Why Writers Write

January 19th, 2008

I did a post on the Speechless campaign a couple of days ago, but that’s not even the most interesting of the campaigns supporting the writers strike. In my eyes the most interesting is the Why We Write blog, featuring essays from prominent (and not so prominent) writers. The idea is simple: why do writers write?

Since it’s launch on December 22nd, the blog has been quite a success and has featured essays from writers from TV shows like Lost, Scrubs, Buffy and movies like Letters From Iwo Jima and Groundhog Day. Because of it’s success they’ve also started posting essays by non-writers and struggling writers. It all gives a great insight into why writers do what they do and how they started doing it.

Even if you don’t go through all of them, there are a couple you can’t skip. Trust me, it’s worth reading.

Bill Lawrence (Scrubs): “The reason I told that badly constructed, melodramatic, fake story is to tell you this real one: I write because it is the only way to get paid for being full of shit.”

Damon Lindelof (Lost): a story about a ninety-year old woman named Rose who dies.

Mark Gaberman (Jeopardy): I completely forgot that the people who come up with game show questions are of course also writers.

Hart Hanson (Bones): “My number one job? Blimp driver! C’mon! Drifting over big cool events waving down at throngs of the earth-bound? Flying at about the same speed as a wobbly drunk crossing the street? How sweet would that be?”

Jane Espenson (Buffy): “I would fall asleep making up stories for those shows in my head. But I was a brutal audience. I couldn’t enjoy the made-up stories if I couldn’t make myself believe them. And I couldn’t believe them if the voices weren’t right.”

Given it’s success, I’m hoping this will continue on after the strike ends. There are great stories between them and who else to write those stories but the writers themselves?