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
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