I write because I have to. Because every other impulse I have, if I followed it, would be destructive or deadly.
I write because there are other people who share my story who don’t know they have a story worth telling, so I have to tell it for them. I write as an act of civil disobedience. I write as an alternative to drugs or self-mutilation or suicide. I write because every time my grandfather saw me reading a book, he would tell me if I had the energy to read a book, I should have the energy to weed the garden, and I knew these were not the same thing. I write because somewhere, there is a girl on a farm whose family has the same attitude toward books and education, and I want to give her other worlds to escape to. I write because after I left the farm and got to an expensive, private college, the kids with the Mercedes and designer clothes didn’t believe my stories. They couldn’t imagine the world that I came from existed. I write because I want to exist, even after I am gone.

# # #

Shaindel Beers’ poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She is currently an instructor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, in Eastern Oregon’s high desert and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary. A Brief History of Time, her first full-length poetry collection, was released by Salt Publishing in 2009. She is currently working on her second poetry collection and a short story collection. Find her online at http://shaindelbeers.com.