I might have written something poetic and metaphoric and tried to make this a work of art. But in the interest of honesty, that isn’t my strong suit. And I tried to think deeply about the first time I wrote and why I loved it so much, but nothing came to me. I want to tell the truth, and the truth is that I write because I have to. I don’t mean school assignments or obligatory letters to grandparents. I write because speaking doesn’t work for me. I don’t have any condition that physically prevents me from talking, but I’ve always been shy and, at some point, I just stopped speaking about myself. It became that writing was the only way to get out most of the thoughts in my head. Consequently, my writing is both my best friend and my worst enemy. For a long time, it kept me from having to speak, but it also kept me seemingly invisible from everyone. My own private, perfect little hell, where every time I opened my mouth, my throat swelled shut, my mind reeled, and my heart raced. And where writing went from something enjoyable to a burden. I never would’ve thought I could come to hate something I’d once loved so much, but over the past year or so, I realized that I’d lost the ability to do any creative work. For me, pages remained blank, and pens, pencils, and laptop untouched. So maybe it seems a little pointless for me to be here, at a creative writing program, but really, I came to find an answer to the question: why do I write? And I still don’t know. I wrote, and I continue to write, in order to find answers. I want answers about myself, my family and friends, and everything around me, and, despite the trouble I’ve had with it through the years, writing remains the only way for me to come close to finding those answers.