A baseball player my age is past his prime. When this piece first appears online, I will have recently turned 37.

If I were a bench-warmer for the St. Louis Cardinals—my favorite team, thank you very much, and did you notice our 11 World Series Championships?—I would be the second-oldest player on the team. Carlos Beltran has defied his age this season, a fact underscored so often during broadcasts, it should become a drinking game. Even still, Beltran is younger than me; he was Rookie of the Year during my first semester of graduate school. When he hits a home run, I yell Carlito, motherfucker to the max! at the TV, a line adapted from one of my favorite movies. He looks older now, though he carries himself with an easy grace that belies his slowly-failing body. If his knees hold up, he should play a few more years.

After that, he'll retire from the game, leaving behind a solid career that, in a certain light, might be worthy of the Hall of Fame. And right around that point, if all goes as planned, my writing career will finally start to take off.

I can't play baseball. This is one reason I write.

As a writer, I’m allowed the luxury of the slow learning curve. It’s fair to say I’m just getting started, even though I’ve consciously worked to improve my writing for more than half my life. I’m proud of my story collection published two years ago, even as I recognize that it’s an incredibly small book—around 150 pages—and not fully representative of my abilities or current interests. I can do better. This is one reason I write.

I knew early on that the culture at large celebrates writers well into their thirties and forties. Every few weeks, it seems, someone posts an article on Facebook about a debut novelist in his or her fifties. I don't want to wait that long to publish my first novel, which means my ass needs to be in the chair. This is one reason I write.

My wife and I took out student loans to attend an MFA program. We bought a house and used credit cards to remake it. Our cars are getting old. Groceries aren't cheap. Neither is gas, or my subscription to MLB.tv so I can watch every Cardinals game. We have two cats and a dog. You guessed it: These are eight reasons I write.

I used to imagine that writers wore black turtlenecks to parties and tried to impress the snooty dipshits drinking wine and eating the cheese I later learned to call brie. This is not a reason I write.

Have you renovated a home? I like seeing what's inside the walls, beneath the floorboards, above the ceiling. I especially like the feeling after the renovation is complete, when everything's pretty on the outside but I can still remember the mess made in getting there. This is one reason I write.

Two more reasons:
1. Characters built entirely out of words seem real to readers, which is a kind of magic.
2. I like pushing words around until they click together.

Andrew Scott is the author of Naked Summer, a story collection, and the editor of 24 Bar Blues: Two Dozen Tales of Bars, Booze, and the Blues. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Esquire, Ninth Letter, The Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Glimmer Train Stories, The Writer’s Chronicle, and other publications. He is Senior Editor at Engine Books and lives in Indianapolis.