Why do I write?
It’s a question that I ask myself over and over again, particularly when I begin brainstorming, plotting, or drafting a new idea. It’s a simple yet loaded question, and the multitude of answers never cease to amaze me.
I began writing at the age of five. I had finished reading all of the Angelina Ballerina books at my local library and was upset that there weren’t anymore. So I decided to write my own. At first, I simply copied down the books on lined paper, practicing my cursive. Gradually, I began to make my own plots featuring Angelina and her best friend Alice. I was writing fanfiction at five years old, and I didn’t even know it. The Angelina Ballerina books not only made me fall in love with writing, but they also made me fall in love with dance.
I’ve continued to write ever since then. In first grade I wrote an original eleven page story, inspired by my friend who had a cousin visiting her at school for a few days. I designed a cover and everything. My mom printed the book, making multiple copies, and together we bound the books with curly ribbon and sold them to family and friends for $5 dollars each.
I was so proud of myself, proud at the very fact that I’d created something that had never been created before, and it’s that spark that continues to drive me. Today, I write for slightly more serious reasons. As a black Muslim girl, there are very few stories written by people like me or about people like me. I take it upon myself to help fill that void. I know when I was reading Angelina Ballerina, Alice, the brown mouse, was the sidekick. But brown and black girls (and all PoC!) don’t deserve to be sidekicks. They’re complex, diverse, and beautiful and I try to portray all of those qualities in my work.
I write to release stress, express myself, and be creative. Writing taps into another part of my mind, that I don’t always engage during school. However, being a writer does help make school more interesting, as I’m always looking for bits of dialogue or slivers of ideas.
I write to inspire, and I read to be inspired. I always write for myself first, but one day I hope that my words and my novels inspire even just one person. I want people to see themselves reflected in all of their glory, because I know I didn’t always see that growing up. I write because I believe that’s one of the gifts that I’ve been blessed with, and I should use that blessing to impact people in whatever way I can. And ultimately I write to make myself happy, because writing truly is a big source of joy in my life.
I hope you all enjoyed this post, and I’d love to know why you all write (or read!) in the comment section below!
Happy writing, happy reading, and happy blogging.