WHY WE WRITEis in itsfirst second third printing!

Why We Write

Amazon | IndieBound

Why We Write:
20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They

Paperback original, January 29, 2013

Twenty of America's bestselling authors share tricks, tips, and secrets of the successful writing life.

Anyone who's ever sat down to write a novel or even a story knows how exhilarating and heartbreaking writing can be. So what makes writers stick with it? In Why We Write, twenty well-known authors candidly share what keeps them going and what they love most—and least—about their vocation.

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Susan Orlean: Why I Write


Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do
was among the 10 best books on writing from my recent collaboration with the New York Public Library...[and] remains a must-read of the most highly recommended kind.
Brainpickings.org, 8/26/13

"What led Walter Mosley, Jennifer Egan, Susan Orlean, Terry McMillan, Sebastian Junger and others to write? The reasons of a dozen writers — from the just-published collection ‘’Why We Write’’ — are honest, humorous and inspiring."
Washington Post, 3/15/13

Underblog Collective: Why We Choose to Write
—Project: Underblog, 7/9/13

There is, quite literally, something for everyone in this book"
GoodReads, 6/20/13

"This collection is an absolute must for avid readers who are curious about what makes their favorite writers tick, and how they do what they do."
Tucsoncitizen.com, 4/26/13

Advice To Writers: Meredith Maran
—Advicetowriters.com, 4/16/13

Why I Write
—Whyiwrite.net, 4/16/13

"Why We Write includes some authors that I already know and respect...and others that I’ve never heard of. All of their stories were valuable though, and I recommend this book to anyone who desires a writerly life."
Chrissy's Blog, 4/10/13

"It's always encouraging (in a weird way) to hear how terrified even hugely successful writers are--as terrified and unconfident as I...Sue Grafton describes herself as "a persistant writer, and a terrified one." Do you know how happy that makes me? "
Bobbiepyron.blogspot.com, 3/29/13

"...get ready to be enraptured by firsthand accounts from 20 great authors on why they became—and continue to be—writers."
Bookpage.com, 3/19/13

"I’m reading a book that’s so good, it’s like literary porn. It’s Us for bookworms. The book is called Why We Write, and it has a few pages each on one of 20 literary superstars. Each section describes how and why the writer writes. The section begins with vitals including when and where the writer was born, married or not, schooling, day job, and awards. Each section ends with tidbits of advice for writers. If you love to write, you’ve got to get this book. It’s so fun to read and super inspiring."
Reelgirl.com, 3/16/13

"Anyone who's ever sat down to write a novel or even a story knows how exhilarating and heartbreaking writing can be. So what makes writers stick with it? In Why We Write, twenty well-known authors candidly share what keeps them going and what they love most—and least—about their vocation."
—Lady Bank's Commonplace Book, 3/5/13

Now Read This!: Culture vs. Commerce—Oh Yeah, and a Quiz
— AARP Blog, 2/26/13

"Oh happy day. I happen to be a pushover for this stuff: books about writing, books about writers, books about reading, books about books, books about writers' favorite bookstores. I love them all, but I especially love books about the writing life that delve into writers' work habits and routines, and offer advice."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/16/13

Book Review - Why We Write by Meredith Maran
Littlethoughtsaboutbooks, 2/14/13

"Ms. Maran’s august assemblage does come up with some interesting stuff. Jodi Picoult talks about the anguish she feels while writing. Susan Orlean exprresses her self doubt. David Baldacci tells us that writing is quite simply his addiction. (“If writing were illegal, I’d be in prison.”) We also hear about such fun writerly ailments as writer’s block:
“It’s like swallowing sand,” says Isabel Allende.
See? An insight."
Tvwriter.net, 2/12/13

