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.