A Letter From A Young Writer

A Letter From A Young Writer

An addition to Colum McCann's book

Find Your Compass

We all go through something that would result in being in a world of frustration. It could be dealing with a project, your parents will not stop annoying you or even writing an article. There are times when you may feel lost and not know what to do.

But do not feel discouraged, because everyone has felt that way one way or another. I know before my junior year of college I felt that way. Then I registered for my Writing Fiction class and something inside of me woke up.

There were multiple ideas and tips that I did not agree with in the class but one thing that I would take away from the class was the book we read every day at the beginning or the end of lecture. Letters to a Young Writer, I knew as soon as I purchased it at the store that I would fall in love with it and I was right. Every entry that McCann wrote related to me on some level. Some entries were deeper than others but I was still excited to read them in class and I even would read the letters when I was not in class.

The book gave me a writing compass.

This is what I mean that as a writer we need to believe in something. Find something to keep you close, something that could help keep the writing fire inside of you alive.The spark could be a book, a person, something that gets you thinking. It has to make you raise your eyebrows and want to learn so much more. Your writing compass will keep you centered while the world around you is spiraling out of control. Writers get lost in their own ideas and pieces and sometimes we do not come up for air and see the grand picture. So sometimes we need to take a step back, recollect ourselves and evaluate the importance of why we are writers. I found that within Letters and I am very glad.

As a writer, there will be times when things will get hard and make us question ourselves but we cannot let that keep us down for too long. Not everyone can be a writer, just not everyone could be a doctor or an engineer. We look at the world differently and,

To be an artist means never to avert your eyes. -Akira Kurosawa

That is when the few gain the most knowledge.

So thank you Mr. McCann for your book of letters, it made me realize that I have so much to learn as a writer and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me. Who knows, maybe you will one day read this letter.

-A Young Writer

Cover Image Credit: Deb Greengold

Popular Right Now

The 10 Stages Of A 2:30 P.M. Kickoff, As Told By Alabama Students

But we still say Roll MF Tide!


We all have a love-hate relationship with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Bryant Denny Stadium, especially when it's 94 degrees.

1. Immediate sadness


What do you mean I have to wake up at 9 a.m. to get ready?

2. Bracing yourself for the worst


It's a marathon not a sprint ladies and gentleman.

3. Accepting the game is going to happen


Rain or shine we are all in that student section screaming our heads off.

4. Trying to wear the least amount clothes possible without being naked on the Quad


Is it me or does it get 10 times more hot the minute you walk on to the quad?

5. Shedding a tear when you walk out your front door once you feel the heat and humidity on your skin


Is it fall yet?

6. Drowning your sorrows inside a Red Solo cup at 11:30 a.m. at a fraternity tailgate


Maybe I'll forget about the humidity if I start frat hopping now.

7. Getting in line to go through security realizing it'll take an hour to actually get inside Bryant Denny


More security is great and all but remember the heat index in Alabama? Yeah, it's not easy being smushed like sardines before even getting into Bryant Denny.

8. Feeling the sweat roll down every part of your body


Oh yeah I am working on my tan and all but what is the point of showering before kick off?

9. Attempting to cheer on the Tide, but being whacked in the head with a shaker by the girl behind you. 


Shakers are tradition, but do we have to spin it around in a full 360 every two seconds? I have a migraine from just thinking about it.

10. Leaving a quarter into the game because Alabama is kicking ass and you're about to have a heat stroke.


I'll watch the rest in air conditioning thank you very much!

We may not love the 2:30 kickoffs but Roll Tide!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Made Emma Chamberlain's Mediocre Vegan Cookies, And They're Pretty Incredible

Emma and her vegan cookies have made their way into my heart, and are here to stay.


One day, I went down the black hole that is 'YouTube at 3 am' and discovered my favorite social media influencer of all time: Emma Chamberlain. I started binge watching her videos every night for about a week, where I came across her "Cooking With Emma" series. I decided that I wanted to give her vegan antics a go for myself.

I've never cooked or baked anything with the intention of it being vegan, so not only is that new territory for me, but I've never even eaten a vegan cookie. The only reason I'm doing this is because Emma did, and she is aesthetic goals.

To start the journey of vegan baking, I took to Pinterest, just like Emma, and found this recipe to use. Although the video that inspired all of this used a gluten free recipe, I opted for only vegan, because I'm allergic to most of the ingredients that make things gluten-free.

In true Emma style, I used a whisk to combine the wet ingredients together, making sure to use her special technique.

Then, I did the same thing with the dry ingredients.

After that, I dumped everything together and combined all of the ingredients.

Once they were combined, I chopped up a vegan chocolate bar, because Emma and I like chocolate chunk cookies, not chocolate chip, there's a difference.

Now that everything is combined, I made balls of dough and stuck it on a pan, and baked them while I binged more Emma, because what else would I be doing in my spare time?

The recipe said to make the balls a lot smaller, but we aren't perfect, so I made them gigantic. In my head, I thought the worst thing that could happen was it turn into one big cookie, but that's a whole other video you need to watch.

I took them out of the oven, and they were brown on the top, but still a little doughy. At this point I was tired of waiting and eager to eat them, so I disappointingly set them aside to cool, which only lasted a minute or so before I snagged one up to try.

The taste was definitely one I've never associated with cookies, and came to the conclusion that if I decided to go vegan, it would be doable with these cookies and Emma Chamberlain by my side.

Emma inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, which is a reoccurring theme throughout her channel, and I'm happy to be apart of it. She taught me that even if mediocre cookies is all you have, eat them with pride because you made them yourself.

Related Content

Facebook Comments