Why do I write?

I get asked this question a lot. In interviews for internships, for several of my jobs, even by sarcastic friends. I ask myself that question often out of frustration when a piece is not going the way I want it to or when things just aren’t lining up, but also to remind myself of why I am doing what I am doing.

I started writing because I liked words. I liked that I could string a bunch of words together and suddenly have a story or a thought or a meaning. As I grew up, I let my writing become an outlet, a way for me to open up and share what I felt and thought. I have never been very good at using my voice to tell someone something, but if you give me a pen and a piece of paper, you better prepare yourself for a full-blown lecture, complete with perfect five-paragraph MLA formatting. My writing became a way to cope with the world around me. I have been through some pretty intense things in my life, things that left me scarred and in pain, but writing helped me through. No matter how I felt or what had happened, I knew I could write it out and process it that way.

Now, writing has become two things to me-my livelihood and my peace. I write for a national journal as well as for the English department at my university. I am constantly working on articles and columns, meeting with my editors, and going back over my work. Deadlines are penned all over my planner in red ink. It has become my job, but I love it. We all know when you love something, it doesn’t seem like work. Yet sometimes, I need to step back from my job. I need to back away from all the papers for my classes or the deadlines breathing down my neck. That is when I write for peace. I’ll scribble out a few lines of poetry, or a sentence that has been running around in my head all day. I’ll sit down with one of my short stories and sit with my characters for a while. I can relax, let loose, and breathe before I jump back into the chaos of life.

I write because I have a voice. I write because I have something to say. I write because I have a right to be heard, even if it is only by a few people. I write to grow as a person and find who I am supposed to be. Writing in my life and my peace.

So, dear readers, why do you write?


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