Why Nora Ephron writes.

Written by Cole Schafer

In Nora Ephron’s hilarious yet heart-wrenching autobiographical piece of fiction, Heartburn, she writes of a world-renowned therapist she has frequented throughout much of her adult life.

Like so many of the characters in this novel, the reader is wildly aware of the fact that while Ephron presents her therapist as being “fictional”, she’s anything but –– she’s based on a real living, breathing human being whose identity Ephron has kept secret by simply giving her a different name.

Her name is Vera.

And, Vera is fabulous.

Her magic got Ephron through her first divorce and throughout much of the novel, her magic is hard at work getting Ephron through her second, with a rather shitty character based loosely (or not so loosely) on Carl Bernstein.

Towards the end of the novel, Vera asks Ephron why she feels the need to turn anything and everything into a story.

In other words, she asks Ephron why she writes.


“Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”


“Because if I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me. Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much. Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.”

“… I can get on with it.”

And, while I can’t tell you why you or anyone should write, I can tell you that writing to get on with something shitty is a perfectly good reason to write.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.