Friday, December 30, 2011
[Link] Writers Wednesday: Famous Authors On Why They Write
Here’s what fuels the fire for these successful writers. Which of these “why I write” manifestos sounds most like you?
JOAN DIDION: I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?
NEIL GAIMAN: The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it's about and why you're doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising…and it's magic and wonderful and strange.
GEORGE ORWELL, in his essay “Why I Write,” offers four specific motives for writing. We’ve abridged them a bit here:
(ii) Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement.
(iii) Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
(iv) Political purpose. Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.
Orwell’s theory on what drives writers is a bit dry. And, actually, we think there may be some things missing from it (we’ll leave it to you to decide). Nevertheless, when we read this, it forced us to take a hard, merciless look at our own motivations; in other words, it forced us to be a bit more objective rather than emotional. And that’s a good thing.
For full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/28/famous-authors_n_1165816.html?ref=tw