Day 1: Dig Deeper

Why do you write? What comes up first? If you couldn’t write, what’s the second best thing you would attempt in order to express yourself to the fullest?

I write to have a voice. To be heard when no one else is listening. To fully realize the situations I imagine in my head, watching them appear on the page makes them seem like they are a part of my reality. I write to live out the scenarios that are not discussed at home, in school, on social media or on television. A British novelist travels to China during the 1920s/30s with his African American best friend and illustrator in hopes of writing about the Chinese opera but instead writes about the love affair between his best friend and the leading Dan. A Japanese boy falls in love with an African American girl only for them to be separated by the internment camps after Pearl Harbor during the 1940s. The relationship my mother never had with my grandfather. How would humanity survive should the world become barren? An African American girl living in 2015 discovers that the women in her family can travel through time and that her father is an outlaw from the 1800s known as Jackal. I write to give voice to Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, the forgotten or unmentioned, to the wishes of others and the memories I’ve shared with those I can no longer hold.

If I couldn’t write I’d plan. I love to make lists, set deadlines and watch events pop up on my calendar. Maybe a wedding planner or just a general event planner. Though, I don’t think i would be able to express myself, planning other people’s events and satisfying their wishes. Maybe a photographer. One of my goals would be to take a picture of every major city’s skyline, traveling all over the world and comparing what the skyline looks like during the day versus night. I’ve always been fascinated by photographs, seeing my parents before I was born, black and white pictures of different cities and seeing how civilization has changed over time, from clothes to machinery. I would want to capture it through my camera lens and show the world how I see what is right in front of me. I would want to start a conversation, to inspire and to awaken dormant thoughts in others.


Write a two column list. On the left, write 5-10 regrets. On the right, write 5-10 things you’re proud of accomplishing. Take note of the similarities in all of your regrets, all of the differences in your accomplishments. Write about why we are more diverse in our pride than we are in our shame.


  • I wish I had taken my writing more seriously earlier.
  • I wish I had double majored in fiction and African American Literature in Undergrad.
  • I wish I had tried harder to get into an MFA program the first time I applied.
  • I wish I had been more involved in the writing clubs on campus.
  • I wish I had tried harder to stay in contact with my creative writing teachers over the years.
  • I wish I could finish a project outside of a single short story.
  • I wish I had never believed a job working for the government would ever make me happy, putting aside my passion and dreams for something that depresses me.
  • I wish I had to courage to leave my comfort zone.
  • I wish I could stop letting others influence me, changing who I am.
  • I wish I could stop keeping my thoughts to myself.


  • I am proud that I got into an MFA program and am surrounded by people who believe in me.
  • I am proud that I am reading more to educate myself on the different writing techniques authors utilize and history.
  • I am proud that I received a GA position at my school that is preparing me for my dream job in publishing.
  • I am proud that I am sending my work to contests and literary magazines.
  • I am proud that I am reaching out to fellow students and teachers in order to form bonds that will last outside of my writing program.
  • I am proud that I am currently sticking to a longer project despite the distractions of several new ideas.
  • I am proud that I believe that I can write something worth reading that will one day be published.
  • I am proud that I am experimenting with new narrative forms such as flash fiction, poetry (its…not great) and screenwriting.
  • I am proud that I am able to be myself both in my writing and in person.
  • I am proud that I am able to accept critique while making sure my presence is still evident on the page.

Our accomplishments are in direct relation to our regrets. When we overcome something that terrifies us, that is considered an accomplishment. When we fail to overcome something that proves to be difficult, we may forever regret our decision to give in to self-doubt. Regrets are a reflection of our past while accomplishments are a glimpse into our future.