Achebe on Reasons for Becoming a Writer

Today I post a quote from the father of African literature and one of my favorite writers. I often come across this quote when looking at one of my notebooks. I wrote it down on the 7th of October 2009 and have often thought of its simplicity and accuracy. At least for me, it certainly sums up being a writer.

For me there are three reasons for becoming a writer. The first is that you have an overpowering urge to tell a story. The second, that you have intimations of a unique story waiting to come out. And the third, which you learn in the process of becoming, is that you consider the whole project worth the considerable trouble – I have sometimes called it terms of imprisonment – you will have to endure to bring it to fruition.

Chinua Achebe from Home and Exile

Samir

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3 Comments to “Achebe on Reasons for Becoming a Writer”

  1. “You consider the whole project worth the considerable trouble – I have sometimes called it terms of imprisonment – you will have to endure to bring it to fruition.” This resonates so personally today. I started my novel almost two years ago and am now proofing the final 18 pages. What a pain-filled two years this has been, but wow, what a sense of wonder to have gone through this journey. Thanks for sharing this quote.

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