An Open Book

 Photo by Selena Qian

For freshman Danielle Loncharich, creative writing is a way to show her voice.

“I think it’s more of a chance that young writers can show that they have a voice,” she said. “You only write for English class and they don’t let you really let you express anything about yourself. So then I can be who I want to be and you can really see who I am during my writing.”

Loncharich said creative writing is both one of her favorite activities and her favorite class. She writes novels in the form of chapter books and is one of the hundreds of thousands planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November.

According to Jerry Brickley, Creative Writing Club sponsor and English teacher, Creative Writing Club members will participate in NaNoWriMo, an annual creative writing event in which participants aim to write 50,000 words in a month.

Danielle Loncharich

Photo by Shraddha Ramnath

For senior CeCe Gargiulo, a NaNoWriMo veteran who writes both novels and poetry, expressing her voice through writing is also a vehicle for understanding herself.

“I’m really, really into deep philosophy, I guess you could say. So in my novels, basically what it is is that I separate and fracture different aspects of humanity and then I kind of just explore it to see how I feel about relationships with yourself and those around you,” she said. “When you look back in time…when finding your voice, you see throughout history people struggling to define themselves and their places in society, but also how they view their aspect of existing. And I know that may sound a little odd, (but) through writing poetry, it’s like you can develop your voice by also developing the aspects of you you might not even want to acknowledge exists.”

Sierra-marie “CeCe” Gargiulo

Photo by Shraddha Ramnath

Gargiulo was also recently honored in the IUPUI Poetry Contest.

“I submitted an original poem I wrote when I was 13, so I didn’t think anything was going to happen with it, but it worked out and it was quite an amazing experience because it was being acknowledged for something I wouldn’t be able to present any other way than in writing,” she said.

Brickley said creative writing possesses many benefits.

“The advantage of approaching creative writing is it expands your vocabulary, it makes you a clearer writer, and rather than just writing like an essay that just has the facts in it, you’re writing a piece that people might actually want to read,” he said. “If you develop your voice, your writing becomes better and more effective.”

Gargiulo said writing could even help people who wouldn’t normally consider themselves writers.

“I think (it could apply to) even those who think more logically, like my friend, (who has a) completely logical brain. The way that we communicate best is when she can theorize in her words and then I get to analyze them,” she said. “So writing is a form of communication that connects different types of people.”

For Loncharich, creative writing is a way to show who she is.

“Writing is sometimes more effective than speaking,” Loncharich said. “Sometimes if I’m speaking with someone, I feel like I’m never really heard. But in my writing there’s a story to be told. If I write something and people read it, then they know more about me…Because they don’t really stop to get to know me, but then you can definitely see (who I am) in my writing.”

Like Loncharich, Gargiulo said communicating with writing was easier than speaking.

“Sometimes I can’t form words right,” she said. “Sometimes I get nervous…when writing poetry, it’s easier for me because it’s thoughts on the paper versus verbalizing it.”

Loncharich said writing was an important method for people to express their personal voices.

“When you do find other writers, they know how you express yourself and they can definitely see more in your writing. We did this workshop in creative writing and since (everyone is) all there for the same thing and even if you just met them, once they’ve read my personal essay and I’ve read theirs, it’s kind of like you already know each other,” she said. “When I write, it’s like I can just let everything out and it’s all poured into my writing.”

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Jessica Mo