Alana Saab

I write not for some man in an office with a stack of manuscripts that he will skim read with the worries and to-do lists of his day in the black holes of his eyes and my words only in his vein-scattered whites.

I write to escape the madness of my mindscape, to give voice to the voices that incessant chatter and bite into prefrontal cortex, making blood spill from my orifices like sacrifice, like the dissection of a pharaoh in preparation for a gold-adorned afterlife that will never be lived.

I write for ears and eyes that close with each passing of a phrase to breathe in every ounce of life between the spaces and commas and run on sentences, and to, from them, see a universe fire into existence, evolve to satisfaction and then die burning into either, only to reopen their senses seconds later and witness, in the following passing of words, another burn into existence.

This one. Now this one. Do you recognize the difference between them, the new stars that await your vision upon them, that await a melding of mythology into them? Mark a new holiday in your busy calendar to remember the day you created a masterpiece of galactic storytelling upon a dome of light.

Why I write, you asked. I write for the ones whose minds are running with voices that scrape at the underside of their skull, voices that can only be silenced with the reading of someone else’s, and in this reading who know there is another being out there just as lonely and polluted as they are.

I write not for now, but for a time when the world is ready to see into itself, not in the way it has been told to, but in the way it has intuitively felt when it exhales all air from its lungs and knows that in order to live it must breathe a new breath.

There will be a pause after I write: a moment of complete emptiness and the body’s confusion of what it should do without oxygen and what it should do when the heart begins to slow and the mind begins to panic not wanting to be silenced with a long nights death that they picture, though they are misled, to be cold and even lonelier than this one.

But then, leaving behind the psyche, the body will inhale, beating again with the peace of a moment longer inside this machine of a life. This is when the world will read these words, and perhaps they will finally understand. Perhaps they will make use of them for something that I do not yet know and, perhaps, will never live to see.

Or maybe it will take another exhale, another pause, another inhale, and another collision of galaxies for them to use this for some good or necessity, or maybe just as a dose of catharsis for a mind untamed, untouched and ferociously feared.



When the task of writing grows inevitably arduous—and seemingly thankless—we must remember why we started. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write,” this introspective project highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation. Live events are produced throughout the diverse cities of Orange County and feature author readings from curated essay submissions.

  1. Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
  2. Submit via Submittable.