—People, 2/11/13

"The confessional that makes "Why We Write" special. Maran, herself a novelist ("A Theory of Small Earthquakes") and a critic, elicits material from these writers that goes beyond the business of Why and into How, What, Where and When. It gives invaluable insights into both authorial insecurity and flying in the face of that, their certainty about the importance of books. For the curious bystander and the aspiring participant, "Why We Write" is a must have."
MSNBC, 2/11/13

What's New in Science Books

—Science Book Newsletter, 2/11/2013

"You need not be a fan of all of the writers interviewed to enjoy this absorbing look into the literary life. “Why We Write” is also filled with practical tips on writing, surviving, and thriving for anyone who works with words."
Boston Globe, 2/8/13

"Maran's Why We Write came to my doorstep on Wednesday, and by Friday I had finished reading it.  That's how I know I really like a book, when I read it fast, sometimes all at once, because I can't put it down. 
You should see my copy. It is yellow highlighted and underlined in blue Sharpie and annotated in pink ink. There is a small hole on page 73 from where I got a bit too enthusiastic with the Sharpie."
Kathleenstander.blogspot.com, 2/8/13

Meredith Maran talks about WHY WE WRITE, odious genre labels, and so much more
—redroom.com, 2/7/2013

"Above all, Why We Write inspired me to keep doing what I am doing, and that feels good."
52booksorbust, 2/6/13

Why We Write

WritingTime, 2/5/13

Why We Write
—BeattiesBookBlog, 2/3/13

Book News: Salinger Biography, Kindle Ads

—The New Yorker, 2/1/13

Why Do You Write?
—MediaBistro.com, 2/1/13

, 2/1/13

Susan Orlean: Why I Write

—Utne.com, 2/1/13

Rick Moody: Why I Write

—TheDailyBeast.com, 2/1/13

"Why We Write is excellent in its entirety. Pair it with...F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to his daughter, Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing, Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 keys to the power of the written word...Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers...and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings."
Maria Popova, BrainPickings.org, 1/31/13

EXCERPT: Jodi Picoult Advice To Writers, Why She Writes
—Huffington Post, 1/30/13

'Why We Write': 10 authors speak about why they love their craft
Christian Science Monitor, 1/30/13

"Writers and readers who are fascinated with a writer's mind likely will love this book."
Oklahoma Gazette,

Hot New Releases in Writing, Research and Publishing

New in Paperback for February
—Thecontextuallife.com, 1/29/13

Hitting Our Shelves This Week
—AnthologyBookCompany.com, 1/29/13

"Editor Meredith Maran covers the bases with writers who represent a variety of genres and levels of literary-ness. The anthology gives readers a personal, slice-of-life look at writers whose work they enjoy, and there’s plenty here to inspire aspiring writers as well."
BookRiot.com, 1/29/13

"Most entertaining in Why We Write is the chance to go behind the pages of the books we know and love--or perhaps, the pages of books as-yet unknown to us--to meet the authors that gave them to us...the insights into the writing process are full of promise and interest. Whether a writer or a reader be, Why We Write is a delightful romp through twenty worlds of twenty writers."
EntomologyofaBookWorm.com, 1/29/13

Writers writing about writing: 'Why We Write'
—LA Times, 1/28/13

Jennifer Egan: “Goon Squad” could have been better!

—Salon.com, 1/27/13 

Meredith Maran talks about Why We Write, odious genre labels, and so much more

—Leavittville, 1/27/13

Review: Why We Write
—Vinobaby's Voice, 1/24/13

"As a writer, I have many many many (did I mention many) moments of self doubt and angst about my writing. Reading this collection of interviews done by Meredith Maran is a salve. It reminds me that hey, you're not alone. Jodi Picoult goes through it, Susan Orlean goes through it, but the most important thing is you have to keep writing and keep your inner demons at the door. Wonderful reading."
Jennifer Gibbons, goodreads (5 stars)

"...anybody curious can find Baldacci’s thoughts on the matter in “Why We Write,” a new collection of interviews edited by Meredith Maran, in which 20 well-known authors try to analyze what, exactly, keeps them at it."
New York Times Book Review, 1/18/13

"A rich, informative essay collection based on interviews with 20 prominent authors seeking to answer the question: "Why do writers write?"

