“You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you’ve got to say something.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald. I find that many successful authors write because they find it necessary to write. Successful authors do not write part time or every now and then when they get an urge. Successful writers aim to fill what they see as a void in the literary world with their own voice. Fitzgerald argues that writing is not born out of desire but instead is a burning need. The reoccurring consensus among successful authors is that their inspiration for writing is much deeper than an occasional itch. In Why We Write twenty authors offer wisdom for aspiring and current writers. I will share some of their quotations.
“Writing is a ridiculous thing to do for money. If you do it, do it for the reason writers have always done it, which not money but for another, deeper satisfaction.” -Gish Jen
“It’s always good to have a motive to get you in the chair. If your motive is money, find another one.” -Michael Lewis
“Writing is a long-term investment. If you stick with it, you’ll reach the level of success that you need to.” -Walter Mosley
“You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.” -Susan Orleans
“Write because you can’t not write, or don’t write at all.” -Jodi Picoult
Each one of these authors has achieved some level of success so their advice should be taken seriously. Each quotation comes a writer with a different background and different set of skills, but their advice is all similar. It is important that writers have deep inspiration for what they are doing. Whether F. Scott Fitzgerald or Gish Jen the inspiration and passion is there. These authors do not just want to write, they need to write, and they have something to say.
Maran, Meredith. Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do. New York: Plume, 2013. Print