Every October 20th a coalition of partners like the New York Times, the National Writing Project, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Teaching Channel come together to encourage writing. They want you to hashtag: #WhyIWrite.
I even did one of my own:
#WhyIWrite Because figuring out how I feel about something requires five or so years and 80,000 or so words.— Martin McClellan (@hellbox) October 20, 2015
The whole thing was inspired by Orwell’s famous essay, whose title inspired the hashtag. Here’s part of how he put it, and below him, some of today’s writers from today’s hashtag:
What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.
Because stories help us save ourselves. #WhyIWrite— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) October 20, 2015
I don't know #WhyIWrite, but it's probably got something to do with the wardrobe.— Elise Blackwell (@EliseBlackwell) October 20, 2015
Because the dreams seep out of my ears otherwise. #WhyIWrite— Cat Rambo (@Catrambo) October 20, 2015
I tried drowning everyone to fix things, but it didn't work. So now I use words. It doesn't work either but it's less deathy. #WhyIWrite— God (@TheGoodGodAbove) October 20, 2015