E-town graduate writes her own story
There are two published books, an online magazine with more than a million readers and thousands of articles and essays bearing her byline. Brianna Wiest, who graduated from Elizabethtown College in the summer of 2013 — a year earlier, than her peers — is what you’d call a prolific writer.
“It’s never been more possible to have a job writing things you love and that interest you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard work” said Wiest. While at E-town, she was editor-in-chief of the Etownian and a student assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communications, where, she said, she learned skills she uses in her work. “The things I learned there helped pave the way to what I do now – everything from web design to headline writing. That’s the bread and butter of my daily life,” the writer said.
Though she graduated with a degree in professional writing, with a gender studies minor, Wiest pointed out that her classes in sociology likely had the deepest impact. “It was my first exposure into how a lot of the world is constructed and why. It answered questions I didn’t even know I had. It was enlightening,” she said.
If you want to be a writer, write.”
Wiest has been a contributor for major publications and magazines, such has The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue. She also had two articles, in 2013, that placed on the ‘most read of the entire internet’ list. But she does not stop there. Last year, Wiest created her own online magazine, Soul Anatomy, which has just under a million readers per month.
Soul Anatomy combines Western psychology and Eastern philosophy, she said. “Our mission is to facilitate personal growth and help people build emotional intelligence through stories and ideas.” The site has a “20 questions” series, for which they have interviewed philosopher Alain de Botton and writers such as C. Joybell C., among others.
Wiest has written thousands of stories, with millions of views, for Thought Catalog. She started writing for the publications between classes while she was a student at E-town. Writing a few thousand words a day is something Wiest does in her daily work life, and her years of practice and hard work can be seen through the success of her works.
Simply, said Wiest, “if you want to be a writer, write.” She suggests that aspiring writers should “pitch and submit to as many people and sites and magazines as you can manage.”
“A solid grasp on language and grammar is crucial,” but, she noted, that’s not all it takes to make a writer successful. “The people who succeed are the ones who say something that resonates.”
This E-town alum loves every second of her hard work, she said. And, in 10 years, she hopes to be doing the same thing but on a larger scale.
“At that point, I will probably be writing books more than articles,” said Wiest. “I am also on the hunt for a house, and I’d like to have kids.”