I’ve been scribbling down the thoughts that have consumed my brain ever since I was of middle school age. In 7th grade, we were given a Creative Writing assignment, and I remember becoming so engrossed with the task. I thought up what I assumed were incredibly unique characters and pieced them together. It ended up being a tragic piece of work–I still have the transcript–but I’ll never misplace how proud of myself I was. It’s a feeling everyone should have towards their passions–towards what they do in life. I write for that 7th grade girl who couldn’t wait to hand in her project, and who ’til this day, gets excited about a finished piece of work.
I write because I used to bottle myself up and did my best to be invisible. In school, I couldn’t handle being wrong and if I spoke, it was because I knew myself to be right. I write because that girl had so much to say, but didn’t know how to present herself in what she believed was acceptable. I write because I have so much to say and it’s the only way I know how.
In high school, I was teased, and the only way I could find refuge was in my journal and writing short stories. I drowned in my imaginary worlds and floated upon the stories I created. I had no idea I was laying a foundation for who I was meant to be.
I write to find peace in the things I can’t understand. I write when I feel hopeless. I write if my brain and heart are in argument. I write even if it’s shitty. I write because it is me.
When I feel no hope after yet the news of another police brutality related murder, I clack and clack my fingers against the keyboard so that they are numb and until my eyes dry. It is how I cope and seek the strength to be hopeful again.
I write for the women who come before me. For the classic trailblazers of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Thurston to the modern wordsmiths Zadie Smith and Jesmyn Ward. I write on days like this to remind myself of the progress that has been made. Of the progress that’s still to be had.
I write to exist. I write to live. I write to breathe. I write because they don’t want me to. I write to capture the time. I write for those who can’t. I write because I have to. I write…
Writing is me and it can’t be any other way.