Writing, to me, has never been a way to—secretly or candidly—display vanity. I view it as a reactionary activity that is prompted by an exogenous force, such as a professor or supervisor. Thereby, I couldn’t associate with Orwell’s assertion of narcissism coupled with writing, especially at a younger age. This recurring theme in his piece continued to unnerve me, and I rescinded its very nature internally. Me, a narcissist? Not quite.
Orwell, however, was not completely dissimilar to my motivations once I am writing. When writing an essay or research analysis, hours may pass before I can finish writing a sentence. As Orwell states, I receive “Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story.” The syntax of a sentence is more appealing to me than the semantics—weird, I know. Similarly, Orwell’s fourth motive, political purpose, also resonates with me when I do write. Writing can be a facet of civic duty: in other words, a way to actively take part in your surroundings, which feels like a meaningful task.
Lastly, Orwell offered a view on writing that I perpetually feel with every piece I write. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.” I dread—no, abhor—starting a piece of writing. It’s a long-winded battle that I never seem up to the fight. Yet, I continue to pursue writing, as a masochist among writers.
It’s the “kill,” the gratification from taking the upper hand in the struggle and winning. The end lures the means to continue for another time.