In 1946, George Orwell published a short piece entitled: ‘Why I write’, in an attempt to reveal his motivations. In it, he describes the ‘four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose:
Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one …. there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.
Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement …. Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed.
Historical impulse. Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.
Political purpose. — Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people's idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.’
I am incredibly grateful, and not a little surprised, that my blog attracted over 4000 hits this year, the highest number of readers so far. I first started to blog as for all the reasons Orwell stated, and as a form of verbal processing - ‘how will I know what I think until I’ve heard what I’ve got to say?’ A good friend of mine, an award-winning writer, advised me to ‘throw a shape in front of myself’ and then try to fill it, and blogging has been a way to do that.
It is a challenging process, offering a bit of yourself to an unknown public in the hope that it challenges and comforts, affirms and provokes and above all, alters perceptions to such a degree that change becomes possible. It has been educational to see which posts grab the attention whilst others go, for the most part, unnoticed. For the most part, the feedback has been incredibly helpful, with only one or two exceptions.
So this is my way of saying a huge thank you to those who have kept faith with ‘flagging faith’! Your interest keeps me writing and I hope to improve my writing in 2019. If any of you are publishers and have a book deal to spare … you know where to find me?!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful and cassowary-filled New Year!