I learned from George Orwell that the experiences we have continue to affect the ways in which we tell stories. I found that the experiences each of these authors had, have heavily factored into the work they produce. However, what I found most interesting were the four “great” motives for writing that Orwell says, exist in different degrees in every writer.
The four great motives are: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse and political purpose.
As I read each of the three readings, George Orwell’s, “Why I Write,” Joan Didion’s, “Why I Write,” and Andrew Sullivan’s, “Why I Blog,” I compared myself to each author, and found similarities between their writing habits, and my own.
These four motives made me question my intentions, and why I truly want to become a journalist. Day-in and day-out journalists are faced with the daunting task of eradicating personal biases and remaining as impartial as possible. One statement that stuck out to me in particular was the effect that an individual’s life stage and experience has on his or her work. To me, Orwell believes every individual’s experiences have shaped his or her views in one way or another, subconsciously imparting innate personal biases.
You cannot fully assess a writer’s work without knowing his or her background or reasoning. Orwell says, “I do not think one can assess a writer’s motives without knowing something of his early development;” this is something I firmly believe as well. In addition, I learned that regardless of the platform you choose, be sure that the content you produce is presented in a way that will allow the readers to understand the context and the tone at which you are trying to set.