Senior English major Clayton Grant said Georgia Southern University’s creative writing community is like a second family. A regular at Burning Swamp—the Writing and Linguistics Department’s open mic reading series at Eagle Creek Brewing Company—Grant said he’s proud of the work his writer friends do.
“Burning Swamp is probably my favorite thing to do with my writing community of people. Because nobody is afraid,” Grant said. “I mean, people are afraid, obviously, but it’s more like nerves. It’s not like they’re afraid to share a certain piece.”
But until last semester, Grant only wrote as a hobby. He said his former roommate convinced him his creative writing was worth pursuing in earnest.
Creative nonfiction and screenplays are Grant’s main genres. For Grant, creative nonfiction offers a way to write about mental health from his own perspective.
“In writing about mental health, I don’t want people to feel like they’re alone. That’s why I do it. It’s not because I want people to empathize with me,” Grant said.
Grant only writes about his own experiences with mental health. He explained that he wants to write about mental health issues with accuracy, and he wouldn’t want to get someone else’s experience wrong.
Growing up, Grant loved fantasy. He started writing stories in elementary school, and he liked reading the “Magic Tree House” and “Harry Potter” series.
“I love the idea of creating something new,” Grant said. “And I couldn’t sing. I didn’t have a good singing voice. So writing was it. That was it for me. I just loved it.”
Grant isn’t a fantasy fan anymore. He prefers creative nonfiction and comic books. Lately, he’s been reading a lot of GS professor Christina Olson’s writing.
After he graduates from GS, Grant wants to take a year off to go back home to Hinesville and work at the local library. He plans to save enough money to attend graduate school.
To see Grant’s writing published here on Miscellany, click here.