Dear Young Artist: A Letter from a Govie Creative Writer
Dear Young Artist,
My name is Grace Warren-Page, and I am a senior creative writer at SCGSAH! I first found out about the school when I attended the summer programs offered. I didn’t know what to expect or if I was even “talented” enough to be admitted. I didn’t know if I could or would ever call myself an artist.
I want to tell you now, no matter what people say about your art, never let negativity stunt your growth as a young artist. One poet, Shira Erlichman, says, “The fabric of who we are as humans, is creativity.” At the core of who you are is a desire to create and imagine.
During the summer programs, I fell in love with writing and knew I wanted to go to the residential high school program. In tenth grade, I applied and was admitted to be included in the Creative Writing Department. Since then, I have fallen in love with writing over and over again. Don’t be scared to fall in love with your passion repetitively; don’t be scared to fall in love with new curiosities and passions as you grow.
I didn’t know I had a passion for environmental science until I started a club with my friend Yoshene Ma this year! Bill Smith, my science teacher, supported our vision, helped us achieve our goals, and refined our ideas. Without the overwhelming support from the teachers and the opportunities provided by the environment at SCGSAH, I would have never branched out to pursue other interests. No matter how absurd or scary it might be, chase your interests and be bold in your ideas. I believe in you! And if you look in the right places, you will realize how many others believe in you, too.
At the beginning of my time here, I not only wanted to be accepted and loved, I wanted my writing to be, as well. I started comparing myself to other writers, stopped asking questions, and limited my curiosities. I stopped taking risks. I didn’t believe in myself or my writing.
This year, my fiction instructor, Alan Rossi, trusted my ideas even when I didn’t. I wanted to grapple with heavier and rawer subject matters and hoped my fictional writing would speak to the truth of life and ask the very questions turning over in my own mind. He taught our class to investigate ourselves and the world around us, inserting our own experiences and uncertainties into our writing in order to find truth in the essence of our art and ourselves. I truly cherish how we were able to grow, as a class, beside each other, how we support and love each other like family.
Being surrounded by amazing artists on a daily basis can drive unhealthy competition and division, but I discovered what a privilege it is to learn from my peers, celebrate with them, and collaborate with them. Never let others, or yourself, pull you away from your inspirations. Explore as much as you can.
This year, one of my writing teachers urged me to show interest in the mundane and to care deeply for the insignificant. Doing this not only changed my writing but the way I view the world.
I have learned so much from being a student at the Governor's School. I learned how to clean a bathtub better than anyone on my floor, to not take the elevator when running late for a morning class, to watch the pigeons and squirrels on campus very closely, to set a reminder to switch my clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, to trust the mystery of the things I don’t understand, to open my dorm room window when I’m nervous, to always take pictures of my friends in the rain, and to call my mom when I miss home.
If you are reading this and you're not sure what you want to do next, let me tell you that you don’t have to figure it all out now. I do want to tell you this for sure: you are creative. Don’t doubt yourself. Venture out into the world and notice something you didn’t notice before.