Why I Write, A Response

Though Didion’s piece and her prose resonated with me in a beautiful sort of way, the inspiration and reasoning behind her writing is not similar to mine in many aspects. Considering that my background is specifically in politics, this part of Orwell’s piece is very relevant to my own writing. He emphasizes that the time in which one lives and the politics behind those times, is what drives most writers and is seen through their words. I absolutely find this to be true with my own writing, and I find that the more passion I have for a topic, the better my writing seems to be. This is not to say that my writing always comes across as perfection when I am passionate. On the contrary, similar to Orwell, I find that it is often a delicate balance between who you are and what you wish to convey. You cannot let go of one or the other, otherwise your writing will resonate with no one. This is absolutely my constant struggle in my own writing, though Orwell puts the words more elegantly than I would have thought to.

At times, though his words are so familiar, Orwell’s comments about the laziness and egoism in authors makes me uncomfortable. Can I really fit into this generalization? I don’t want to but how avoidable is a trait that is unmistakably common in creators? Maybe this is something that will take more writing, thought, and purpose on my part. I think this is the major contradiction between the two pieces; Didion believes in the concrete and perceivable, while Orwell talks about generalizing writers, himself, and even atmosphere. This is where I draw the distinction in my own association with one writer rather than the other. But who knows? Maybe these two styles aren’t so different.

One thought to “Why I Write, A Response”

  1. I complete agree with you when you say the way Orwell generalizes makes you a bit uneasy. When I was reading his list of motivations for writing, I found it to be a bit prescriptive (particularly with the part about egoism) as well.

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