Name: Linus Kaechele
Position on staff: Managing Editor of Online Assignments
1. What drew you to writing?
“Originally, it was the secrecy and intimacy of writing letters. Before I joined TCT and before I got really into more personal essays or column or poem-type [stories], I was super into writing letters. That started sophomore year because of [senior] Abby Wright. Before that, I would say I liked writing, but I wouldn’t say that I was drawn to it. I did it for school, but I didn’t do it as a form of emotional expression the way I did when I started writing letters. Then I gave a Ted Talk on writing letters, and then I eventually joined TCT, and the rest is history.”
2. Why have you continued to write?
“I’ve continued to write because it’s the only form of emotional relief that I haven’t fallen out of love with, if that makes sense. I used to love playing my trumpet, and then that kind of went away; I used to love listening to indie artists and finding music on Spotify to relate to, [and] that kind of went away. I used to study for emotional relief—which is insane—and thankfully that went away. But the only thing that has really survived the times has been writing, and I hope it never goes away. Although writing for TCT can be emotionally draining and exhausting a lot of work, I would say, at the end of the day, that it’s worth it because I’m so proud of the stuff I do, and I continue to write because I want to continue to be proud of what I create. Also, a big component is knowing that if I stopped writing my mom would stop telling me how much she loves my writing, so honestly, you can scratch literally everything I just said and just say I write because it makes my mom happy, and I like making my mom happy. Love you, mom.”
3. What is your favorite word? Why?
“Asking me what my favorite word is is like asking [AP Literature teacher Lisa] Penninga what her favorite book is: it should be illegal. I have multiple favorite words, and I know that’s breaking the rule of the question, but some of them include saccharine, scarf, and porcelain. My favorite words change with the moon phases, but I would say I’m drawn to a word if it’s a word that sounds better written than spoken. There’s a select few, and if you’re a writer, you will know what those types of words are.”
4. How do you write? Is it a long process, or do you find it easy?
“I think I take longer to write things than probably about anyone else on staff. I spend around three to four hours [writing] features and profiles and closer to two for columns and editorials and reviews. Poems are quick, but poems are quick for everyone—I think. My method of writing is very interesting; sometimes I’ll find inspiration throughout the week, and I’ll think of a cute sentence and plug it into my Notes app to remember it. [Then], I’ll base a column off of five or so words. Or, I will sit in my bed for 45 minutes trying to come up with something and then just write a bunch of pretty words and hide my feelings under metaphors and just hope [newspaper advisor Ken] George likes it. Do I find writing easy? No. There was definitely a time last year when I was like, ‘Oh my God, inspiration just comes to me.’ It doesn’t anymore; it does, but last year I could sit down [and] ‘Bam,’ pop something out. Last year, I could snap and just sit down and write something up. I can’t really do that anymore. I would say I’m a lot more careful with what I write because last year it was kind of ‘here’ and ‘there,’ and I really like to streamline my thoughts this year in my writing, so I would say my writing process is really long just because I like my articles to be really well-thought-out and delicate, if that makes sense.”
5. How has your relationship with writing evolved throughout the years?
“I used to hate writing; in elementary school, I literally despised it for the sole purpose that I hated handwriting books. Anytime I had to write anything—even if it was my name on a paper—I would hate it. Obviously like all little kids like to write stories, and I definitely went through phases like that, but I used to adore English for the sole purpose of books. My hatred for writing could not outweigh my love for books, and now, even though I’m Book Club president, I still love to read. It’s a much closer battle, and I would say I like writing more now just because I’m more connected to writing than anything else. Obviously, I have shirts and sweatshirts and button-ups with emotional attachment or books that I cling to whenever I need a sense of comfort, but nothing fills me with a sense of pride and authenticity and fulfillment the way reading my old writing does, so I would say [that] my relationship with writing has grown because I’ve grown; I’ve learned to appreciate it even though it’s difficult [because] some of the best things are something you have to muscle through to enjoy at the end.”