Meet Chloe

Chloe Varenhorst
UGA Undergraduate Student

What is your writing process?

Writing has always been slippery for me, so when I have an assignment that may be challenging, I try to choose a topic I really enjoy. The less the writing seems like a chore, the less likely I am to avoid my task until the last second. When I find something I am really passionate about in writing, then I feel motivated to not only do my work, but to do it well, and that’s the best feeling. 

What do you enjoy about writing? 

A blank page has always been a safe space for me to discuss things that excite, bother, surprise, or upset me in a way that regular conversation often doesn’t allow. Being able to write in a passionate yet impartial perspective can resonate with readers in such a strong way that the detachment between writer and reader doesn’t matter. Both parties are, for a short time, immersed in the same process of learning and evaluating the presented evidence and I find that sense of communal progress invaluable.

Based on your experience, what is the value of writing? Generally and in your classes? 

That is an impossible question, for how could one put a value on art, or empathy, or the open ears of others? Writing is putting everything on a blank sheet and bearing your soul hoping someone else will not only find it, but understand it. In writing for classes, the same feelings of vulnerability and hope persist and are often amplified because of the judgement required in the system of academics. Even if the only person reading your writing is your 1101 professor, you’re still using words to reach out and you still have to stick it out with the hope that someone will reach back. 

What does getting published in The Classic Journal mean to you? 

It is completely possible that I am overexcited for this publication, but I don’t think so. Getting published in The Classic is the first step for me to legitimize my dream of being a writer, so it’s big. Of course I’m going to continue submitting my work but the validation of having someone say yes is incredibly encouraging and motivating. One small paper for The Classic and one huge step forward for an aspiring writing in her third year of college. 

What have you learned? How have you grown as a writer?

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that writing is in no way removed, so it should be done with passion. At its core, writing is a creative endeavor and that must be embraced if it is to carry any meaning. Though the elimination the use of “I”s and “You”s and “We”s makes academic writing appear neutral, there is so much more than that.  Every type of writing is an opportunity to grab people by the eyeballs and make them listen to you for however many pages you have, so make the most of it. You won’t have the attention of the reader forever.

What would you like for other undergraduate students to know about publishing their work in The Classic

The only thing I could possibly say to other students like me is “Go for it, dear God just hit submit. There is no glory in being a coward and also the worst possibility is that you improve. Just try.” Even though it often feels terrible, rejection is a chance to learn and revise previous mistakes. Going through rejection provides both a tool and a motivation to become a better writer, so it should not be feared. The outcome is known. The only question you should be worrying about is “What if they say yes?” because then, anything can happen.

What’s up next for you writing-wise, school-wise, down the road?

I have to finish my undergraduate studies, during which I will be busy submitting writings to anyone that will take them. After graduation I want to travel, perhaps teaching English to students across the world before I consider more schooling. Law school is a big possibility for me, but I am also considering post-graduate studies of English and other forms of teaching. My only concrete plan is to figure out my future as I encounter it.