To really answer that, to explain why I write, I have to go back a few years.
I spent most of my childhood and adolescence inside schools: Kindergarten, Primary School, Middle School, Secondary School, then university for two consecutive degrees.
During this time, I developed a wish to help – who or how, I was still unsure on that part.
After abandoning plans to become a “mad scientist”, I eventually specialized in Criminal Justice and Criminology and worked for a few years at different Legal Aid clinics.
It was an interesting time for me that afforded opportunity to work alongside inspiring people – mostly women – who mentored me about the legal system and its shortcomings at addressing the root causes of social injustices.
Still, I carried a vague aspiration to help people.
The insights from these lawyers, social workers and counsellors all likely contributed to me soon seeking out alternative ways to effect change through volunteerism and community actions (including organizing many large-scale events and demonstrations).
I was feeling more aligned with what I wanted to be doing, to be helping others.
It was in my late twenties that my life switched course.
Following a diagnosis of clinical depression (brought on by an episode that nearly ended in suicide), I was obligated to make changes in my life if I wanted to feel better.
Alongside medical treatment and therapy, I’ve been working on nurturing personal growth through sobriety, emotional labour and self-acceptance.
Learning to communicate with more honesty and listen with more attention incidentally helped me rediscover my passion for writing.
Sure, I had been ‘writing’ for as long as I could remember – countless school essays, legal briefs, grant applications and debates over social media.
This was different.
Writing outside the familiar parameters – to achieve a good grade, to finish it as quickly as possible, to impress the reader, to convince the reader – was something new.
It was writing just for myself.
In doing so, I have been able to reconnect with myself again.
Creative writing, journalling, storytelling through fiction – all of it has offered me an outlet for self-expression, for finding courage to look inwards and explore deeper.
Through this art form, I find ways to witness what resides inside me.
All my ignorance, fears and hopes are laid bare even as they are portrayed through strange worlds full of stranger characters.
So it is no surprise that I have found most fulfilment when writing children’s literature and young adult content, told through a lens of science fiction, fantasy and horror.
I have now been writing for many years.
The written word is still my preferred medium because it builds from my history – chanelling my past lives in schools, in law and in activism – as it dreams of future lives not yet lived, including all the transformations I may yet undergo.
Using skills I practice sharpening each day, I write to articulate truths worth sharing by weaving my own vulnerability into tales of empowerment and wonder.
But most of all I choose to write because it brings me back to myself, in the present, reminding me who it was I was always seeking to help.
That is why I write.
And thank you for reading.