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Finding what you love is student success; writers can change lives - The Torch
Finding what you love is student success; writers can change lives

Finding what you love is student success; writers can change lives


Penny Scott

My focus as a student at Lane is on mastering the art of writing. This desire comes from reading books by authors who have left me in awe and have sometimes completely changed my world view. I am drawn to writers with sincere and authentic voices, and this is the kind of writer I aspire to be.

The human soul responds to truth and virtue, and when such virtues have been overshadowed by the ordinariness of life, writers can bring us home to ourselves, to what really matters beyond the mundane. That’s my response to great writers; it’s an inner ‘yes’ to something that resonates in my soul.

Writers open me to new perspectives, and the best of them build bridges with words that connect us in important ways. Without inspiring writers, I wouldn’t love reading. How could I? I wonder how many of them know the important role they play in shaping the lives of others; they’ve certainly shaped mine.

My love for reading is one of the strongest indicators that writing is the right career for me. What kind of writer doesn’t enjoy reading and doesn’t read a lot? Not a very good one. People can’t be forced to love reading, however. Teachers tried to get me to read when I was in school, but to no avail. Then later it just happened of its own accord, and I’ve never looked back.

Thanks to movies, I managed to get through high school by reading only one novel. Years after leaving school, however, and for some strange reason, I actually read one. The story was surprisingly interesting, so I read another one. This kept happening, and to my surprise novels became a source of entertainment just like movies and television shows.

Then, years later I discovered non-fiction, and my relationship with the world of fiction ended just as abruptly as it started. No plan. No design. Just shifting interests. I’ve discovered many writers with fascinating information and viewpoints. Thankfully those who dispense nonsense and drivel reveal themselves pretty quickly. As with anything, there’s great and not so great.

Television went from my life years ago. My interest is now video and documentaries. They present a wonderful way to tell stories that need to be told. Each of the shifting interests in my have taught me something and support my main interest, which is writing. My fascination with the written word is endless. Photography, painting and other artistic expressions have a role to play for sure, but I doubt if they’ll ever hold center stage in my career. For me, real and sustained interest is the best indicator of what to pursue.

Over the years, I’ve changed a lot. However, some things have never changed, such as my dislike for the word should. I was bombarded with it in childhood and, to this day, when someone tells me what I should do, or what I should think I feel a contraction.

Our inner wisdom knows what others never can, and when it comes to our career choices we need mentoring yes, but not people telling us what we should do. Should is a word with limited applications, and if it weren’t for them I’d rather see it expelled from our language and banished from the dictionary.

I don’t know what is right for others. I do know this however: there’s something deep inside every person that is either already engaged or waiting to be engaged. My sincerest wish for every student at Lane is that they discover what that is and then give themselves to it fully. That, in my view, is the truest measure of student success.

Even if reading or writing isn’t your thing, write to us anyway and tell us what is.