An nice excerpt from a Richard Hugo AWP address over at Nothing to Say & Saying It.
Why are we writing? A silly question, granted. We write because we can’t stop, or as Bill Stafford says, for the same reason we talk. But there’s an even more serious answer, and it is one that has evolved in our time. We write to validate our lives, our relations with the world and with each other. Literature will have to take care of itself.
And over at Reginald Sheperd's blog, Why I Write, revised.