Never have I considered that my need or desire to write is at all connected to vanity, selfishness, or laziness. Never have I considered that my want to write and express my thoughts is due to a purely self-involved motive that has nothing to do with my consideration of others. I’ve always considered my need to write, at least publicly, a way for others to simply understand the ways in which I think and how my decision process works. But maybe, rooted somewhere deep within my subconscious, is a need to express myself just to express myself, not necessarily to help anyone to understand, just a medium through which I can push the deep workings of my brain onto others. And that’s where George Orwell comes in.
George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, a book that made me feel so discomforted that I will never again read it, yet again has managed to make me feel discomforted. But this time, it’s not about a subject that hasn’t much to do with my own life. Instead, he made me think about my own life and motives in a way that did not make me at all pleased. It worries me that simply because I need to write that I may have a desire “to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death”.
Fortunately, I found some semblance of hope in thinking back to something I learned in my 12th grade AP Biology class – humans have a tendency to categorize. Let me rephrase that, not just a tendency, but a need. It’s the only way that the human brain can make sense of the world. This is why taxonomy, Venn Diagrams, and stereotypes exist. (Observe the below illustration and let hilarity ensue).
Therefore, is it fair enough to say that Orwell’s note that one of writers’ sheer need to write is due to “sheer egoism” is just another way to categorize humans? Or is this truly the main reason that writers write, as Orwell tends to argue? My need to see myself and other writers as good, well-meaning individuals prefers to choose the former.