Friday, August 1, 2008

Writers Write-Edward Abbey

What I am currently reading: Reading Like a Writer

I can’t believe how quickly summer fills up with activities. I do love this time of year because of all that is going on, but it makes it a challenge to sit down and write. My plan over the next few weeks is to examine different writers in different genres and find out what makes them tick—what keeps them motivated—how did they find success…

I have heard time and time again, to get better at something, find people who are already successful at it and discover how they did it. So, for us writers, that means we need to find prolific writers and ask them questions, read about them, study their writing and then implement what we learn into our own writing life.

I recently read One Life at a Time Please by Edward Abbey. Abbey is best know for his books Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang. He loved the west and was an outspoken environmentalist before it was the “in” thing to be.

One Life at a Time is a collection of personal essays that were published in different publications like The New York Times and National Geographic. He has one chapter he calls ‘A Writer’s Credo.’ My favorite part of the essay is at the very end and to me, the perfect way to kick off this investigation of other writers.

“I write to make a difference. ‘It is always a writer’s duty,’ said Samuel Johnson, ‘to make the world better.’ I write to give pleasure and aesthetic bliss. To honor life and to praise the divine beauty of the natural world. I write for the joy and exultation of writing itself. To tell my story.”
~Edward Abbey

Why do you write?



laura said...

I enjoy reading Edward Abbey as well. Whenever we head to Moab, I bring a copy of Desert Solitaire--nothing beats reading a book in the book's setting.

I recently read a book by Ellen Gilchrist called The Writing Life. I particularly liked her book because she tells how she didn't start writing seriously until she was in her 40s.


Georganna Hancock M.S. said...

I write, hopefully, to help others. And that "hopefully" is used correctly as in I'm filled with hope that my writing helps others!

Keep up the good work!

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