Our wonderful, urgent, mystifying compulsion to write

Katie and I just announced our workshop, and we're already having great conversations with some of you about why you’re ready to work and play as writers. And we so hear you.

We'll be sending weekly dispatches to our email list, kind of like this blog post only more to-your-doorstep, and with more nuggets of inspiration and elucidation about the writing life and craft.

This week, we're reflecting on the wonderful, urgent, mystifying reasons we feel compelled to write.

Joan Didion put it this way: "I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear."  

Some people know their agenda ahead of time, like George Orwell: "I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose."

While others write for pleasure: "I write because I think I have something to say that other people would find interesting. I write because I enjoy the challenge of expressing difficult ideas clearly. I write because I take pleasure in trying to craft stylish and graceful prose." —Steven Pinker

And still others for connection: "The idea is to write it so that it slides in through the brain and goes straight to the heart." —Maya Angelou

So ... why do you write? Or if you've never / almost-never written, why do you want to? Connecting with that reason can clear a lot of the cobwebs of doubt or pressure to imitate masters.

Wishing you a week of inspired feeling,

Katie & Carolyn


P.S. Wondering what it sounds like when a writer is absolutely driven by their need to get the words out? Here's something we're reading that is new and urgent: It’s an excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates' new book, which is written as a letter to his son. It rolls like water, and the form he employs and the power with which he does it really got our attention. And a lot of other people’s.  

P.P.S. The big news? We've opened registration for the fall workshop. And early bird pricing is in effect (peep peep!). 

Stories are in our blood

Announcing my first online workshop! Co-taught with superstar!