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.

Erica Garcia

I got glasses in the third grade. People say that reading books in bad lighting, or reading too much doesn’t lead to lasting eye damage. However, doing those things does strain your eyes, and doing them as much as I did when I was a child means you end up with glasses. When I was younger, my parents would always tell me, “Don’t read in the dark, Erica,” and now my 80 year-old grandma, has better vision than I do. Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series had me reading under the blankets with a flashlight at bedtime. In the books, Jack and Annie would travel in a magical tree house that transported them to different times in history. I didn’t care that people would laugh at my glasses because I knew that Jack – who was rescuing the lost and finding magic – wore glasses too.READ MORE

Kristy Tate

Dr. Seuss was my first love. When my mom left me in the children’s section of the library I’d find Horton and the Cat. My mom hated the good doctor and refused to checkout his books. He was my secret, guilty pleasure. Eventually, I read about Narnia, Oz, and Green Gables.READ MORE

José Jaimes

Writing has never been a cathartic experience and I think I would absolutely hate it if it were. It does not serve me as a release or a pleasurable stroll into the ether of a world unknown that is just dying to get out. Writing is hard and sometimes even torturous, but at the end of the day I know that it is mine. READ MORE

Katarina Rudela

I write to remember the meaning of an anthem. I write to smell the Iris flower. I write to think of warm spots on the Dalmatian. I write to savor the taste of olives. I write to feel the Mediterranean spirit in the crevices of my mom’s smile. I write to soften the blisters on my dad’s rough hands. I write to make them feel welcome. I write to remind them it’s okay to miss home. I write because they arrived with an acorn. I write because they’ve shaded me with a forest of Oak trees. I write to teach them the new sounds. I write to never forget theirs. I write to help them remember over there. I write to let them know I’m here.READ MORE

Rosa Victor

I write because it lets me express the feelings I am too scared to say out loud. I write because it’s the only way I can get my emotions out. I write because a couple of words on a page or a screen can make someone else feel that they are not alone. READ MORE

Shelley Armenta

A writer’s purpose, I discovered at a young age, is to stay behind while everyone else moves forward and to find the words that allow their head and say “me too”. And that is hard, messy, beautiful work.READ MORE

Gwen Goodkin

When people ask the question, if you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? First of all, I always say, Why pick someone who’s dead? That’ll never happen. At least choose someone who’s alive. Give yourself a chance!READ MORE

Nick Fowler

To be accurate, my need to write began in with a boyhood infatuation with words. My mom tells me I was driving her nuts with my various pet phrases by the time I was two. This was the way I made sense of the world. Via words. I’d get fixated on certain words for their own sake, regardless and often in spite of their context. I savored their shapes and tastes as they tumbled through my teeth. It was their sound that most mattered to me. For me, their charisma lay not in their conventional meanings but in the personal onomatopoeia I invested in them. It would be years before I discovered there was this literary term for a sensation I’d thought I owned the rights to. I think I was both relieved that someone else had understood my obsession enough to name it, and a little sad that my invention had already been patented.READ MORE

K.C. Fontaine

I initially wrote because I was enamored with the idea of poetry and later hip-hop. However, my first meaningful writing experiences occurred as cathartic therapy in the form of performed poetics. Making sense of a seemingly insane world, to me, seemed most sensible from the landed end of my hand-to-pen. There, I could record worldly observations exclusive to me, yet share at my own discretion. That’s power.READ MORE