Photo Credit: Andrew Salinas/@AK_4hoto7

Hello fellow readers! With my dwindling weeks to graduation and forced push to becoming a working member of society, I decided to have a little fun with this post.

As an English major, as a professional writer and as a journalist, I often get asked why I write. It’s a question I’ve been asked many times but it seems like I can never give one specific reason for why I write.

A couple weeks ago in my Mexican-American Literature course, my professor showed an excerpt from a poem. It was by a famous Chicana author and it was read aloud to us. The poem talked about the reasons why she wrote. As an exercise, we were told to write for five minutes about why we write, and then we were asked to share. I was struck with amazement with everyone’s responses. Everyone has their own story and their own words to share with the world. So, what are mine going to be?

For this week’s blog post, I will be talking about why I write. (Don’t judge the format of the next paragraph, this is how the poem was written.)

I write because I am fortunate enough to live in a country that allows me to express my own thoughts even though most would not agree. I write because I was told as a young child that I would never amount to anything great. I write because brown kids are seen as illegal immigrants, thieves and criminals who will not be lawyers, doctors, astronauts or even the president of the United States. I write because I want to give a voice to those whose voices were silenced by others. I write because I want to capture people’s stories even if they aren’t my own. I write because there aren’t enough people in the world to tell the good stories when there are already so many bad ones going on. I write because the world is not black and white; it is full of life and color, an image I try to capture in writing. I write because journalists are frowned upon; there are people who believe in the lies told by an orange Cheeto and I want to change that. I write because sometimes my words speak louder than my actions. I write because sometimes I can only express myself through words that can not be spoken aloud. I write because sometimes I don’t like the body I am in and hate the curves I was born with.

I write because there is justice that is needed. I write because girls still have to sit next to their rapists in classrooms. I write because women are still being told what they can and can’t do with their bodies. I write because children are being lost along the Rio Grande and separated from their families. I write because black and brown people are still being shot for being born with the pigment that inhabits their outer appearance. I write because the LGBTQ+ are still being pushed aside and transgender men and women are being murdered and beaten. I write because you can get killed for believing in a God that is different from theirs (the man) and mine.

I write because everyone needs their story told. I write because I am going to be the first in my family to graduate from college. I write because I want to inspire others. I write because I want to be looked up to. I write because I want to make my family proud. I write because one day after I am gone, someone will hopefully stumble across my journals, my writings, my articles and will read me back to life.

Until next week,

AJ

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