santa gifted me the first ten books of Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series—which, now that I remember, I finished in about three days. I refused to read anything that wasn’t fiction and fantastical—witches, hidden forests, and magic powers. As for my writing? I’m not entirely sure, but my adoration must have begun once I developed an eye that noticed every detail around me. I wrote short stories brimming with colorful imagery that I would slip under my mother’s door late at night when she was asleep. It never failed to boost my ego and paint a smile on my face when I saw my short stories taped to her vanity mirror.
I wrote short stories brimming with colorful imagery that I would slip under my mother’s door late at night when she was asleep.
I soon became all too familiar with the faded walls of my high school—walls that housed an abundance of knowledge but often restricted the beauty of creative expression. This is not to say that I wasn’t writing—I was, and often. But my creations simply became hollow, routine and structured. I was writing to appeal to my teachers and the way I knew they preferred me to write. I became a robot—a writing robot who was taught to keep my sentences short and sweet and to never write more than three pages because no teacher wants to stay up into the wee hours of the night reading papers that long. A stack of books that I had yet to read would sit in a clustered corner of my room, collecting dust as I ran from one activity to another, forgetting the beauty and wonder and enchantment of cozying up with a book for the first time. I became jaded. I longed for the feeling I once had as I stayed up late on school nights to read just one more chapter or write just one more story.
Luckily, when I entered my first year of college a few short months ago, I found that feeling once again. I was reintroduced to the power my voice holds in my writing and the importance of reading “for fun.” My writing improved tremendously when I had little structure in how I was to write, and my reading choices began to be comprised of nonfiction works that taught me about the world I live in—why things are the way they are, why so many people live in poverty, more reasons why we need feminism in a world that oppresses women for simply being… women.
…my reading choices began to be comprised of nonfiction works that taught me about the world I live in—why things are the way they are…
I found myself slowly but surely beginning to fall back in love with how writing makes me feel, how reading makes me think and how the two intertwine to color my world with enough creativity and room for growth to last a lifetime.