Why I write: it’s giving freedom to my prisoners that I keep locked up. When I write they can express themselves, they make their voices known. Otherwise they would not say much, yes and no would be their favorite words. I keep them locked down, I choose their sentences until it’s time to write. I write for my family, for God, for myself, for others that don’t know. When I write I let the river flow freely, I write so creativity can surge, so I can ride it like a surfer with my pen. I ride the waves of experiences, regrets, lessons, failure, success; memories I wish I didn’t remember and the ones I cherish, they all come out when I provoke them with my pen. I end up pouring my heart on paper.

I write because my teacher said that we are all good writers; she believes that so I can’t let her down. All the effort she puts forth she leads by examples, therefore I will write so that I can become the best writer I can be.

I write so I can see progress: the more I write and revise, the more life I can see in my writing. I want to write because there is a purpose in my writing. I have to let forgiveness escape and run free. Love always escapes, it is stronger than Hercules, and it can’t be bound; together they overpower me and convince me to write.

I write to let my family know how I feel about them so they can know I remember them. What I couldn’t tell them face to face I still have the opportunity to tell them when I write. If I were to die they have pieces and parts of me that I left behind for them, not like my father and brother who died and left only their memory in my heart. I write to honor their memory. Some parents leave souvenirs to be remembered by: with many years in prison, I don’t have material things to give my family, but I can give them my writings. I value them, so it’s my gift to them because it’s from my heart.

My beliefs and my deepest thoughts, I share them when I write. I let my prisoners complain of their pain and suffering, I even let them cry out: when I write, they sing through my words like some opera singers, performing a tragedy. Every story I write is a song, I unshackle my artist, and let myself paint pictures with my words. I write because someone will read my poems, stories and essays. Someone will enjoy reading them; they might realize they are loved, they might pick up advice or insight, they might relate to what I write about, they might be inspired to write. I think about the reader: they want real, honest, great material to read about. If I don’t write it is selfish because God blessed me with a great teacher. Together, they gave me the gift; I won’t hoard it, I will share it with everyone who wants to read. They will get to meet my prisoners as I set them free.