“If writing were illegal I’d be in prison. I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion.”
—David Baldacci

“When I’m writing... I’m living in two different dimensions: this life I’m living now…and this completely other world I’m inhabiting that no one else knows about.”
—Jennifer Egan

“Every story is a seed inside of me that starts to grow and grow, like a tumor, and I have to deal with it sooner or later.”
—Isabel Allende

“In the beginning, it was that sense of losing time. Now…I have the sense that I can biff the world a bit. I can exert a force.”
—Michael Lewis

"Writers will be reassured and readers will learn much about the joys and the struggles of the writing life."
—Jason Epstein

"Why do we writers do what we do? Because we must. Because the alternative is untenable. An inspiring, illuminating book."
—Dani Shapiro

"The perfect warm-up to a good day of work, an antidote to writer's block—a must-have secret weapon of inspiration for any writer's reference shelf."
—A.M. Homes


Marisa Silver @marisaleesilver
Loving "Why We Write" edited by@meredithmaran. There is wisdom on every page.

Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist

Ann Patchett: "When you're a writer, it's so easy to become a freak." WHY WE WRITE, edited by the sublime @meredithmaran

Sue Monk Kidd @suemonkkidd
A nice collection MT@PlumeBooks: Some writerly advice from 12 famous authorsow.ly/i6oj1 @meredithmaran

Reginarobertson @reginarobertson
@meredithmaran, was just gonna read a few
chapters tonight, but I can't put the book down!
loved reading about @jodipicoult's journey, too!

reginarobertson @reginarobertson
@meredithmaran So loving Why We Write, by the
way! Am reading up on @MsTerryMcMillan as I type
this tweet. Thx for this treasure trove.

Rebecca Land Soodak @RLSoo
So I'm savoring each essay. Your voice comes
through--and I like your format: stats, tips. For

Rebecca Land Soodak @RLSoo
Loving actually. Only wish is that it was longer. Not
each essay--just want more, more, more. (Which is diagnostic, actually)@meredithmaran

Lawrence Rogers @DockRogers1953
"@PlumeBooks: Some writerly advice from famous
authors...and if you want more, check out WHY WE WRITE ow.ly/i6oj1@meredithmaran"

Rebecca Land Soodak @RLSoo

Reading this: its GREAT! RT@PlumeBooks: Some
writerly advice from famous authors in@meredithmaran WHY WE WRITEow.ly/i6oj1

Myrlande Charélus @MCTheWriter
@PlumeBooks: Some writerly advice from famous
authors...and if you want more, check out WHY WE WRITE ow.ly/i6oj1@meredithmaran

Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist
WHY WE WRITE @meredithmaranoffers insightful,
funny, fierce, brave essays from top writers about the whole process. You need to buy it now!

Plume Books @PlumeBooks
Praise for WHY WE WRITE in@AARP ow.ly/i69Hd

Dani Shapiro @danijshapiro
@Christina__Haag Bummed to miss you fabulous
scribe-ladies! Hope we have a chance soon.@JulieKlam
 @BookCourt@meredithmaran @nycnovel

Christina Haag @Christina__Haag
Wish you'd been with us at BookCourt. Looking foward to yr next book! @danijshapiro@JulieKlam
 @BookCourt@meredithmaran @nycnovel

Victoria Loustalot @VLoustalot
Last nite @BookCourt 4 smart funny notable women reminded me why I <3 female authors:@meredithmaran
 @_ChristinaHaag@mesouthgate @JulieKlam

Mary Beth Coudal @MaryBethC
Gr8 RT @JulieKlam ..We Write@BookCourt
 ..@meredithmaran@danijshapiro @Christina__Haag
@nycnovel Martha Southgate..po.st/5rbcqK

