Art, Books, Reviews, Writing

Why Writers Write

Trying to play catch-up on my writing made me wonder why I would need to try in the first place. It is not a mandate; it is simply something I decided to do for myself; and when life happens such that you cannot, it is OK to not try catching up. And I wondered – ‘why do I need to’ and also about why writers write anyways?

But I realized that I enjoy writing. So I want to write as much as I can – using this excuse of catching up to a commitment I made to myself(while not needed) makes me keep writing.

And that reminded me of another post/book review that was in my drafts forever: one where I reviewed the book and wondered at the question of ‘Why We Write’. So here it is now – the review part of it at least. The one where I wonder will follow soon.

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Book Review: Why We Write

‘Why We Write’ was(is) one of my “current” reads all through this summer(well, more recently too) and might continue to be a ‘Currently Reading’ for a long time. I am actually done with it; but then I go back and read something once again I kept going back to it to read something over and over again. So, I am guessing this is a book I will be buying soon after I return since I have finally returned the copy (re)borrowed from my local library!

Book Info

Why We Write

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
Compiled by Meredith Maran

Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository
Target|| Barnes and Noble


Twenty of America’s bestselling authors share tricks, tips, and secrets of the successful writing life.

Anyone who’s ever sat down to write a novel or even a story knows how exhilarating and heartbreaking writing can be. So what makes writers stick with it? In Why We Write, twenty well-known authors candidly share what keeps them going and what they love most—and least—about their vocation.

Contributing authors include:
Isabel Allende
David Baldacci
Jennifer Egan
James Frey
Sue Grafton
Sara Gruen
Kathryn Harrison
Gish Jen
Sebastian Junger
Mary Karr
Michael Lewis
Armistead Maupin
Terry McMillan
Rick Moody
Walter Mosley
Susan Orlean
Ann Patchett
Jodi Picoult
Jane Smiley
Meg Wolitzer 

My Thoughts

It includes authors across the spectrum from those who struggled and met with multiple rejections before they saw success, and those who seemed to rise to fame almost overnight. It includes authors I read before and those I was unfamiliar with but now am eager to read them regardless of their genre.

The format of this kind of book tends to lend itself to some amount of repetition; and yes, there is a bit – but they are repetitions that matter; that highlight some common threads among these successful writers. One of them that shines through – ‘Read‘! Or like one writer says in this collection, ‘Read at the level you want to write‘.

On the other hand, the responses are varied enough to keep the reader immersed in the book, to keep going, to take a pause to understand, and to appreciate that there is no one way to write.

I loved how David Baldacci mentions that ‘lawyers make great storytellers since they have to rearrange the facts they cannot alter to bring the most compelling ones to the forefront so they can win’. I was inspired by the fact that Sue Grafton was 42 when she wrote her first book ‘A is for Alibi’; while Isabelle Allende’s penchant for finding just the right word is admirable.

In Summary

So yes, it is definitely worth reading.

One of the things this book has inspired me to do is read more – and specifically read the authors featured here, regardless of their genre.

The other thing I am inspired to do is , of course, write; or rather keep writing and do it with determination, dedication, passion, and enjoy the journey of writing.

So for all of you who enjoy reading and/or writing, this book is waiting to be read – by you!


Well, looks like I might need to retire my InktoberWritersEdition for now. No way I can play catch-up there but you never know… Anyway, here is my day 21 #Inktober2019 post.

The End of This Post

And dear reader, what about you? What are the reasons you write (since I am sure most of you who visit my blog write something or the other, at the least, your blog)? So, Why Do You Write? (Note: NOT, Why you blog?)

You can check out the previous posts for this month by clicking on them below.

12 thoughts on “Why Writers Write

  1. As someone who writes, this sounds like a book that I would enjoy. I write because I think that I am ok at it and I have several disabilities that mean I can’t work.

  2. That is an interesting book. I would love to read why they do what they do! I write now for a purpose (or niche whatever). I have written for a personal blog before but it was not defunct and I hadn’t define why I wrote before for that blog. I may have to back and visit and maybe find the answer.

  3. I think I know which book I will be reading next 🙂 thank you for sharing! I love writing, it helps me in a therapeutic way. I also love sharing my insights with others to hopefully learn from. It’s my way of giving back to the world. Also, Love, love, love the inktober drawing!

  4. I write mainly to bring smile and happiness to my readers through photos and recipes I share. I would love to write a book or two. One would be with my grandduaghter with the recipes we create with healthy meals, another would be a book of poems that I’ve writen with a few from my mom. My one goal is to write a book about my great grandduaghter’s 1st year and give it to her on her 18th birthday. I have 17 years to go!

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