Friday, August 7, 2009

Meet and Greet

My name is Shelby Thompson and I am a writer. Well, I consider myself to be, among other things. I like the sound of it. Though not in a purely superficial sense, but because of the way it makes me feel to know that I can associate myself with it.

Somewhere in the midst of my Freshman year at UNC Asheville (nearly a decade ago now!), I abandoned all previous notions of what I imagined my future held (carefully crafted no doubt by those older and wiser) and decided to base it on what I was really interested in, and planted my feet firmly into the Literature/Creative Writing Department. I had no definite aspirations associated with this choice of major at the time, I just knew I liked to write, and I seemed to be pretty good at it. So there that was, the rest would come to me later. At the time, I thought what I wrote was very creative, honest, passionate, maybe even poetic.

Now, when I sometimes look back on what I produced in those early, unscripted days, I'm not sure it was work itself that made me feel so impassioned. It's more than just about why I write, but why anyone does. It makes me wonder, what does one do with all of that? That passion, that creativity, that honesty? It's very vulnerable. Anyone can have ideas that they put to a page, but how are your ideas heard? How do you leave an imprint on the world of language and literature? Especially one that is becoming all together new and uncharted.

I didn't come to this program looking for an obvious answer to these questions, some of them just don't have them, nor should they. I came because I think being surrounded by individuals who are seeking similar opportunities to explore the possibility of coming closer to one makes me feel like I'm looking in the right place.

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