Fisayo D Adeyeye
When asked this the past, I’ve always felt pretty content saying that I simply “can’t not” write. In that I feel compelled to, or that when I think of a perfect day, that day includes writing something down. A poem, a short story, a couple stray lines of something indistinct. I’m glad to be able to expand on that a bit more now because it can be rare to be able to consider the “why” of why you write, and not just the how. My first forays into the world of writing came early, when I was still in elementary school. I would write stories and instead of paying attention in class, I would hide a book under my desk and read. Which was complicated for my teachers, they never seemed to know what to do about it. The thing that strikes me when I think about this early time was the idea that I loved to write because I loved to read. I was a very wide reader, though I typically stayed with adventure and mystery. I would read mostly anything. There was nothing like allowing myself to become lost in a work, nothing like imagining myself in the stories. Nothing like imagining new endings to tales I loved and tales I didn’t. And I think that this satisfaction / dissatisfaction space that writers often inhabit begins with the reading. And I find this interesting. I find it interesting how sometimes because what you wish to see does not exist in the world, you often feel compelled to create it. Because what you wish to read does not satisfy you in all the ways it should, you feel compelled to imagine the possibilities of the text in a variety of different stories. When I read, I read to see what I have not yet seen, or what would be almost impossible to see in life. I read to see the silent strong and see the strong tremble. To see what was mighty brought low and what was impossible made simple. I read to not only see good characterization, possibly find new friends and inspirations, but to really see people. As we all know, now more than ever it is not only important to understand “who” a people but “why” and “how” a people. And so, when I write I would like to write towards these “how’s” and towards those possibilities and towards fear. I would like to write in order to explore what is it that scares me, and so in the writing, give it a little less power. I think this all draws me pretty close to my original point in that I write because I have to, because I “can’t not” in the same way I “can’t not” take a breath of air and “can’t not” eat food. But since writing is a choice, I must acknowledge that it is also something I inflict upon myself. I won’t stop writing. I write because I refuse not to.
When the task of writing grows inevitably arduous—and seemingly thankless—we must remember why we started. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write,” this introspective project highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation. Live events are produced throughout the diverse cities of Orange County and feature author readings from curated essay submissions.
- Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
- Submit via Submittable.