Why Write?

I came across a wonderful gathering of quotes* about why writers write and offer them as fuel for inspiration:

Tennessee Williams:   My work is emotionally autobiographical. It has no relationship to the actual events of my life, but it reflects the emotional currents of my life. I try to work every day because you have no refuge but writing.

Tom Wolfe:  I find that what I write when I force myself is generally just as good as what I write when I’m feeling inspired. It’s mainly a matter of forcing yourself to write. There’s a marvelous essay Sinclair Lewis wrote on how to write. He said most writers don’t
understand that the process begins by actually sitting down.

Samuel Johnson:  The only end of writing is to enable readers to enjoy a better life or better to endure it.

James Baldwin:  Something that irritates you and won’t let you go. That’s the anguish of it. Do this book, or die. You have to go through that. Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, lack, but most of
all, endurance…

John Irving:  I am still old-fashioned enough to maintain that what happens in a novel is what distinguishes it, and what happens is what we see. In that sense, we’re all just reporters.

E.B. White:  A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, wins his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has a duty to be good,
not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down.

Mark Helprin:  (From the second canto in Dante’s Inferno): I translate it: “Love moved me, and makes me speak.” Beatrice is explaining to Vergil why she is asking him to help Dante after he has fallen. I have always taken this as Dante’s answer to The Paris Review question, “Why do you write?”

Inspired and re-ignited, let’s all write on!

* From The Elements of Fiction and Storytelling,” Salon.com


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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