Why I Write

Through high school and college, I had to write the pesky “Why I Write” essay or the peskier “How I Started And Keep Writing and Why I Should Be a Writing Major” essay.

I’ve been vaguely thinking about digging out one of those old college entrance essays. I’m curious to read what I wrote back then. I thought I was serious about my writing then, but I feel like it was playtime compared to now.

Inspired by this.

I write because I want to be praised. I write because I wanted to be good at something. I wanted to be thought of as creative. I like stories. I like to read. I come up with stories all the time, act them out, make my Barbies into my very own actors.

I write because sometimes, the movie doesn’t end the way you want it to. Sometimes, I think the story would be way more awesome with kick-ass girls as the lead characters. I think my imagination is powerful. I think that if I write it, it exists in a way. It’s the closest I’ll get to being there or meeting that person.

I write because every week, we have a short story due. I write because the prompts are fun. They spark inspiration. I  write because I don’t know how to talk. I write because my teacher says she always enjoys my stories. I write because my friend said she liked my story, too. I write because typing on a computer feels so deliciously grown-up.

I write because I can’t deal with the stupidity, frustration, anger and resentment. I write because I don’t understand and I want to, so much. I write because I’m depressed. Nobody understands me. I’m lonely. I write because books are my best friends. I write because I’m curious. I write because I want to see how far I can take things. If I write it down, then I won’t actually do those things.

I write because I have papers on Shakespeare due for English class. I write because it calms me. I write because I can be completely myself. I can be truly, brutally honest in a way that in “real life,” people wouldn’t appreciate. I write to be distinctive. I write to explore my own scary mind. I write because I’m bored in science class. I write because my friend gets the giggles when she sees a note I wrote and illustrated. I write because I’m on the school paper and this ridiculous article is due. I write to see my byline. I write to give myself an awesome future job with an awesome future husband and bestow those things on my friends, too. I write because I really want to know what the end is. I write because I don’t know what the end is.

I write to be analytical. I write because hey, that piece of trash got published, why can’t I? I write because I am meticulous. I write because I am overwrought and emotional. I write because I am impervious to criticism. I write because I am oversensitive to criticism. I write to see where I’ve been. I write to see where I’m going. I write because it’s my major. I write because it’s the only thing I’ve ever thought I was any good at. I write because I never think I’ll be a good enough writer. I write to make people laugh. I write because I want people to think and feel and imagine.

I write because I decided to. The pen is mightier than the sword. I write because I’m bored. I write because I realize that I’ve been writing all these years and have never finished a book-length work. I write because blogs are free. I write because I have an idea. I write to get better. I write so I can get critiqued and become better. I write because I have something to say. I write because I read another book that made me intensely jealous, made my stomach curl and shrivel and my head hurt in its perfection and gorgeous prose. I write to emulate it. I write because I know I shouldn’t want to emulate it; I should just go with my own style. I write because I have expansive ideas. I write because a character told me to. I write because it lets me float around in a place two centuries ago. I write to understand myself. I write to understand society.

I write to try to achieve perfection. I write because I love to. I write because I hate to. I write to get the 50,000 words out. I write in order to craft. I write so I can see my future book made into a miniseries. I write because I just want to finish this book, whether it gets published or not. I write so I can hold my head up high. I write so I can sit on the subway and observe. I write because it’ll be my life’s work.

I write because it’s like breathing. I write because it’s hard. I write because it comes easy. I write because I am immature. I write because I feel wise and old. I write because my mind is a loud, absorbing place and I have to get it out somehow.

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