Senior finds passion in writing

May 30, 2018 — by Elaine Sun

“In the shooting star sat Winston Marshall, the last astronaut, finally returning to his homeland. To his homeworld. As he descended through the atmosphere, experiencing a feeling that can only be described as nihilistic optimism, he grinned. He was coming home,” senior Sasha Berkeley wrote, completing her 5,300-word short story “The Last Astronaut.”

Berkeley enjoys writing because it gives her an opportunity to make her inner thoughts and ideas come to life and “dance across the page.”

“It's a very rewarding and cathartic experience, seeing something you were only able to think about before, now shareable with others,” Berkeley said.

While she enjoys many types of writing, Berkeley enjoys science fiction the most, especially the “darker side” in genres such as cosmic horror, grimdark, dystopian and post-apocalyptia. For Berkeley, these genres are most appealing because they make the current world seem manageable and sane by comparison. In addition, she believes that events that happen in the science fiction genre might still happen.

Berkeley often writes short stories because she feels that she doesn’t have the patience or commitment to fully flesh out a novel.

“Short stories are more limiting in terms of scope but they can still deliver on powerful themes and ideas,” she said.

Berkeley usually starts by jotting down story ideas, starting them when she feels inspired and filling  in the details as she writes. Then, she continues writing until she “runs out of stamina.” Since Berkeley begins stories without coming up with the end, she usually doesn’t finish most of her stories.

As a result, she believes one of the most difficult parts of writing is translating the idea to an actual story.

“Ideas are easy, but writing itself is hard,” Berkeley said. “But writing helps me gain new perspectives on life.”

Although she doesn’t think her work would be successful now because “the market is always very saturated,” she hopes to someday be able to publish her writing. Still, she believes that her enjoyment of writing will continue with her into the future.

“I will be taking courses in college to better myself because I think I have potential, and I want to be the best writer I can be,” Berkeley said.


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