Why I Write

“So what do you study?”

I study creative writing – specifically poetry.

“Oh that’s so great! Do you want to be a teacher?”

Well, no… I want to be a writer.

Growing up in the current day and age, most of us are told that we just need a degree to get a job, and that it doesn’t exactly matter what that diploma says as long as you have it. Maybe I took this to heart more than most, but I thought if I have to go to school, I might as well study something I love. My english degree qualifies me for paying jobs, yes, but it also prepares me to pursue the thing I love – writing – no matter what.

I don’t think I ever really “decided” to be a writer. I actually think I was one before I even knew how to write. I remember walking around in a half-lit waiting area while my sister was at dance practice, surrounded by dance moms, scribbling on a notepad like I was Harriet the Spy doing some investigative journalism. Before I knew what it even was, I always knew I had something to say.

Freshman year of high school I had an English teacher who introduced us to SLAM poetry and I truly found my first love. The way the words clawed their way out of these poets, sometimes it didn’t even seem like they knew what they were saying. The poems were driving, and the people were their vehicles. Something big was happening here.

I kept writing through high school, research papers, short stories, newspaper articles, but the poems I wrote at night – I lived in those. My heart, my soul, my entire being dwelled in those 3am outpourings. I don’t remember trying to write them at first, and it wasn’t until college that I learned the names for the literary devices I was using. And the more I learn, the more I fall in love with the craft. Even if sometimes it feels like a bad marriage.

Writing has gotten more and more challenging the more I’ve learned, and the older I’ve gotten. While I’m happy to be off that tightrope of teenage emotion, trying to find the magic in the 9-5 life has proven to be far from easy. What I hope to do here is discover it with you through reflection, close inspection and by simply paying attention.

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