Ely sets on creative writing path at Wheaton


Provided by Lindsay Ely

Ely poses for a photo.

Grace Hsu, Co-Features Editor

The quiet tapping of fingers on a keyboard fills the room. While the bedroom is mostly silent, senior Lindsay Ely’s head is loud. Filled with ideas, plot lines, characters, and settings, Ely sits in front of her computer, ready to share stories with the world.

This fall, Ely will attend Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., majoring in creative writing and literature to pursue her dream career of becoming a creative writing professor and author. Although Ely’s love for writing started before she could even remember, she only decided on her majors after she took two semesters of Creative Writing at WA.

Though Ely applied to many schools, Wheaton was an easy decision for her. Located nearby, Wheaton is a liberal arts school with a strong, in-depth English program. The college has classes dedicated to specific genres of writing, rather than the typical poetry and media writing classes at most other schools. She also admired the beautiful campus filled with large trees and the way the college balanced keeping historical aspects of the school with updating others to newer buildings.

According to Ely, what made her ultimately decide to study the unique Creative Writing major was her love of writing, which followed her throughout her childhood. As a kid, Ely always looked forward to creative writing projects in school and wrote her own imaginative stories at home.

“I started coming up with stories when I was a kid. I used to daydream during my soccer games, […] in class, at home, all the time,” Ely said. “I would daydream entire original world concepts and scenes in my mind, imagining them in vivid detail.”

However, Ely has expanded the types of pieces she produces, writing not only a fantasy novel but also songs and reflective poems inspired by emotional and traumatic experiences.

“These kinds of pieces I find are ones full of passion and vulnerability,” Ely said. “Writing and art are all about expressing yourself to be vulnerable.”

Some of the ways Ely expresses herself is by writing poems as a means to release her emotions. For Ely, it all started in ninth grade, when she began writing serious poems during a hard time in her life. During this time, she struggled with self-worth and connections with other people, but poetry helped her express complicated emotions in a healthier way.

“A lot of what I write is based on things I know and I have lived through. My best motivation and pieces come from strong emotions, positive or negative,” Ely said. “Some of the best pieces I have written were in the heat of the moment.”

Although Ely has been writing on her own for a long time, it was when she took two semesters of Creative Writing during her junior and senior years of high school that she began taking writing more seriously. She lists her creative writing teacher Jason Humphrey as one of her biggest supporters on her writing journey. According to Humphrey, Ely is a creative person with a lot of dynamic energy in both her writing and interactions with the people around her. Humphrey admires her vulnerability in her poems.

“She really writes from her experience and writes from her emotional feelings. She puts her heart on her sleeve,” Humphrey said. “What she’s writing, she feels very, very passionately, and she translates that to the page.”

Ely’s strength in writing is her ability to accurately portray her emotions in abstract ways. When she strongly feels something, she can articulate it in a way most people can understand through the imagery and symbols that come naturally to her.

However, Ely’s talent for writing is something that she has had to work for. She compares writing to learning a sport or playing an instrument, stating that good writing takes a lot of time to learn. She says that the only way to truly learn how to write well is to practice writing all the time. With this practice, Ely’s writing has become more imagery-based and technical, which is something she hopes to grow on during her time at Wheaton.

Additionally, Ely hopes to work towards her goal of becoming a creative writing professor and publishing the novel she is currently working on. While in college, she hopes to improve her writing, among many other skills.

“I’m excited to perfect my craft and meet new people, form new connections and see who I evolve into. Hopefully I will learn just as much about myself as I will about my craft,” Ely said. “I would like to grow as a person and become more knowledgeable about the world around me. “