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.

Sheryl Woodhouse

I write for twofold reasons. I personally write to release creative expression. I attract to anything creative and love anything physically colorful as well as metaphorically. I yearn for creative outlets while acting as a first responder for people’s mental health. My job is like a jealous lover demanding most of my time. I need to write more! I want to write to empower people such as: You Were Born To Be Balanced!! Yes BALANCED. Balanced in your body, mind, relationships and schedule.READ MORE

Toti O’Brien

1. Solitude must have something to do with it. This voice, dictating the worlds I should put on paper, as it solidifies is another’s. Slightly alien—enough to fill emptiness, create a dialogue. Writing is the embryo of a relationship, maybe a kind of gymnasium, where I can independently practice how company feels.READ MORE

Mbizo Chirasha

Memories: A griot born out of the wind of the village drumbeat.

The name Zvagona is popular like wind. I loved my school and I still love it. The name of the school is derived from local red hills of home known of their usual stunning dresses of mist during mornings and during evenings. The mountain is beautiful with a blue tinge of color in the afternoon a grey tinge at night. Birds sing beautiful songs and at dawn, the striking rays of the sun become part of the village rhythm, while tamed dogs bark vivaciously to the shadows of the night and the dramas of the day. The sound of beating drums from red hills resonate with the howling laughter of lone hyenas as their lone laughter echo through the mountain caves .In Zvagona , sunrise to beautiful sound of jingles ,drumbeat ,voices ,laughter and song.READ MORE

Rebecca Buller

Why I write?

Desire. Pleasure. Because I must be utterly unhinged. Because if I didn’t put pen to paper, what sanity remains after a frenzied day would perish like my chance of hitting five nine and Prince Harry sweeping me off my feet.READ MORE

Hunter Liguore

Living Without Limitations

September marks the end of a cycle of seasonal goals I’d put into place for myself—goals that form both my life practice and my writing life. In three months, with indomitable will and determination, I’ve completed four writing projects, averaging one every three weeks. As I reflect and consider the next set of seasonal goals, I recognize the tremendous effort it took to reach this kind of dedication. As someone who did not “choose” writing, and have questioned whether it was the right path for me, I can say with certainty that I write, because it teaches me to live past limitations.READ MORE

Gary Dale Burns

If the pen (yes, the pen) lifts and returns, for the swing of its rhythm, just for the swing of its rhythm, will we write. If for the board (yes, the key-board) springing back the letters, we soothe downward into itself, into our self, will we write. If the desk (yes, the desk) supports posed arms in a form which bonds our present sinews to the tablature of past tunes, will we write.READ MORE

Hege Anita Jakobsen Lepri

I write to hear my grandmother’s voice
-and to silence my Mom
I write to meet who I could have been
-and to change who I am
I write to remember the hardest blows
-and to forget the scars READ MORE

Elizabeth Solazzo

I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love. I tell myself the secrets not easily shared with others. I soothe myself with the written word and find the comfort others cannot give me. I pour out grief and sadness over long ago hurts that now matter only to me. I encourage myself through my written words, reassuring a lost little girl that she is loved and perhaps more importantly, liked. READ MORE

Tamara Proschek

Because I have to. There is something about the feeling you get as the pen in your hands leaves its mark on a page, something that reminds you that “I am here”. Of course I am always here, you might say, to which I’d reply, not quite in the same way. How lucky for me that those words rhymed. Writing reminds me and those who write that they are feeling things that they do not know they are feeling, that they know things that they didn’t know they knew. READ MORE