Why do you write?

George Orwell once wrote an essay on the reasons for writing. It is probably one of my favorite essays on writing that I have read. Another one would be Edgar Allan Poes’ composition.

Reading it now and also looking at the large expanse of the writers unniverse on the web I can say that Orwell did not touch on everything. Most if not all reasons he mentioned centered on non-monetary reasons for writing.

People write for a living. I do. I try to. I aspire to.

But there are other reasons for writing and Orwell, who was also a prolific writer and wrote as a means to earn income wrote that these were:

First, To record and to report things that happen.

Second, To point out to the reader an d to the world an object, animal, person, event, and phenomena of (i) beauty; (ii) interest; (iii) uniqueness.

Third, To move the reader to act to a certain way. Mark Anthony’s speech before the Romans who were looking at the body of the assassinated Caesar along with his assasins is a classic example of moving people. Even the use of honorable men was used so effectively that at the end of the speech. These honorable men were then veiewed as anything else but that.

Fourth, To satisfy an aesthetic sense of proportion. To see beauty in the written word. People who read aloud poems and stories would know this. The play and use of words to paint and give voice to our worlds is such an example.

Fifth, To satisy the ego: To satisfy us: A sense of pride and fulfillment when one finishes a work is a reward. Applause or acclaim for one’s work is a form of reward and a reason to write.

To sum it all up in a neat list George Orwell or Eric Blair wrote that he wrote because of the following reasons:

  • To record
  • To point out
  • To move people
  • To satisfy an aesthetic need
  • And to satisfy the ego
  • These reasons have been mentioned is what Orwell said were the reasons he wrote. Of course there are more reasons for writing.

      What is yours?

    Originally posted on June 9, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

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