Julie Klam @JulieKlam
Tonight! Why We Write @BookCourt
Join @meredithmaran@danijshapiro
 @Christina__Haag@nycnovel Martha Southgate &
me bookcourt.com/events/why-we-…

Center for Fiction @Center4Fiction
@JamesFrey@meredithmaran, Kathryn Harrison,
and Liz Keenan @ The Center for Fictioninstagr.am/p/WA_0sgIKLO/

@meredithmaran gets the evening started. She is
wearing a very cool sweater--more on that

Richard A. Heckler M: just to tell you what I imagine millions have shared...Why We Write is a comfort, a friend, an inspiration, a kick in the pants, an early morning wake-up, and a balm to the heart. Pushed me right through the final edits on my first novel. Felt like every author was writing my story - absent the Pulitzer...thank you. You really nailed it!

Christina Haag @Christina__Haag On a panel
with @danijshapiro,@mesouthgate@meredithmaran & AM Holmes 4 Maran's WHY WE WRITE. Sat 2/23 7pm @BookCourt#writing #Brookyn

Adelaida L de Lower @AdelaidaLu "Read at the level you want to write."--Jennifer Egan in WHY WE WRITE edited by @meredithmaran#amreading

GGP Books @GreatGoodPlace @meredithmaran
 and #janesmileyfill the house! @PlumeBooks

Plume Books @PlumeBooks Attn readers/writers James Frey, Kathryn Harrison &@meredithmaran will be@Center4Fiction 2/21 discussing WHY WE WRITE ow.ly/hKRnt

GGP Books @GreatGoodPlace
Special Saturday afternoon event, 2/16 at
2:00. @meredithmaran with#janesmiley in celebration of#whywewrite@PlumeBooks

PopularScience Books @PopScienceBooks
Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and
Why They Do What They Do

Penguin Books @PenguinPbks RT @PlumeBooks: Have you caught this @meredithmaraninterview with author@Leavittnovelist? It's a great piece!ow.ly/hEj09

Chuck Leddy

@meredithmaran My glowing review of WHY WE
WRITE, frm today's Boston

Chuck Leddy @BostonBkCritic
@sebastianjunger My review of WHY WE WRITE
mentions you prominently

Jodi Picoult

So excited to be part of@meredithmaran 's new book: WHY WE WRITE. If you're a beginner, don't miss it!

Lee Woodruff @LeeMWoodruff
#fridayreads - Why We Write by@meredithmaran
 w/essays from what she calls "the twenty" on#writing-started it last night & am fascinated

Caroline Leavitt @Leavittnovelist
MUST READ Why we Write: 20 authors on why and how they do what they do. Surprising, stunning, intimate, brilliant

David Baldacci @davidbaldacci
Check out @meredithmaran's new book: WHY WE
WRITE. Lots of wisdom inside from 20 published authors (including me!).

Christina Haag @Christina__Haag
Happy Pub Day!! Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why

New--the ultimate book for writers-- inside the minds, process, careers of 20 great writers, Moody, Maupin, Patchett,http://www. 

826 National ‏@826National
"Why We Write is excellent in its entirety" Get a sneak peak of this@826National benefit book @brainpickings http://bit.ly/Wq6wj0 

@Gerald826CEO: Why We Write edited
by @meredithmaran w essays by some great authors. Proceeds benefit 826 National!

Terry McMillan@MsTerryMcMillan: I'm in WHY WE
WRITE, with some other fine writers: Jane Smiley,
Walter Mosley, Jennifer Egan, Gish Jen, et al. Buy it!

Terry McMillan@MsTerryMcMillan: For new and
seasoned writers, get WHY WE WRITE
(editor@meredithmaran). Great insight as to the how and why. Out today!

Susan Orlean ‏@susanorlean
Giving away 2 tickets for Why We Write discussion Thurs 2/7. If you're in LA raise your hand really high and shout "Pick me! Pick me!"