Writer’s Desk: Live to Write

Whether the result was nuanced studies of fraught relationships, eye-opening stories of people straining to connect their political beliefs with their lives, or boundary-expanding science fiction, Doris Lessing produced books that were heavy with ideas but also clearly the result of a life fully lived.

Lessing, a British-Zimbabwean who led full lives as an anti-apartheid activist and Communist Party member before and during the years she spent building up the resume that led to her Nobel Prize once said:

You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn’t care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can’t be a way of life, the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it…

Those words have to come from somewhere.

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