Michaela Chairez

When something has been a part of me for so long, it is hard to imagine myself without it. Especially something like writing, when it would come dressed as a best friend I never had. I never always liked writing growing up. In fact, I hated it. I found the instructed 5-paragraph essays very tedious and a waste of time. Until around Jr. High, when I was struggling to find myself in a world that couldn’t give me a sense of belonging, I was welcomed to an alternate universe of poetry on TV in a hotel room. I then became obsessed with poets for their words helped me find a voice I never knew I had. So I thought if they could, why couldn’t I for someone else? But sometimes, through the vessels of language that speaks to me almost too personally, I never want to share it with anyone.

There is something sacred and holy when I write. Since every writer becomes the author and the beholder of every story-world and of every poem they create, it is almost too hard not to understand God. It is my time away, and my prayers that fill my pages endlessly with my hopes and my fears; my confessions and my confusions. I only hope my words would help me find some space for some clarity. But instead, I end up more confused with a pile of empty words of unfinished poems and stories stuffed in a drawer I say I would get back to, but never do.

Thus, I get frustrated and disappointed in myself and doubt the high school teacher who always told me I was a writer. Though I never did fully believe him, for I was too afraid of what being a writer really meant. And if any writer really knew, I wished they could somehow show me. Especially when I hated everything I would write, I would starve myself from the page until the crave subsided. Meanwhile, as I would behold other writer’s work, I’d wonder why I could not be them. And that is the thing, I am not them. I am just me. A girl who writes poems for the most because she doesn’t know where else to turn to. It is her heaven as well as her hell when nothing seems to come.

Writing with its history, is nothing forgotten nor newly discovered. It existed and always existed, nor has it been exclusive to only page and stage. Once man learned to communicate with their voices and their bodies such by simple movements of inhaling and exhaling, they were writing their breath in the atmosphere. By crawling and walking, they were writing their traces on the ground. Writing leaves a trail that sometimes can be missed and erased. But what remains of the past markings, whether it be bones, buildings, or books; it all says the same, “I was here, I was here.” I write to remind myself I am here. I am here.



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.

  1. Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
  2. Submit via Submittable.

The 1888 Podcast Network is a curated collection of educational and entertaining podcasts. Each program is designed to provide a unique platform for industry innovators to share stories about art, literature, music, history, science, or technology.