“Esperanza,” which means hope in Spanish.
Pen or Pencil?
Campus Ministry Associate
SJU Writes: What writer inspires you?
GD: Henri Nouwen. He’s a spiritual author. He has a journal about his time in Latin America, those experiences and how they’ve connected with his faith. He also has a lot of books on prayer and spirituality.
SJU Writes: What kind of writing do you do?
GD: A lot of journaling. Also, I have been writing a lot of letters–emails, too–to friends who are not around me, sharing with them what I’m doing and where I am. Journaling is, for me, very reflective.
SJU Writes: What’s your favorite aspect of the writing process?
GD: Getting things out there, seeing them on paper and getting to further expand on those thoughts and feelings, like “Where is this coming from? Why? What’s it connected to?” Writing helps me to release a lot, work through it, put it all there and get it out.
SJU Writes: Tell us more about writing letters.
GD: I started writing letters last year, being in Ecuador and not necessarily having as much electronic communication. That’s carried on into this year, now, having people that I love living in Ecuador ,and I’m here. It’s something special to write to people. For me, in that writing process, I think a lot more deeply than I would if I was just texting or calling.
SJU Writes: How does writing a letter differ from, say, writing a text?
GD: Writing letters challenges me with patience and a lot of gratitude too. I want to talk to this person right now and tell them everything that’s going on, but it takes a long time to write a letter and a long time to get there. With instant communication, I could tell them right now how this letter made me feel and how I want to respond, but I can’t. It’s a slow process that feels more real because I can put time into my response and spend more time.
—Andrea Mueller ’21