“Why I Write” Response

Before I sat down to read these essays, I was unsure of what to expect. I had obviously heard of both Orwell and Didion, so I was intrigued to find out some insight into their respective creative processes; however I was unsure of how much detail and actual information they would offer their readers. I was surprised to see that the biggest similarity between the two pieces was the honesty with which each author discussed his or her past and path to becoming a writer. I really enjoyed Orwell’s notion that it takes a certain kind of person to be a writer, describing a writer as almost a completely different bread of human. Similarly, Didion describes herself as someone that could do nothing else but write. She claims, “Grammar is a piano I play by ear.” Didion explains that she didn’t study to become a writer, and therefore does not follow the typical rules of the trade. Instead she was born to be one, and so she uses a style that is uniquely her own.

I feel like I can truly relate to the way Orwell and Didion describe themselves as inherent writers. I am not saying I believe my innate desire to write is as extreme as there’s were, but as I described in my application letter to the writing minor, it is something I have always enjoyed and has always been a subject at which I have excelled. Even when I thought about pursuing a degree from Michigan’s business school I end up majoring in History, a subject that requires a great deal of writing, and of course, minoring in writing. I like to think “aesthetic enthusiasm” is of higher proportion than my “sheer egoism” on Orwell’s list on motives for writing.

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