Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Andra Day $5 Off Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Baby Sale
Why We Write and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$10.39
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $5.61 (35%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Why We Write: 20 Acclaime... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do Paperback – January 29, 2013

39 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.39
$1.91 $1.21

The Art of Memoir
"The Art of Memoir" by Mary Karr
As Mary breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate. Learn more | See related books
$10.39 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do + Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series)
Price for both: $17.38

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

“If writing were illegal I’d be in prison. I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion.” —David Baldacci

“When I’m writing... I’m living in two different dimensions: this life I’m living now…and this completely other world I’m inhabiting that no one else knows about.” —Jennifer Egan

“Every story is a seed inside of me that starts to grow and grow, like a tumor, and I have to deal with it sooner or later.” —Isabel Allende

“In the beginning, it was that sense of losing time. Now…I have the sense that I can biff the world a bit. I can exert a force.” —Michael Lewis

About the Author

 Meredith Maran is the author of nine nonfiction books and the acclaimed novel A Theory of Small Earthquakes. She's been writer-in-residence at UCLA and the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, and a fellow at Yaddo, among other artist colonies. Her writing appears regularly in the Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and People.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer K. Gibbons on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a writer, I have many many many (did I mention many) moments of self doubt and angst about my writing. Reading this collection of interviews done by Meredith Maran is a salve. It reminds me that hey, you're not alone. Jodi Picoult goes through it, Susan Orlean goes through it, but the most important thing is you have to keep writing and keep your inner demons at the door. Wonderful reading and thank you to Net Galley for giving me an advance copy!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Joseph on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whether you’re a wannabe writer taking the plunge, or a first time published writer, or an avid reader curious about the craft, you will love this book. I’m just about half way through it and must say that it is a fantastic read. In my opinion, this book could serve as a companion tome to Stephen King’s On Writing. Here are a few observations about the similarities these authors share:

Almost to a person, many of these writers feel they are in another world when the words flow and they feel they’re writing well.
Many made the comment that at times the characters in their stories often take on a life of their own, as if they were guiding the author’s pen.

As good as many of these scribes are, they still at times suffer from self-doubt, or lack of confidence, and of course practically all of them dread the inevitable bout with block.

Many of them swear to rituals that they feel help them get started; cleaning their studio, ridding the space of any shred of the last work, displaying artifacts that engages their creativity and summons the muse.

Overall, this is a wonderful book for anyone contemplating or already engaged in the writer’s craft. It’s been of tremendous help to me already (mining my first novel), and it was great to see some of the same faults I have shared by professionals. There is much to learn from and a great deal that will give comfort and support to aspiring authors in this book.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amelia on June 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
I recieved an ARC from Netgalley.

To any author, whether you are published or not, the answer to why do you write is simple and these authors are not any different. We write because we have to.

This book takes that answer a step further. They just don't answer 'Because we have to!' They answer "Because I have to..."

It's what comes after the ellipsis that makes this book a must read for aspiring authors. We get an insight into some of the best literary minds. We look up to these authors, we want their success and we want to know their secrets.

The book is nicely broken down so each author gets his or her own chapter. There is a quote from one of thier works and brief background information including the authors vitals. The vitals include information on thier birth, family, schooling, honors and awards, and anything else that might be notable. I liked that it also included a question about a day job. This is followed by contact information and a list of published works.

Then we get the authors words on why they write. We learn interesting tidbits like Isabel Allende has a certain date when she starts writing a book. Jennifer Egan gives insights into winning the Pulitzer. James Frey talks about getting lost (this was personally one of my favorite sections to read). Ann Patchett tells us why she still writes in WordPerfect (I know!) and Jodi Picult talks about movie deals.
These are just a few quick examples of what these authors have to share. Each other also ends thier chapter with some wisdom for writers.

I think Terry McMillan sums it up best "I didn't choose to write. It was something that just happened to me." If you can relate, this book is worth picking up and reading.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Sherman on February 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
The good news is I'm not alone. There are other writers, wonderful, prolific and popular writers, who deal with the same demons, doubts and compulsions that I deal with every time I sit down to write. This book is a must read for writers, readers or anyone who has a creative bone in their body. It's the antidote to the heeby jeebies that every writer feels when first setting forth to fill a blank page.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Harris VINE VOICE on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not sure reading about a bunch of authors discussing their writing would be entertaining or engaging. I was wrong. It was fascinating and I ate this up like candy. My only regret it that it ended, and I would have kept reading even if every author available today wrote about their craft. I especially enjoyed Jodi Picoult and David Baldacci. I loved how real they all were and how passionate they all are about writing. I am not a writer but an avid reader and I enjoyed this very much.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Swystun on January 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Writing for most is a largely a labour of love. For a much, much smaller number it can be a lucrative profession. As editor Maran points out, "one million manuscripts are currently searching for a U.S. publisher. One percent of these will get the nod." Even then only thirty percent of published books turn a profit. Even with these daunting odds and a confusing publishing industry, more and more people are writing (which is great).

The format of this particular book is clean, clear and appealing. Maran interviewed twenty notable authors and gives them each a short chapter. There is a nice balance between a standard set of questions and unique ones that flowed from the conversations. One of the things that works in its favour is the succinct length. The result is a comfortingly familiar set of responses mingled in with a wider array of pleasingly original bon mots. What struck me the most was honesty of response. All of those interviewed are extremely blunt in their assessment of the trade. The long and short is, writing is a challenge both as a skill and as a business.

What motivates these literary luminaries ranges from "sheer egoism" to "historical impulse" to bringing "order to the chaos of life". Among those in the book are David Baldacci, Sebastian Junger, Michael Lewis, Jodi Picoult and Meg Wolitzer. Sue Grafton delights with her reason for choosing the profession, "I write because in 1962 I put in my application for a job working in the children's department at Sears, and they never called me back."

Most believe that to be a good writer, one must read. That is an oft-cited tip but Jennifer Egan takes it further by suggesting that writers should "Read at the level at which you want to write.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
This item: Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
Price: $10.39
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: what is fluorescent light, eva luna by isabel allende, mary ann in autumn