“why I write” by Caroline Kowalski

In terms of the Orwell piece, I immediately related to him with the middle child syndrome. He writes of imaginary friends and lavish tales to accommodate for a sense of loneliness being stuck in the middle and rarely seeing his father, and I almost wonder if he is talking about me. I started writing when I was very young like him and even won a fairy-tale story-writing contest when I was 8. I won a rare doll that still is sitting in a box in storage somewhere. ¬†When he talks about his inner monolouge, I am almost relieved to hear that someone else does this- other than JD from Scrubs- because I constantly imagine myself in the midst of a story. My imagination running wild with all types of scenarios of what reality might really be like. I have kept a diary my whole life and have written every strange thought that pops into my head and this has become the written version of my story. He also talks about a “demon” that drives you to write and sometimes when I write I feel this same sense as if I need to keep writing and get everything out so its not trapped inside my mind.

As for the Joan Didion piece, I did not enjoy it as much . I did not get a sense of why she was a writer in the same sense that Orwell spoke of it. Instead it almost seemed that with her prose and her detail that you got a strange sense of the innerworkings of her mind, and in that way one was able to decide if she was a writer or not. To me, her piece does not so much answer the question of ‘why I write”, but rather attempts to prove that she is in fact a writer.

One thought to ““why I write” by Caroline Kowalski”

  1. I absolutely agree with your postulation of Ms. Didion’s piece. It is almost as if Didion is encouraging just writing what you think until you realize why you are writing, contrary to what Orwell said about writing with a purpose.

    However, if you take a step back and think about it, the two pieces do have a bit of correlation. Just as you said when you were young you used to journal about thoughts in your head, that is what Didion is doing herself as a writer. What you and Orwell used to do in the past to develop your creativity, Didion is still doing. Is it possible that Didion’s creativity is more developed because she has been writing in this manner for so long? Maybe. I wonder if we had continued to write fairy tales through our adolescence if we would all write strange and abstract writings like Didion.

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