“why do you write?”

“Alright,” he asked, his voice filling the silence. “Here’s an easy question. Why do you write?”

I looked down at my restless fingers twisting around each other. I looked at the stars scattered in the night sky. I looked out across the skyline of the city that lay before us. Finally, I looked into his eyes.

I write to make sense of the world- all the things I’ve gone through and what I will go through in the future. I write because I know my journal will listen to me unconditionally, even when I am alone-which is more often that I care to admit. I write to overcome the emotions that control my thoughts and dreams, the things that cause my mind to run in circles at two in the morning, sleep nowhere to be found. I write to understand myself, to discover which words are floating in my heart and which words are the ones I cannot keep inside. I write to calm my hands when they cannot keep still, to busy them by painting pictures with words that only make sense to me. I write to comfort those who have wars in their hearts just like me, who believe they are alone in this battle-because they aren’t alone at all. I write because when I speak, my voice shakes and my tongue stumbles over the words and the things I wish I could say. I write because I am afraid of holding everything in, afraid of bursting at the seams. I write to relieve this indescribable pressure that surrounds my being, crushing me to the point of exhaustion. I write to breathe.

“I… I just have to,” was all I could manage to say.

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