Why We Write

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.

PJ Colando

Why I write:

  • because I’m compelled by blood. I honor my heredity: my parents and their highly literate minds.READ MORE

Diane Rogers

I have never considered myself a writer, but for as long as I can remember, words have visited me. In my youth, they appeared like unexpected house guests when I was least prepared. Despite my inhospitable welcome, they persisted. At night, I entertained the most enduring among them, and fashioned some into stories or poems, which I later hid in drawers.READ MORE

Peter Dingus

After the presidential election of 2016, we learned many things that seemed as if they had come from the pages of a hyperbolic spy novel. We learned that the DNC servers had been hacked, we learned that emails had been stolen from principals in the Democratic party, we learned that social media had been co-opted to dispense fake news to psychologically targeted audiences for the express purpose of sowing division amongst voters and swaying the presidential election. Then, as a coup-de-grace, we learned that all of this had been engineered by a foreign power. Well, you couldn’t keep volumes of Orwell’s 1984 on virtual store shelves−why? The novel 1984 is not history, it is not a political treatise; it is, quite simply, fiction.READ MORE

Jonathan Alexander

To begin. The voices inside.
I cannot always hear them. They murmur.
I strain at times to catch a phrase, a word, even an intonation.READ MORE

Christine Wild

Why do I write? That’s a pretty meta question to write about. Well, I used to think writing was an artistic outlet. I quickly realized, as many before me have said, that it was actually a need, a coping mechanism. That writing though, that’s the one only I see, because only I would understand the gibberish that comes out of need. Selfishly, it makes me feel less alone. It’s like the screen has to listen to me read the words I am typing in my head. But I don’t think that’s what people want to know.READ MORE

Akpa Arinzechukwu

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. —Toni Morrison

There’s a story about an old man sitting close to the city gate, drinking, laughing, admiring the cityscape as well as the women. There’s another not too awful story of two heterosexual teenagers who got lost in a desert, suddenly discover they are in love, kiss, maybe have sex. In another story, the people are extremely rich or poor. Or they are fighting against machines or vis a vis.READ MORE

Anne Moose

Just weeks before turning sixty, I released a novel, and while it’s not a best-seller, it’s changed my life in more ways than I can say. I was asked, recently, why I write, and I thought about an essay that I wrote for no particular reason shortly after my fiftieth birthday. I offer it below.READ MORE

Barbara Neal Varma

Waiting for my tea to brew. Standing in line to use the ladies room.  At the peak of making love. This is when I write. Sometimes I have pen and paper; other times they’re just too cumbersome.READ MORE