Review: Why We Write. 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. Edited by Meredith Maran

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Review: Why We Write. 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. Edited by Meredith Maran


There are a lot of mysteries unveiled in the book “Why We Write.” The editor of the book, Meredith Maran is a Globe contributor and author just like the many other writers you will find in buy paper online services. In this book, there is information about 20 acclaimed authors who take us through what they have covered in their writing. They endeavour to show how the writing magic occurs and give explanations as to why normal people would commit themselves into doing something that the author considers can only guarantee rejection, self-doubt and poverty.


The Reason We Write Exemplified

It all begins with issues of relating to the mystery of creation. For one Isabel Allende, a novelist, she believes that the stories start from deep within her and then grow on to something big. She says that “Each story is a seed.” When acted upon, this seed grows through writing with no idea of how it will end up. It is not Allende alone because most of the other writers seem to agree that there is always a challenge to separate her actual life from that of fictional characters in any piece of literature. The story is always with her throughout the day and during the night to imply she is always thinking about it all the time.


Ideally, these writers don’t feel as though they are in control of what they are writing. To confirm this in the book is yet another writer, Jodi Picoult who says that she hears the voices of her characters inside her head as she continues with her writing. According to Hanover, N.H., this is a “successful schizophrenia” because hearing those voices is what makes them get paid. For each one of them, characters appear to take individual paths with an agenda that is not even known to the author.


Writing Despite the Challenges and Uncertainties

Every writer agrees that their job is not easy. Actually, one writer, George Orwell believes that writing a book, especially, is a long spell of some acute illness. The wages of writing are considered barely better than those of sin, particularly when someone is just getting started with what they need to do.  For Sebastian Junger, an upcoming freelancer from Boston, one would even write for over a decade and still have nothing or little to show for it.


Mary Karr, a Memoirist recalls when she started out teaching to supplement her writing while in Boston: “For the five years I was teaching in the academic ghetto around Boston [doing stints at Emerson, Tufts, and Harvard], I couldn’t live on my earnings.” For Karr and many others, they believe that it is not possible for one to consider writing as their only source of income. Writers who have had resounding success are such as Michael Lewis, a Journalist has made much more sacrifice to get to the top. For Lewis, he believes that money has the power to change things. He narrates his story when he began writing without anything coming their way. However, he says that he started getting paid a lot of money for something that he considers not-so-good things to write about.


Authors of Lewis calibre have found other reasons to write today – money, which they didn’t have in the earlier days. He has a special ability to tackle complex topics and make them available in an easy-to-read manner although it is never easy to write them.  Joan Didion says that they keep writing to find out what is in their minds and its meaning. Others like Allende will write to survive due to unemployment. Jennifer Egan would do so to have a double life while taking care of her marriage because it can be quite involving at times. Some writing would even come out of life experiences as is the case for Sue Grafton who did it due to a hurting divorce – her evil fantasies were turned into writing.


Final Thoughts

To benefit from this book, one must really love the 20 authors interviewed in it. The book has useful tips on surviving, writing and excellence for anyone who desires to write even for online book editing jobs. You can find the book on Amazon as edited by Meredith Maran 

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Garon CockrellReview: Why We Write. 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. Edited by Meredith Maran