A Gift Well Received: Why We Write

For Christmas last year, a close friend gave me a copy of Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do edited by Meredith Maran. I just finished it, and I’m so grateful my friend Alex put it in my hands. It’s inspirational, encouraging, challenging, honest, and relatable. A must-read for writers, I think.


I should be working on a short story right now, but I just watched this instead. As a result of my chronic procrastination, this post is continuing in bullet points.


Reasons to read this book:


1. Each author gets his or her own chapter, so it’s easy to read in fits and starts, even while reading other books. It’s probably better that way, since there’s so much good stuff to take in.

2. The diversity of the writers means that one your favorites is probably in here, but there are also likely some authors you’ve never read before.

3. Every kind of background, process, and technique is represented, but none is hailed as “the” way to go about writing.

4. What does become clear is the thing these authors have in common is how seriously they take their work. That’s a takeaway anyone can relate to.

5. A portion of the editor’s royalties go to 826 National.


My copy is highlighted through and through. It has a place on my shelf as a pick-me-up next time I get discouraged!


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