I began my journey to find Why Everyone Else Writes by simply Googling “Why I Write.” Unsurprisingly, the number of examples I had to choose from were intimidatingly high, so I panicked and immediately typed “sports” behind my previous search term because that felt safe to me. This yielded an interesting article by J.A. Adande, a sportswriter for ESPN who I vaguely knew of from previous experiences watching sports. His article was titled “Why I Write About Sports for a Living.” As I read it, I realized that sports are the author’s main passion and from that the author was able to justify his actions, including becoming a writer.
I found two other articles off of the internet and found a similar underlying effect. In an essay titled “Why I Write” by Tom Schachtman, he writes about a more profound, or rather less tangible, passion that he describes as “curiosity.” He uses a number of anecdotes to explain how curiosity was so fundamental to his development as a writer and how his greatest breakthroughs in his work was due to his curiosity.
The second article I found online was written by Zetta Elliot. In her piece, her main passion relates to her difficult childhood. She writes to recover from her youth and to make sure her voice is heard.
The two MiW “Why I Write” essays I read were written by Sean Anderson and Tommy Lewis. I found that both of the pieces were actually less personal than the three pieces I found on the internet. They took more of a technical approach rather than rely on anecdotes to entertain the reader. Anderson came across as a product-minded kind of writer, while Tommy seemed to be more about the process. I was a little disappointed reading these two as I didn’t really see the passions that I saw in the other “Why I Write” essays, though I do understand why these two may have gone more technical after reading and discussing Didion and Orwell.