Sometimes people ask me why I write. Okay, no-one's ever actually asked me this, but I just wanted to stick in my answer. So sue me. Back when I began writing seriously--some time around the sixth grade--I wrote because I could: I was good at it, and it gave me something to do. Then, in the ninth grade, I began writing serious poetry, moving beyond writing for pure entertainment. This had two effects. Firstly, it produced a lot of pretentious, pseudo-poetic garbage. Secondly, it got me interested in writing as an actual art form. I churned out tons of boring kitsch and actually considered myself a poet; it was arrogant and produced little of value, but at least I had really begun to think about the poetry of my writing.

In the summer following ninth grade I received a kind (but firm) reality-check from an instructor in a creative writing workshop and rapidly began to evolve (I should hope) out of the hackneyed and self-important writing that my ninth-grade period had produced. I write for three primary reasons nowadays. First, I write to give myself something to do. I enjoy taking characters and creating situations in which to put them. In my younger days I'd do this with action figures or legos. Today I do it on a page. Second, I write to keep track of ideas. I'm a sort of mental packrat; I'll toss all sorts of physical things in the garbage, but I never want to lose an idea. Writing gives me a way to put ideas in tangible form where I can gather them up in a big binder and let them collect dust until I need them again. Finally, and probably most importantly, I write as an artistic and emotional outlet. I believe that within everyone, there is a drive to create things which we may truly call ours and to sublimate the emotions that tear at us. For some, this becomes visual art; for others, music; for yet others, it may become acting, film-making, cooking, computer programming, or any number of other things. For me, it is creative writing. I write not only to keep myself interested in the world and to remember the world, but also to cope with the world. Which leaves me with three basic statements: I write because I can. I write because I want to. I write because I must.