Why Write?: A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why it Matters

Why Write?: A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why it Matters

by Mark Edmundson


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From one of America’s great professors, author of Why Teach? and Why Read?—an inspiring exploration of the importance of writing well, for creators, educators, students, and anyone who writes.

Why write?

Why write when it sometimes feels that so few people really read—read as if their lives might be changed by what they’re reading? Why write, when the world wants to be informed, not enlightened; to be entertained, not inspired? Writing is backbreaking, mindbreaking, lonely work. So why?

Because writing, as celebrated professor Mark Edmundson explains, is one of the greatest human goods. Real writing can do what critic R. P. Blackmur said it could: add to the stock of available reality. Writing teaches us to think; it can bring our minds to birth. And once we’re at home with words, there are few more pleasurable human activities than writing. Because this is something he believes everyone ought to know, Edmundson offers us Why Write?, essential reading—both practical and inspiring—for anyone who yearns to be a writer, anyone who simply needs to know how to get an idea across, and anyone in between—in short, everyone.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632863058
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 470,164
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mark Edmundson teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is university professor. A prizewinning scholar, he is also the author of Why Teach?, Why Read?, Teacher, The Death of Sigmund Freud, and The Fine Wisdom and Perfect Teachings of the Kings of Rock and Roll. His writing has appeared in such publications as the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Nation, the American Scholar, Raritan, and Harper's. He lives in Batesville, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Why Write? ix

Getting Started

To Catch a Dream 3

To Do It Every Day 15

The New Writer

To Have Written 29

To Get the Girl / To Get the Guy 39

To Make Some Money 47

To Get Even 56

To Strengthen the Mind 66

To Grow 76

To Fail 83

To Change the World 91

Hitting Your Stride: Perils and Pleasures / Pleasures and Perils

Perils and Pleasures

To Drink 103

To Get Reviewed 112

To Learn to Be Alone 121

To Read as a Writer 128

To Do Something 137

To Hold Your Peace 146

Pleasures and Perils

To Learn Something 155

To Stay Sane 162

To See What Happens Next 170

To Find Your Medium 179

To Skip Writing the Great American Novel 188

To Find Beauty and Truth 195

The Writer's Wisdom

To Mine a Fresh Experience 205

To Beat the Clock (A Little) 209

To Stop Revising 216

To Remember 224

To Get Better as You Get Older 234

To Draw a Constellation 241

To Have the Last Word 252

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