Why I Write / Thomas Wolfe Scholarship

Thomas Wolfe Scholarship,
UNC-Chapel Hill Creative Writing Program:
A personal essay of no more than five hundred (500) words, in which the applicant introduces him or herself as a writer and reader, as someone who aspires toward the writing life, entitled “Why I Write.”


This can’t be said plainly enough: I write because there’s a voice within telling me to do so. I ask no questions of it. The voice gives me no option without consequences. The ultimatum is either my sanity kicks the bucket, or I must write. I write because it’s like talking to a friend, someone who listens and understands. I write because it’s a way to solidify myself and to introspect.

I’ve been an avid reader since childhood and the hobby has carried on into my life today. I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been reading, but began creating meaningful work within the past two years. In this world, overrun by the popular status quo and numerous distractions from our humanity, I find writing to be my rock. It is my constant, along with Christ, in an ever-changing landscape. Writing through pain or expressing pleasure or exposing dreams keeps me afloat.

Why I write is not only to selfishly keep myself sane, but to provide an outlet for others. The greatest compliment to receive is when someone tells you they appreciate something that you’ve created, that it’s helped them through a trial in their life. Some have battled depression, loss, or disappointment and have told me that reading something of mine was like a stepping stone of inspiration. Others have had it easy but told me that reading one of my works was humbling.

This is exactly why I aspire toward the writing life. A simple interaction in a hallway with another has the power to save a life. If someone is impacted by my writing, I’d like to think that also has the power to save or change a life. Creating poetry and stories, sharing ideas, and connecting to others is a euphoric feeling.

It’s my intention at university to study journalism and creative writing. There’s nothing more I love than to share stories, inspire others, and to construct stories, whether in stanzas or paragraphs. I need to write to express who I am, and by chance I impact others, then my true job has been done.

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