Why do I write? Because I have to. From that moment in the first grade, when my mother suggested I use different words in a sentence to say the same thing (I can still hear her saying, ‘You know, instead of using walk five times, why don’t you try another word?’), I was struck by an amazing truth: words were beautiful and also mysterious. Intriguing. Seductive. They could be used, handled, manipulated. Their meanings could even be turned upside down or bent, if used right. You could move people, bring them to tears or to joy, stir up passion or shock them cold. All by the way words were strung together. Best of all, no two people use them in exactly the same way. I could have my very own voice! Imagine! Certainly at the age of 6 I didn’t realize all of this, but somewhere deep down, even then I think I suspected the magic and the power of the written word. And I wanted them. I knew then that what I wanted to do more than anything else on this earth, was write.
Years later, I still have the same fascination with words. I’m by no means an expert, and don’t ask me what the higher rules of grammar are. I can still recall sitting in my high school English class trying to decipher the Chinese that was grammar, or the months barely passing my university English lit course. I laugh about it now. It’s that, or cry. I regard it a miracle that I can string words together at all, especially after such a terrible educational foundation. But I thank God for the piles and piles of books I’ve digested since I started reading, apparently, at the age of 4. I carry them with me and use them as a guide and for inspiration. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been stuck not knowing how to write a scene or how to interpret a concept into words when the right book would fall into my hands. Then poof! Synergy. Magic.
A creative crisis saved by a book.
My life, my hopes, my fears translated into my books, my stories. My art.
Me on the page. My heart revealed in black and white.
That is why I write.