Advice from the Masters: Joan Didion

Aug 17, 2016 | Better Writing

I know Joan Didion mostly by reputation. It’s a sterling reputation as both a literary figure and a literary journalist. My one direct experience with her writing is her memoir of the year after her husband died suddenly: The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s not the kind of writing that I love to do, but it is the kind of writing that makes you think, “My God, if I could write just one thing that good I would die fulfilled.”

The following observation comes from her essay, “Why I Write” that used the title from a George Orwell essay as a starting point.

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

If you want even more writing advice from writers, check out Jon Winokur’s blog, “AdvicetoWriters.”

Sign Up For Blog Posts Via Email