Why I Write Wednesday: IUWC Intern Zeb Demorest


For most of my life, I hated writing. Well, I thought I did. After several bad experiences in elementary school that sucked most of the joy out of writing, I decided it wasn’t for me. I spent my later elementary and middle school years avoiding writing at all costs, telling my friends that I just wanted to do math. While I was an avid reader, I thought my true talent and skills lay in math and science.   

Later in my middle school years, I discovered YouTube, specifically YouTube skits, and I fell in love with them. It was the same storytelling I had grown to love through my parents reading countless books to me at a young age and my own obsession with books—just in a new medium. I wanted to write my own stories and skits. So, I did. I spent numerous hours filling notebooks and online journals with stories and skits. Not only that, but I also started writing a book about a futuristic AI dominated world and another set in a fantasy world. Through all this, I continued to be oblivious to the fact that I was slowly falling in love with something I thought I hated.  

When high school came, I decided to take classes at a local college to get some extra credits. I wanted to get my general education requirements out of the way before I left for college to earn my computer science degree. There was one class at the top of my list to eliminate: English. So, I enrolled in the entry level English class. At first, I despised the class and considered dropping it. But I gave it a chance and it became my favorite. I learned that the writing process can be grueling and exhausting, but it can also be fun and rewarding. The class showed me the beauty of the writing process, something I had only experienced in my personal writing.   

So, why do I write? There is part of me that feels like I am writing to make up for lost time. I spent so much time fighting against writing that I feel like I missed so much. Even as an English major, I still feel that there is not enough time to catch up on everything I missed. Now, I try every form of writing I can get my hands on: non-fiction, fiction, professional, journalism, and more. I spend most of my time thinking about things I want to write or new writing projects that push my creative and academic limits.   

While these are some of the reasons why I write, perhaps the core reason is that it brings me a kind of joy that few other things do. This isn’t always the case. All writers know the dread that comes with a deadline and working into the early hours of the morning to find the right word . Even with this, though, there is still great joy to be found in the writing. My favorite genre of writing, a recent discovery of mine over the last year, is creative non-fiction. I find so much beauty in looking back at my life, taking events or people that were meaningful, and giving them life and structure. I think that is what writing is at its core: giving life to something. I find joy in giving life to a piece of writing. Sometimes I share the writing with others, at other times, it’s just for me.  

Today, I write for the same reason I unknowingly wrote when I was 14. I have these stories inside me, eating me up, and I can’t escape them until I put them on paper—nor would I want too. Maybe it’s because I am new to the writing world, but I still hold to the belief that writing can change the world. If I could do one thing in my life, it would be to write something so meaningful that it changes something in the world—even if it’s a small thing. I know it’s possible because writing and reading changed my world. Maybe my writing can do the same for someone else.