I just finished one of my summer reads – Why We Write - edited by Meredith Maran. The book features 20 acclaimed authors and their tales of why they do what they do.
As someone who has always enjoyed writing, it was fascinating to read these authors’ journeys. They touch on when they discovered their writing passion, to the tales of rejection, to success. Many of the writers have storied careers with tremendous accolades, but the awards and money is generally not what keeps them coming back to the keyboard.
If you love to write, or are simply curious about writers, you should check out this quick read. It certainly inspired me.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes. Perhaps one will resonate with you, or challenge you to get back to your desk and tell your own story.
“Writing is always giving some sort of order to the chaos of life. It organizes life and memory.” –Isabel Allende
“When the sentences and the story are flowing, writing is better than any drug. It doesn’t just make you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel good about everything.” –David Baldacci
“Writing for your readers is a euphemism for writing what you think people will buy. Don’t fall for it! Write for the person you know best: yourself.” –David Baldacci
“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly.” –Jennifer Egan
“Don’t portray yourself as who you want to be. Portray yourself as who you are.” –Kathryn Harrison
“Most great writers suffer and have no idea how good they are. Most bad writers are very confident.” –Mary Karr
“Rejection is always painful, but you learn to enjoy it. It’s part of an incredible life, and you have to realize that you couldn’t have this life without this pain.” –Walter Mosley
“Write even when you don’t feel like writing. There is no muse. It’s hard work. You can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.” –Jodi Picouit
“I believe that you either love the work or the rewards. Life is a lot easier if you love the work.” –Jane Smiley