Why She Does It

March 28th, 2005 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

How do you answer a question like this:

“Love isn’t a reason [for writing books],” he explains patiently. “Art needs a function.” (I wonder briefly whether what I do qualifies as art). “So what’s yours? What’s your agenda? And what am I meant to take away from one of your books?”

Well, why do you read books? Why do you pick up one book over the other? We’ve argued that fiction allows us to visit uncomfortable places while remaining safely in reality. You can poke and prod at things outside your comfort zone without making a commitment to them. After all, if it takes to you a place you cannot go, you can always set aside the book. Of course, if you’re the author writing the book, it is probably better if you keep going. We think the best writing comes from a place of discomfort. This is also the logic behind our (infrequent) need to engage in public speaking.

File Under: Square Pegs

4 responses so far ↓

  • staci // Mar 28, 2005 at 9:43 am

    I’m SO relating to this post!

    blessings, staci

  • staci // Mar 28, 2005 at 9:44 am

    I’m SO relating to this post!

    blessings, staci

  • Brenda Coulter // Mar 28, 2005 at 11:15 am

    I’d have looked this clueless guy in the face and told him flatly that some authors write not to confront or convert others but to satisfy a craving to express their own thoughts and emotions in words. It isn’t always about pushing an agenda. Not every author is looking outward when she writes. I know that because I’m one who doesn’t.

  • Caro // Mar 28, 2005 at 11:31 am

    Word to what Brenda said.

    I’ve run into people like this quite a bit — it’s as if they can’t comprehend of stories existing merely to entertain or because it was a story the author felt compelled to tell. What makes me love one book over another is usually the passion and love behind the writing. I sometimes see that in books that push an agenda, but all too often the passion is missing and the book leaves me cold.