Emily Steele: Why I Write

In celebration of the National Day on Writing (October 20), we’re asking you why you write. So it only seemed fair that we, the Figment team, told you a little bit about why we write. Today we hear from Figment staffer Emily Steele, who specializes in pompous essays, pseudonymed sci-fi, terrible TERRIBLE fan fiction, and 140-character quips.

Cinderella snaps her glass slipper and cuts her ball gown into a space suit before traversing the galaxy to peddle cleaning supplies to intergalactic housewives.

The leaf scuttling behind you is tracking your movements because it is a transfigured wizard/Soviet spy trying to recruit you for a fantastical battle between two hidden worlds, one good, one evil.

Every time you look in a mirror, you forget something that your reflection learns.

A man hooks up a speaker to his bike and for weeks drives around town blasting a warped and mechanized voice that only says one word: “Soon.” All day, all night, just the one word. Soon. Today you woke up and the messaged changed. The voice on the bike said, “Now.”

Your future is shaped by a child shifting glass marbles in a metal pan.

One day, half of all the people you know will suddenly collapse. It will be revealed that they were robots. One half of the world, one half of your friends, one half of your family–lying to everyone they know. The orgo craze that sweeps the planet in the wake of this revelation leads to blood marking: A drop of blood to open a door, a drop to access your bank account, a drop to start your car. This directly leads to a blood-borne pathogen decimating the remaining human population.

You can’t believe all of this and not write.

Figment is celebrating the National Day on Writing with the New York Times Learning Network, the National Writing Project, and Edutopia. Be sure to tell us why you write on our festival page, read author Q-and-A’s from the New York Times Learning Network and check out more great essays about why writers write at NWP.

4 thoughts on “Emily Steele: Why I Write

  1. Hey! I was wondering about prompt. I have this really great idea but its a drawing and it works more for a whole anthology of stories, like fairy tales or myths instead of a specific one. Is that allowed? I could come up with something else, I’m just curious 🙂

    • Hey Artiste!
      That sounds fine as long as it is a steampunk cover for a pre-existing collection of stories like, Shakespeare’s collected works, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights. Let me know if you have any further questions!

      • Oh so it’s like a book cover? I was thinking more of like drawing out the different princesses from the fairy tales. Just wondering–i’ll probably end up focusing on one anyway, because of the time limit. Oh yeah, and thank you!!

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