by Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

Photo: Veronica Louis

When I was in high school, back in the late 90’s, I had an English teacher that made us write in a journal at the beginning of every class. It’s only in retrospect that I could truly appreciate the benefits of such an activity.  I didn’t know it then, but that simple daily exercise helped whet my appetite for writing.

I recently came across my old English journals. I found an interesting entry on May 18, 1999 titled: “Why I Write.” This blast from the past was nothing less than amusing yet enlightening. That entry revealed that when I was 16, writing was a fun way to escape from “the daily pressures.” What struck me as funny is that the 30-year-old me sometimes feel that writing is a pressure. So it was great to be reminded that when I was younger, there was absolutely no pressure when it came to writing. Au contraire, it was what I did to escape it.

Why I Write

May 18, 1999

Dear Honey, I have to write an essay on why I write, so I guess I thought that writing to you might give me a few ideas.

Why do I write, Honey? Same reason why everybody else writes. (Except for the ones who do it just because they have to).

I think writing is a way of placing all your anger, emotions and feelings on paper. I also write because the art of writing is a getaway from the daily pressures, I can create my own world and create characters that I can make them feel stuff that I don’t feel.

I believe, Honey, that writing is your voice on paper. When you write you can allow yourself to put things on paper that you would never say in real life. There is no such thing as being shy when you’re writing. When I write, it’s just me, the pen and the paper. I don’t have to be afraid of saying something stupid and know one can hear it. I can place all my feelings and emotions on a topic, without worrying what others think. They can’t read it unless I allow them. That is truly a great feeling. That is why I write.

More than a few times when riding the city bus or metro, I will just take out my journal and start writing.  Anything from having to look at the woman across of me growing a beard and the man beside me with a bad case of B.O. My pen and my notebook become one and I write away like crazy. I would write on anything, whatever pops into my head. I would slowly begin to forget about my 10 page science project due the next day and slowly forget about the big math test. I write to escape. Writing is a way for me to escape the daily pressures that I’m plagued with regularly. It’s a way for me to just tune out the real world and concoct my own.

The greatest thing about writing would have to be its creative aspect. With the help of a pen and paper, I have the power to create a world where its characters can be anything and anyone. There are absolutely no boundaries, completely no limits. All I need to do is imagine. I can create characters that are rich, poor, beautiful, popular, shy, mysterious. The list is long. I can concoct a character based on me and make her do things I’ve never done before. Make her feel things I’ve never felt before. Having the ability to be the creator of my own world, is the greatest reason why I write.

Writing is indeed the key to the door that allows you to escape from the real world and lets you be creator of your own universe. I enjoy having my own world, that is why I use the key.

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