E. B. White on the Role and Responsibility of the Writer

Who am I writing for

My reading today has been this article on brainpickings.org about E.B. White’s view on the role and responsibilities of the writer.


As academic writers this is an important aspect of our work, whether we are writing a thesis, a journal article, a blog or Tweeting. This 1969 quote from E.G. White is informative for all of us in the web age:

‘A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his [her] fancy, stirs his [her] heart, and unlimbers his [her] typewriter.

I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He [She] should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.

A question to ask ourselves are have I REALLY considered who I am writing for and why?

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