My mom just sent me an article detailing the writing process of one of my writing inspirations, Atul Gawande, so I thought I would share. Gawande is a surgeon in Boston who writes about his experiences in the New Yorker in his spare time. As a premed student minoring in writing, I look up to Gawande and hope to be able to write about my experiences in the medical world as he does. This interview was interesting because Gawande discussed his writing process. He also included an excerpt from his “Why I Write” piece, which I thought was really cool since our first paper was based around that theme.
One thing I liked about this piece is that Gawande exposed some of his weaknesses in the writing process, which made him more relatable. If he can have weaknesses but still be a successful writer then it’s possible for me to do the same. Gawande claimed that he is “not a natural writer” and that he has to follow certain strategies to not “overthink” or “get bogged down” in his writing. He mentioned that he pretends that he is simply writing an email rather than writing a magazine piece so that he doesn’t get “stuck” while writing. I can definitely relate to this; I have no problem writing on my own, but the minute there’s a deadline attached to what I’m writing, I start having writer’s block. Maybe if I use his strategy I will have an easier time with writing assignments for school.
I also related to Gawande’s “Why I Write” blurb. He mentioned that he writes mainly to “work out stuff” that confuses him. I always feel that writing down my thoughts gives me much more clarity and helps me understand the world around me, as I mentioned in my own “Why I Write” paper. In addition, I admired how Gawande says he writes to connect with people on a deeper emotional level. He gave a great example about how in college he tried to connect with people through composing songs and playing them on the guitar, but was unsuccessful. Instead he later discovered writing as a medium that he could use to make that connection. I would love to hone my writing skills in order to express my feelings to an audience in a way that they could relate.