Sunday, April 9, 2017

22 Authors Answer the Question, “Why Do You Write?”

Writers, are you feeling run down? Are you temporarily out of ideas? Tired of the daily grind? If so, allow these authors, from all walks of life, to inspire you with their answers to the question: “Why do you write?”

Image by Sergy Zolkin.

Flannery O'Connor
I write because I don’t know what I think, until I read what I say. 
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Michael Crichton
I write because in some way, I am compelled to do it. Often I just feel grabbed by a story and yanked into the office to start writing.
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Joan Didion
I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?
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Jeff Goins
I write because I can’t imagine not doing so. Because in writing, I become a little bit more of myself.
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Slyvia Plath
Because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head. 

Jonathan Fenby    
Because I like doing so. As Fats Waller said, how nice it is being paid for doing what you enjoy.
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J.C. Joranco
I write because if I don't my mental state becomes lethargic, ugly and fragmented. I write to make sense of the world and above all myself.

Kathleen Thompson
I write because I love to communicate with people.

Frank Dikötter
I write because I enjoy creating something new. A writer, for me, is an architect who builds with words, sometimes a small shed, occasionally a mansion, possibly even a monument.

Susan Conley
I write because I want to try to crystallize these moments in life—moments of great joy and grief and excitement and anticipation that are really wordless. But I try anyways. 
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Jason Pellegrini
I write because it's what I love to do. I write because it's something I know others will like to read.
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Margaret Lynette Sharp
I write because an idea pops into my head and I want to explore it. Situations interest me, and so do characters, and I particularly like to portray flawed characters. It's fun to pretend to be someone else, and work out their responses.

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Nick Earls   
Because it hasn’t got easy yet. If it felt easy – if it felt as if I was painting by numbers, and discovering nothing – I think I’d be less inclined to do it.

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T. A. Acker    
Because “You’re beautiful” can be said in a more poetic way.

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Joan Corley    
Because it unlocks the portal to my creative gifts.
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Joan C. Curtis
Because I love losing myself in stories.
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Graham Earnshaw
To express myself, to celebrate the power of words, and to prove I can. The more you write the better you get.

Gloria E. Anzaldúa    
Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger . . . To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit . . . Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.

Neil Grant
Sometimes writing is hard, but I am miserable when I don't write.

Peter Navarro
To make a difference.

Hilary Spurling
How else would I fell the days?

Su Tong
An inner need. Writing gives me another world. 

Find hundreds more reasons at:

ThNew York Times also invited authors to share #WhyIWrite, so you can search for that hashtag to find lots of quotes on Twitter.

This short Writer’s Digest article on “Why I write” is a great read too:

As for me: 
I write because it’s what I love to do. I got the “itch” to start writing long before I ever guessed that I would become, or even want to become, a full-time writer. For me, writing has always been an intrinsic passion; however challenging, I would be lost without it.
—Bradley Cannon

Tell us why you write in the comments below.

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