Artist Spotlight: Chloe Kim (II)
by Hana Tatsutani on Friday, February 26th, 2016
Earlier this month, several of Milton’s creative writers were recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for their impressive poems and short stories. One of these artists, Chloe Kim (II), received four Scholastic Silver Key awards and one honorable mention for five different pieces she submitted to the competition. To give you a sense of how competitive the Scholastic Art & Writing awards are, according to the Scholastic website, over 300,000 works were submitted by students from grades 7-12 last year, and only the top 2,000 pieces were recognized.
Before coming to Milton, Chloe had never taken a creative writing class. Although she was interested in the subject, the class wasn’t offered at her old school. Chloe explains, “I was so excited to take it here, and I was not disappointed. Mr. Connolly, my Creative Writing teacher, completely changed my life, and I think I can firmly say that he has changed the lives of pretty much everyone he’s ever taught. He made me realize my potential as a writer, and he was honestly the best fit for me.”
When Chloe first started Creative Writing her sophomore year, she wrote mostly poems and short stories about her real life experiences. However, as she began to evolve as a writer, she started to venture more into fiction. Chloe points out, “Some writers argue that you can only write about what you know, but I’m not sure if I agree. I still struggle with the idea, since I’m still a complete amateur, but I think you can write about anything as long as you’re emotionally invested in it. Personally, I get most of my inspiration from reading. I read all the time, and I honestly think the best way to become a better writer is to read anything and everything in reach. Every time I come upon an interesting idea or phrase–not only in books, but just in life general–I write it down, and later use it to conjure up a poem or story.”
Chloe constantly stores ideas in the hopes of later finding inspiration for her writing. She claims that she can “bang out a poem in less than an hour,” but it is the thinking process that takes much longer.
Although Chloe has now been recognized by a major competition for her writing, she still struggles with self-doubt when it comes to her work. She explains, “No matter what kind of art you pursue, if you’re an artist of any sort, then you will reach a point at which you don’t think your work is good enough. For me, this phase started last summer, and to be honest, I’m still not over it. This is really hard because there are no limits to self-doubt, and it really blocks you from reaching your full potential. When I told Mr. Connolly about this, he told me that the only way to get over it is to just write. No matter how bad you think you are, just write. I didn’t get this approach at first, and it was very frustrating because I didn’t want to produce anything that I wouldn’t be proud of. But he’s right–he’s always right. You just have to get over yourself and write, and that’s what I’m trying to do these days.”
Despite the challenge of maintaining confidence in her writing ability, Chloe hopes to be an English major in college, and eventually become a professional writer, something that she has known she wanted to do since she was in the eighth grade. Chloe admits, “Ever since the first day I met Mr. Connolly, he claimed that he doesn’t think I’ll become a writer. Honestly, at this point, all I want to do is prove him wrong!”
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7737