I wanted to share a wonderful article I ran across yesterday about a newly-released book entitled, “’Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do.” The book, edited by Meredith Maran, features 20 well-known authors who share what keeps them writing. Just as the rejection letter of well-known authors can serve as a form of encouragement, so will these snippets of motivation.
It was interesting to see what the authors, which include Isabel Allende (Island Beneath the Sea), Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants), Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm), and Terry McMillan (The Interruption of Everything), had to say about the craft of writing and what makes them do it day in and day out.
Some of the authors’ motivations were humorous, others introspective and honest. I particularly enjoyed what Ann Patchett (State of Wonder) wrote, “”I write because I swear to God I don’t know how to do anything else.”
And after reading the article, I was inspired to answer the obvious: Why do I write?
- I write because I don’t want to do anything else. I get excited about having letters fill a blank computer screen with my thoughts. I have a great day job. But if I could devote all my time to writing, I would.
- I write because—according to my daughters whether they just lost a boyfriend, a job or a piece of jewelry—“I have a story for everything.”
- I write because the restlessness in me wants to leave something worth reading when I’m no longer here.
This book is now on my “to be read” list. In a writer’s world of self-doubt and uncertainty, I don’t think there’s ever too much support, motivation or advice.
Why do you write?