Words of Wisdom

Student explains her passion for writing and future plans

Ruchi Sankolli, Reporter

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From short stories, to poems, to screenplays, sophomore Ireland Weaver has written it all. Some of her works include “The Lighthouse,” “Advice from 16,” “Midnight Swim,” “1985” and “The Sky Between Us.” Weaver said her passion for writing began from a very young age, when she would often write her own stories. 

“I think it started when I was really young,” Weaver said. “I would watch TV shows and think about what they could have done differently. I sort of write my own stories because I felt like that was something I could control.”

Weaver loves writing simply because it is a way for her to use her creativity and it is something she can modify however she desires.

“For me, writing is a way to create the world you want to see or one you wish you hadn’t,” Weaver said. “I love that. I love how at the root of every piece of writing is the author’s personal story. Everything that they shove down and try to keep secret comes bubbling up. They change everything about it through the setting, names, and events. They change so much about the story that everyone sees it as complete fiction, while it is really a reflection of the author’s life.” 

Weaver often writes things that tell stories that highlight the pain and emotional experiences in people’s lives. 

“For me, talking about great tragedies, like losing people, losing yourself and then getting that back, struggling, finding out who you are, that’s what it’s about,” Weaver said. “For a lot of people that have read my stuff, this seems kind of sad to them, but for me, it’s like surviving. Telling the stories of people persevering.” 

She said she intends to keep her owns style of writing but still uses inspiration from other writers.

“I don’t want to be like anybody else,” Weaver said. “I think a lot of older screenwriters from the golden age of Hollywood have lightly inspired me, but I don’t take too much influence from anybody. Although I don’t have many influences when it comes to screenwriting, when it comes to poetry, someone that really influenced me was Robert Frost.” 

Weaver said that “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Frost really impacted her. 

“That poem really influenced me because you see him,” Weaver said. “It’s like one of those perfect poems where you can see that whatever the reader went through is what the reader picks up, but if you look past what you think its about and try to imagine him writing it, as an older man, things he wished he could have done, then realizing that even if he had done things differently, he is happy where he is now.”

She said her most favorite piece of work that she had created was a poem called “The Lighthouse”.

Weaver has a strong passion for writing and wishes to inspire others through writing. “I thought about becoming a novelist, but I wanted to help people like me.” Ireland said. “People that didn’t feel as smart, who didn’t think that reading was their strongest part. That’s why I decided to become a screenwriter. To create films about people who don’t necessarily get a voice.”

“It is the story of this girl who sees this lighthouse outside her window,” Weaver said. “The worse her life gets, the lighthouse starts to fade away. In her darkest moments, she sees the lighthouse again, and she realizes that that lighthouse was her younger self and that she is trying to be a lighthouse for other people, and saving people that are still left in the storm.”

Weaver is currently working on a screenplay that highlights the struggles of the pain humans experience. 

“It goes into depth about how you get hurt,” Weaver said. “As humans, you get hurt. And it’s not getting hurt that is important, rather it is what you do after that. You have to keep going.”

Weaver has submitted five poems this past October to the YoungArts Writing Competition, a nationwide competition that includes works from many forms of art, such as theatre, writing and photography.

“This is my first year to submit,” Weaver said. “I haven’t submitted to other competitions, but I have submitted my work to small magazines.” 

Weaver also submitted a screenplay titled “A Two Sided Bottle” in 2018 to the Scholastic and Writing Competition for which she won the silver key. According to their website, silver keys are awarded to pieces that “demonstrate exceptional ability.”

She said that she often gets inspired by her life and likes to write stories about significant events in the lives of other people.  

“For me, it’s not their exact story, but it’s the emotion from different things that have happened,” Weaver said. “ I think that the actual story can be different, but the actual emotion you get from it can be the same. When I write anything, it’s 40 percent for me, and 60 percent for the audience. At the root of it, it’s my story or whatever story is there, and then the rest of it is for the reader and for them to put their own story onto it.”

Weaver is able to incorporate the significant struggles that other people experience in pieces of writing. She explains the meaning behind her poem “The Lighthouse” and how this has tied into several other themes she has used in her work. 

“Its that emotion of feeling worthless, feeling tired, feeling that everyone has given up on you,” Weaver said. “Then to have that moment of hope and optimism is really amazing. I think everybody gets to a point where they have given up on their childhood dreams. Then you feel like you have let down your younger self, that they are judging you. But then, you can hit this moment where you don’t feel like you can get out of something. Then in that moment, the strength of that younger person who would have gone through anything and would have been your advocate, that’s the person that you feel like you have to get up for. Every person has gotten to the point where they feel worthless. But every single person eventually gets out of that, and starts to figure out about what path you want to be on and who they are.” 

Weaver wishes to pursue her passion as a screenwriter in the future and wants to inspire people like herself. 

“I was never smart. I was bad at everything, and for me, TV and movies were an escape,” Weaver said. “I thought about becoming a novelist, but I wanted to help people like me. People that didn’t feel as smart, who didn’t think that reading was their strongest part. That’s why I decided to become a screenwriter. To create films about people who don’t necessarily get a voice. I just want to give people an escape that film and TV have given me.”