Featured Artist - April 2016: Our Interview with Lindsey Wright
For our interview with April's Featured Artist, Lindsey Wright, we sat down with her in the Creative Writing department of Columbia College Chicago. Lindsey is a sophmore at Columbia, majoring in Creative Writing. We were excited to talk with her about the work she submited to us as well as her creative life.
"The first thing I wrote, offically wrote, fully, was Kim Possible fan fiction. I'm not even lying." Lindsey told us when asked about her past as a writer. "Like I drew a picture of Kim Possible with the red hair and everything and she was a cheerleader and Kim Possible was a cheerleader and she fought crime and Kim Possible fought crime. So, yeah, that was third grade? Third grade. And I’ve always loved books and reading and even before all of that. I’ve of course gone into my phases of wanting to be different things—doctor, lawyer, princess, stuff like that. No matter what I was doing I always wanted to be writing while I was doing it. And when I got to high school I knew I wanted to make a profession out of writing."
Lindsey's father is a CPA, which she refers to as an "accountant on steroids." When she talks about him, she seems proud, slipping in the fact that he passed his CPA exam on the first try. "Most people don't do that."
While the essay she submited to us is Nonfiction, Lindsey says she tends to focus on Fiction writing. "I kind of decided I wanted to do fiction because I think fiction is very powerful and it doesn’t get enough credit for being as powerful as it is. Fiction is kind of what made me want to start writing. I read Nonfiction books and I think they can be equally as great, but I think that there's something about the imagination in fiction writing that is unparalleled to any other kind. I think…cause I think it’s easy to imagine non fiction writing. Especially when it’s a memoir or something by a celebrity or some public figure that you know. It’s easy to imagine it and it’s easy to see it. But I think that fiction forms and develops a different type of imagination, it stretches a different part of your brain…..to me when you first read a book, and this is why I like to read books before I see movies, when you first read a book, you are in charge of everything visually. I mean there are visuals given to you, but not many. You kind of control how you see everything. And I think there’s a certain amount of creativity and imagination that goes into that and I think it’s really important that humans exercise that part of their brains because I think it ultimately helps you to imagine things on your own rather than with the help of a novel."
One of the things that stands out upon meeting Lindsey for the first time is her smile. It's happy, the kind of smile that's contagious, but it's also strong. Just like her.
"I want my writing to be empowering to women like me. I want to write stories for those who feel under represented in our society." She elaborates on this when the discussion moves to the essay she wrote on masturbation. "Masturbation is something that a lot of people find to be an inappropriate or awkward topic and I don't understand why. I feel like it's natural for one to explore themselves Especially for women. Young men are told that it's okay for them to masturbate. In fact, it's expected of them. I didn't grow up with parents that didn't let me masturbate, but I had many friends who did. They were told that it was unladylike to explore your body. And honestly I think that not allowing young women the option to learn their bodies makes them dependent on young men to learn their bodies and young men are the WORST people to do that. I'm a virgin. That isn't something I'm ashamed of yet it isn't something that I am cocky about. It's just a fact and I feel like, because I know my body, when that time comes I'll be more comfortable. I'll be able to steer my partner in the right direction. I think all girls should have ultimate power over their bodies."
When looking to the future, Lindsey aims to keep breaking down barriers, mostly within herself. "Believe it or not, I want to stop censoring myself. I still, despite writing an entire essay on masturbation, get anxious about saying the wrong things. I want to grow beyond that. If it's in my heart and if I'm putting it into my art it can't be wrong.