Orwell and Didion Response

Personally, I have always enjoyed writing. Writing poems, writing stories, writing essays for school. While others complained in high school, I just silently typed away for hours until I’d finished what I was doing all in one sitting. This probably didn’t produce anything amazing, but I just loved the way it took me out of the real world and onto the page of whatever I was writing about. I guess what resonated with me about Orwell and Didion both is that this is exactly how they described who a writer is. I was intrigued to hear that they too were so immersed in writing that it took them away from the here and now and into other worlds.

Orwell also got pretty technical with why writers write. The motives he provided for writing really got me thinking deeper about the stuff I like to write. Why, really, do I do this thing. I know on the surface it’s because I love doing it, but there’s gotta be more. I plan to think about that more this semester and hopefully come to some conclusions about which motives I should pursue and which maybe already exist heavily in my work. His conclusion that his worst work was born when he failed to include each motive made me really consider my own writing and what it could be lacking. I’ve always believed that diversity is key to thriving and I’m glad Orwell brought up diversity of motives in writing.

Didion, who by the way I have to question when she says she’s not schizophrenic, took what I do in my writing to an entirely new level. The way she daydreams and inputs false memories in real memories reminds me of what I love about writing; the constant other world. Although I think she may have been actually starting to believe those false memories as truth, she also gave me a deeper understanding of why I love doing this. I really liked that she talks about how most writers do it for themselves. And as narcissistic as it sounds (and I hope nobody judges me on this one), I think what I love about writing is that it can be all about me, but that I can also provide something to others who read the pieces I create. I don’t think we ever do enough for ourselves anymore. I’m guessing we can all agree that we write because it’s not a chore, but instead something that in this bustling life feels like it’s for your own happiness.

2 thoughts to “Orwell and Didion Response”

  1. I like what you wrote about not doing enough for ourselves anymore. I find that I often get so caught up with school and work that I forget why I enjoy writing, and that I’m able to write simply because it makes me happy. When I first read Didion’s “Why I Write” piece it struck me as selfish. But, after reading your response I agree that writing for oneself can be about the enjoyment one gets from writing, rather than the writer’s own ego.

  2. Your second paragraph about why you write really struck me. Now that we’ve started thinking about our own”Why I Write” essays I was surprised at how hard it was to pinpoint the reasons as well. Orwell and Didion did a great job laying out some of their own reasons which I know helped to get me thinking. I also loved your last sentence, “I’m guessing we can all agree that we write because it’s not a chore, but instead something that in this bustling life feels like it’s for your own happiness.” I love this idea and hope you expand on it and incorporate it into your paper!

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