Why We Write…

Alert: This post is NOT about ebooks.

“Exploration is the physical expression of the Intellectual Passion. And I tell you, if you have the desire for knowledge and the power to give it physical expression, go out and explore. If you are a brave man you will do nothing; if you are fearful you may do much, for none but cowards have the need to prove their bravery.

“Some will tell you that you are mad, and nearly all will say–  ‘What is the use?’ For we are a nation of shopkeepers and no shopkeeper will look at research which does not promise him a financial return within a year. And so you will sledge nearly alone, but those with whom you sledge will not be shopkeepers; that is worth a great deal. If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin egg.”

–Appsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

Substitute “writer” for “explorer” and much is explained.


Excerpt courtesy of Patrick Trese, author of the most excellent memoir, Penguins Have Square Eyes, about his adventures in Antarctica.



6 thoughts on “Why We Write…

  1. Thanks, Jaye. I enjoyed sledging with you on this e-publishing journey. While organizing my files, I found that over the past 50 years I’ve copied out that quotation more than a dozen times. It’s from The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Girard who went to Antarctica with Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition just before WWI. His words have helped me keep moving, I see now, the many times I came to a fork in my own road or when I sat anxiously staring at a blank page. Fortunately for all of us livng an writing in this rapidly changing world, we can still find his book in print – thanks to the good folks at Penguin (of all places!) It’s well worth exploring.

  2. Has no one suggested a visit to the opticians?

    I may be tempted to check this out, with so little space and so many penquins there has to be at least one murder death kill in there…..

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