Students take writing talents beyond the classroom

Author: Abbie Russman, Front Page Editor, Xchange

Some students and faculty at Pius X write outside of school as a hobby for blogs or competitions.

November was National Novel Writing Month, and a few students and staff participated in the competition held by nanowrimo.org to write 50,000 words in order to get their story published.

This took dedication and motivation.

English teacher Caycee Hays was introduced to NaNoWriMo a few years ago through a writing group. She participated again this year.

“I write after I put my son to bed when the house is quiet,” Hays said.

To prepare, she stressed character development and created a loose outline.

“I don’t want to feel constricted by my outline,” Hays said.

She first started writing by creating fan fiction which was how she got her creativity out until she gained more confidence.

Senior Ellen Stephens completed NaNoWriMo last year by writing a full 50,000 words, and she participated again this year. Writing for something outside of school was hard to make time for.

“I try to find the time and put everything aside. I set a time limit and dedicate my focus to that,” Stephens said.

Stephens’s inspiration came from experiences and everyday life.

She got involved with NaNoWriMo through a poster at school. Stephens aspires to be an author on the side of her career.

Besides novel writing, some students write for blogs and other websites.

Senior Matthew Maguire writes for the Fire of the Spirit blog.

“Fire of the Spirit is a website that is run by teens, for teens and its purpose is to share the rich truths of our Catholic faith,” Maguire said.

For Maguire, writing for the blog is a “de-stresser from school.”

He got involved with the blog through someone looking for writers to help.

“I went to a Catholic camp with kids from all over the country,” Maguire said. “Afterwards, in a Facebook group, someone mentioned that she had a blog and I was interested so I contacted her.”
He is inspired by things he reads about or thinks of during church.

“We [the writers] ask for the Holy Spirit to speak through us and set the world on fire for love, hence the name,” Maguire said. “I pray to the Holy Spirit to influence my mind. Once I get writing, I go into a different zone.”

The blog only requires its writers to write one article per month.

Maguire said, “Overall, we just try to bring people closer to God through writing.”

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