Community Member: Austin Community College Creative Writing Department

Special Guest Post: Austin Community College student, Maya Landers, shares her experience taking classes in ACC’s Creative Writing Department!

The idea that writing is a solitary pursuit has been thoroughly disproven: we realized that behind every great person is another great person, or two or three or twelve, whose ideas and encouragement offered a crucial form of support. I know that writing requires connection more than isolation, but it wasn’t until I started taking creative writing classes at Austin Community College that I realized how accessible — and how vital — a writing community could be.

Taking classes at ACC has introduced me to a range of voices and perspectives that I might not have otherwise encountered, both in the classroom and in the literary canon. It’s all too easy to get lost in my own particular world, studying only the authors and regions and worldviews which are familiar to me. Suggested reading lists and classroom discussions have led me to some of my favorite new-to-me authors, and they’ve also introduced me to ideas that I hadn’t yet considered.

When I write by myself, my writing practice seems like just that: practice. I write in my journal or on my laptop, and I accumulate pages and pages of half-formed ideas that never make it past the first draft. Taking a creative writing class allows my writing to shift from practice to product. Knowing that someone else will read my drafts inspires me to work harder and write better, and having a deadline also gives me permission to stop: at a certain point, I have to put down my pencil and share my work with someone else.

Before I took creative writing classes, I didn’t share my writing with anyone. I loved to write but it felt too personal to share: I imagined that the stories or essays I wrote would reveal some aspect of myself I’d prefer to keep hidden, or would touch on some concept that I’d rather ignore.

There’s something exhilarating about sharing your work. Writing is ultimately about communication, and a community — of peers and mentors, other writers — forms a critical part of that equation.

Right now, as I find myself physically separated from many of the people and activities that I used to enjoy, I turn to words more than ever. Books offer some consolation, but at the end of the day, I still find myself searching for a more personal connection. The creative writing classes at ACC have shown me the power of a writing community, and I’m so excited to continue participating in Austin’s vibrant literary scene.

Maya Landers, ACC Student

Thanks, Maya!

For more information about Fall courses, click here, and to learn more about enrolling through continuing education, click here. Or you can call or email the department chair, Charlotte Gullick, at 512-913-4479, cgullick@austincc.edu

Are you a business or organization interested in getting involved?

Community Membership is a great way to connect with the Writers’ League’s membership base and share news and information about writing-related services and events. For more information on Community Membership click here or call our office at (512) 499-8914.

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