In my ongoing quest to understand why people write, I'm now collecting quotes about writing. To start, this one is from The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), a quote from a character who is an author:
...I tend to find out what I feel on a subject by writing about it. It is how we interpret the world, how we make sense of it.
I think reading what characters say about writing is fascinating to compare with what the author of the book thinks about writing. From J.K. Rowling's website, here's part of why she says she writes:
A very different point of view comes from Terry Farish, author of a lovely book called The Good Braider. In this book, Farish uses lyric prose to experience the world through the eyes of another person, and her statement about why she writes reflects this exploration:
I must take the time to
In the introduction of The Gifts of Imperfection, author Brene Brown writes about the process of how she decided to write such a book. I love Brene Brown and I LOVE this book, but I already worry about what I'm writing being worthwhile, so I'm not sure I want to ask myself this! Is it necessary to worry about the worth of something? Is it enough to have the story and the impulse to draft and revise and share it?
Before I start writing, I always ask myself, 'Why is this book worth writing? What's the contribution that I'm hoping to make?'
Author Barry Lopez seems to have less concern on considering the worth or merit of a piece of writing and instead embraces stories to care for and share as needed. The gentleness and openness of his philosophy is such a restful place in which to create.
The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If the stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed.
In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, the protagonist, Cath, is a dedicated fanfiction writer and new college student reluctant to try writing anything original. In chapter two, Cath's creative writing classmates are discussing why they write:
"To explore new worlds." "To explore old ones." "To set ourselves free."
But while the class is throwing out ideas, Cath is thinking:
"To get free of ourselves...To stop being anything or anywhere at all...To disappear."
Later, in chapter 23, Cath's English professor talks to her directly about writing. Cath has still not tried writing anything original. I love their debate (in part, below) because it illustrates that there are so many ways to be immersed in writing. I think Cath's love of writing fanfiction is not less worthy than writing original work, but it's definitely a different process.