I write because I am slow. I write because it takes me time to know what I want to say, because I drive home, lay in bed at night, and repeat to myself all the revisions of what I should have said, the words that I failed to find.

I write because my voice is not in my throat, it’s in my fingers. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I write because I have always had stories inside my head and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. I write because those stories terrify me, excite me, transport me, unmake me. I write because–if I can get those stories on the page, if I can see the wide, wild ends of them thrashing out in front of me–I am comforted by the exorcism.

I write because I love the satisfaction of creating a world, to know it completely, to both embrace it and let it be free of me. I write because I need to let go of the old stories, to make room for the new. I write because my life does not have narrative, symmetry, symbolism, theme, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I write because I love the perfect words, I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them.

I write because I have no choice, because I have no other religion and writing is the only immortality I can understand. I write because it’s comforting to see these stories trail behind me like self-portraits charting my evolution. I write because, in the act of writing, I am made whole.

BIO: Mindy Mejia is a fiction writer, finance manager, weekend jogger, wife, and mother of two. She writes compelling, plot-driven stories layered over larger societal issues. Her debut novel, The Dragon Keeper, was released in September by Ashland Creek Press. She lives in St. Paul and is currently working on a murder mystery set in rural southern Minnesota. Find out more at http://www.MindyMejia.com