Why I Write by Emily Hyser

I am in my third-grade classroom, furiously scribbling a story about two teenagers who fall in love at a school dance. Then, I’m in my seventh-grade classroom, watching the clock tick by, feverishly awaiting the moment I can present my “book” to my teacher. Then, we are now. I relentlessly pursue my English degree while attempting to balance a novel, a collection of short stories, and my poetry.

Well, I suppose there is the matter of my video game habit as well, but that is not quite the point.

I can, honestly, say I have been writing passionately my entire life, but I cannot, honestly, say I have performed very well at it my entire life. But I write – and continue to write – because of my third grade and seventh grade teachers. They encouraged me, provided feedback, and constantly renewed my passion for English (and writing) every single time it let me down. In short, I write because of them, and I could not ever repay them for the gift they have given me – an escape from the hardships of life, an expression of my heart, and an extension of my soul.

I have written half of an abandoned book about vampires, psychics, and werewolves. I have written countless pages of poetry, and I have written many short stories that are far too long to be called “short.” I think my favorite of these is about a rock gnome who restores life to a tree in the woods by providing it with stories of her dreams – a testament to writing. 

However, out of all my writings, I have only published one poem from a contest in high school, a poem called December. It was originally about loving from a distance, but I would lie if the meaning hasn’t changed over the years – even if the words haven’t. 

This ambiguity that pops up – even in my own words – is why writing is so dear to me. Our experiences, perception, and our relationship with words shape the meaning behind the content. 

Without the reader, the words are rendered completely useless. The reader hears what they need to hear from the words on the page. In short, if a tree falls, someone needs to hear it. And this case, someone needs to perceive it and to react to it as well. 

For me, inspiration always strikes at the worst of times – in the shower, at work, in the middle of an assignment, or in the middle of a different project. And after this inspiration strikes, action must be taken before the momentum is lost, even if this means simply starting and not finishing. 

It’s almost as though there is a stone in my shoe, and I need to get it out right that instant. And honestly – that’s what writing is for me. It’s that relief you feel after you’ve gotten rid of that pain in your foot. It helps me process my emotions and my thoughts when they have nowhere to go.