You've read it before; you have to in order to become one of us, right? Lorrie Moore's "How to become a writer"? She starts: "First, try to be something, anything else."
I write because I've tried everything else. Okay, maybe not everything, but a slew of things. I've tried ballerina; I've tried doting girlfriend; I've tried art teacher; I've tried sorority girl; I've tried graphic designer, illustrator, copywriter, transcriptionist, amusement park attendant, really desperate-for-cash daughter.
I write because nothing else worked. Nothing else both eased and inspired my mind like when I pick up the pen (and yes, I do still try to write majority of my work by hand).
I suppose I should've known. I suppose the crate of journals from third grade and on and the fact that even as a ballet-brained kid, a mopey tween, a socialite young adult I dedicated time to the pages of those journals — the pages that spell out even the tritest experiences of my life — should have been a good indicator that writing worked for me. Works for me.
Why do I write? Because the thing that makes me something — not just trying to be something, Lorrie, but actually being something — is the pen to the page.