the unexamined life is not worth living

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Internal examinations are what define the good thought, emotional work of writers.

I am reading a book now, a book called “A Beginner’s Goodbye,” written by Anne Tyler. She’s a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It’s a beautiful book, beautifully written, so beautifully written that I began to ask myself when reading it.

“What makes a good writer good?”

I wondered in reading about the story’s leading character, Aaron, and feeling his feeling as articulated by the author, a woman on the back cover wearing a grayish colored button up shirt, how beautiful words and human are written about so fabulously.

I think in some ways, great writers are so great because they “get” themselves so well. They know and can admit to their own failings, faults, and beauties and see in others those failings, faults, and beauties.

A writer, a good writer, can’t have an ego in that way. At least the kind of writers that create from nothing, something beautifully unexpected.

Writers, good writers, are indistinctly and unapologetically human and that’s what makes them so great. They laugh and cry and love and hate and admit it all and write about it.


What do you think distinguishes great writers from others? How do you think Socrates’ quote plays into writers’ written creations?

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