Why Writers Write

snoopyWriters write because they have no choice. It’s true. Once a phrase, a plot, a character jumps into your mind, it’s like your head will explode if you don’t start writing down whatever crazy scenario springs to mind. Elizabeth Gilbert was correct when she talks about the muse in her excellent TED TALK called Your Elusive Creative Genius.

But there are a host of other reasons why writers write. Some have lived through spectacularly unfortunate childhoods which have given them incredible stories to share. Here’s my list of some hard-to-put-down memoirs:

Crafting Your Novel – Tuesday afternoons Aug.2 – Sept. 13 (no class Aug. 9) Crafting Your Novel – Wednesday afternoons Aug. 3 – Sept. 14 (no class Aug. 10) For more details email beverleyburgessbell@gmail.com

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wellsglass castle
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  • On Writing by Stephen King (this one is fantastic for writers)
  • Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Some writers write to educate the public or to teach certain self-help tricks. In fact, self-help books are the world’s best-selling genre!

Here’s why some famous authors write … and which I agree with.

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.” – Neil Gaiman

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” – Roald Dahl

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler

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