The question of what propels creators, especially great creators, may be the subject of eternal fascination and cultural curiosity. In “Why I Write,” originally published in the New York Times Book Review on December custom writings net 5, 1976 and found into the Writer on the Work, Volume 1 (public library), Joan Didion—whose indelible insight on self-respect is a must-read for all—peels the curtain on one of the very celebrated and distinctive voices of American fiction and literary journalism to reveal what it really is that includes compelled her to spend half a century putting pen to paper.
Needless to say I stole the title because of this talk, from George Orwell. One reason I stole it absolutely was that I like the sound associated with the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share an audio, and also the sound they share is it: I I I In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, view it my way, replace your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a act that is hostile. You can easily disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions —with the complete method of intimating instead of claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no making your way around the fact setting words on paper may be the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of this writer’s sensibility regarding the reader’s most space that is private.
She continues on to attest to your importance that is character-forming of the questions and trusting that even the meaningless moments will total up to a person’s becoming:
I experienced trouble graduating from Berkeley, not as a result of this inability to cope with ideas—I was majoring in English, and I could locate the house-and-garden imagery into the Portrait of a girl as well as the next person, ‘imagery’ being by definition the type of specific that got my attention—but mainly because I experienced neglected to take a program in Milton. Continue reading ““Setting words written down is the tactic of a secret bully,” and other selections from Why I Write”