Why Do They Write? Why Do I Write?

George Orwell

George Orwell’s in-depth recollection of his childhood was interesting to me. It made me wonder if my childhood is to praise for the writer I am today. I suppose it’s true to some extent; I’ve always had a desire to express myself whether it be in a locked away diary, private blog post, or article for the world to see. Here’s how Orwell’s motives for writing apply to me…

  • Sheer egoism: Yes, I do enjoy seeing my name in print. It makes me feel accomplished. But then again, who doesn’t like to feel this way–writer or not?
  • Aesthetic enthusiasm: I love it when I produce a perfectly crafted sentence. Reading my wisely written prose is almost as fun as seeing a brand new fall runway show, and trust me, fashion is another form of beauty in the external world.
  • Historical impulse: Straight-forward and to the point.
  • Political purpose: Politics are not my cup of tea. I write what I like; I don’t try pushing any secret agenda on readers. Orwell did say the first three motives outweigh this one. But then he goes on to say how everything he writes that lacks a political purpose is lifeless. When it comes to my own writing, I disagree.

Joan Didion

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking…What I want and what I fear.”  So do I. I live for the moment when I can open up a blank word document and type everything and anything that comes to my mind. Some of it makes sense and some of it doesn’t.  A bundle of ideas and reflections that feel much better on paper than in my head. Didion knows what she’s talking about. The idea of turning pictures into prose is something that I can relate to. All writers view the world differently and it’s in our power to write how and why we please.

 

7 thoughts to “Why Do They Write? Why Do I Write?”

  1. I enjoyed reading about your reaction to Didion’s statement about writing to find out what she is thinking. You really seem to identify with this statement, one that I believe that many writers can also see in their own lives. I would actually like to hear you expand on this topic and your own relation to it.

    1. I think I relate so much to this topic because I always have so many thoughts in my head and writing is a great way to express myself and get my thoughts out to the world. I especially enjoy blogging and sharing my personal stories with the world.

  2. Great summing up of the articles! I think we can all relate to what Orwell and Didion have said about their motivations. That said, I would like to know which one of these motivations motivate you the most. For example, Didion’s claim that she must write to find out what she is thinking resonates with me the most – I’m such a scatter-brain!

    I was also a little confused when you simply say that Orwell’s idea of historical motivation is “straight-forward and to the point”. I don’t feel a strong inclination to showcase historical matters in my everyday writing, and I’m majoring in History!

  3. I agree with you in that Didion’s claim that she must write to find out what she is thinking resonates with me most. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly what I am thinking or feeling until I see it written out in front of me.

    I don’t feel a strong inclination to historical matters in writing either. I guess what I meant by that statement was that his claim talked about facts and seeing things as they are and that’s how I analyzed that phrase.

  4. I really believe in everything that you say here. It could be one of the posts that I relate to the most actually. What I love about Didion’s phrase is that in an academic arena, writing is almost the only way I am able to organize my thoughts and find out what I really think about something. Is this the same for you?
    I also really like what you say here “Aesthetic enthusiasm: I love it when I produce a perfectly crafted sentence. Reading my wisely written prose is almost as fun as seeing a brand new fall runway show, and trust me, fashion is another form of beauty in the external world.” I do believe that there are so many forms of beauty and expression and it is up to us to utilize them to the best of our abilities.

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