Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Writing for enjoyment

I get a real sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from writing down my thoughts. Most of the stuff I write remains private within my journal because it would make little or no sense to anyone other than myself. At times it doesn’t even make much sense to me but that doesn’t matter.

It is not the outcome that provides the enjoyment and satisfaction, it is the actual act of doing it. I love feeling my fingers on the keyboard or the pen in my hand and just watch as the words appear. Most of the time I have no real idea of where it is going and what might come out. In other words, I never sit down and extensively plan what I write. In fact, I rarely have any idea whatsoever about where the words will take me and for me, this has big part to play in the enjoyment I get from it. It is like going on an adventure into the unknown. Most of the time it results in fractured thoughts and random word salad but even this provides a sense of satisfaction. It may provide no value whatsoever to anyone reading it, which is fine by me.

I have often questioned myself why I have chosen to make some of it public instead of just keeping it in my journal. The answers have varied to some degree but the one that seems to always come back is the interaction and dialogue I get through the comments. Whether or not you agree with whatever you are commenting on is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. Everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint without it having to result in a battle of right or wrong. I enjoy different viewpoints and I have learned invaluable lessons through a very large proportion of the comments I have been fortunate enough to receive in my time here.

In addition to your comments, it provides a way for me to look back and sometimes see things from a different perspective. I do have that ability with my journals too but I like the blog format better because it is easier to navigate and easier to find whatever I want to look back on. I have never considered myself a writer nor have I referred to myself as a writer. Writing is simply something I enjoy doing. However, curiosity got the better of me (again) so I looked the definition up in the dictionary:

writer |ˈrītər| noun,  a person who has written a particular text : the writer of the letter.

Well! Perhaps I am a writer after all but then again, who cares? After all, what difference does it make? I like writing and that is enough for me. I don’t need a title or some kind of label to make me feel better about myself. This wasn’t always the case though. I often had a daydream in which I was a published author simply writing away in my study, surrounded by four walls of books. In the middle of the room is my desk facing the window with me sitting writing, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes (that was before I decided to close down that avenue of pleasure). There was no room for any kind of reality in my daydream. No writer’s block, no lack of ideas, no struggles through the jungle of traditional publishing and of course no lack of sales!! It was a very glorified idea of what a writer’s life was like. I may even be daring enough to suggest that I am not the only one who have entertained such a dream or vision!!

I have regained some sense of reality (reluctantly) and, while I much prefer the daydream and still dream of the ability and skill to write for a living, the very thought of actually writing a book overwhelms me to the point of being unable to start. It is easy to forget that writing or creating can be a fairly lonely task. I am not just referring to the written word but also to all of the other art forms; painting, music, etc. It is a very personal and individual act. I am not going to pretend I am talking from experience because I have very little experience when it comes to writing. But I do know what it feels like to get so focused, on creating/writing a piece of music or simply just hacking away at my keyboard, that I lose touch with everything else around me.

This is what I love about it. It’s way of escaping into my own world where the reality of every day life simply doesn’t exist. A few years ago I did think about signing up for a course in writing but then procrastinated on it until I simply forgot about it. Actually, this might be one of the few occasions where procrastination has served me well in that I am happy I never signed up for it, because I think it might have made me write according to a defined set of rules. This to me seems restrictive and quite frankly I am not a fan of rules!

I remember reading about when Frank Zappa was learning the musical concept of “Counterpoint” and on one of the first pages of the book there was a series of notes that according to the concept should never be allowed. He played the sequence and loved the sound of it and then came to the conclusion that there would be no point in exploring that concept further. I like this kind of thinking.

Writing is an art form and should (in my view), not be confined by a specific structure or set of rules and nor should any other form of art.

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11 responses to “Writing for enjoyment

  1. Mysoul May 14, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I completely agree with the conclusion and definition of writing the way you have defined it.

    I look a have discovered that there are things I enjoy only because I dont know the rules… I enjoy cooking only because there arent any rules to break that a Culinary school would have, I enjoy gardening without going to classes for gardening for the same reason.. Once you go to a class, you have to be careful, there are so many rules to conform to and that makes the process tedious not enjoyable.

    Now, that is not to say that taking formal classes isnt of any use, you could always go to learn the rules Well so that you can devise numerous ways to Break them in complete Abandon and actually be able to quantify them… “I broke rule 1, 157 times in this essay/poem/letter” *giggling* theres joy in that too.

    • J May 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

      Rules are meant to be broken!!! Well most of them anyway! As for cooking, I enjoy that too but have great difficulty in conforming to a recipe. I much prefer to go by taste and instinct and so far I have managed not to poison myself ;-)

  2. Viv May 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    “Rebel, rebel you’ve torn your dress….”
    Oh sorry, you don’t wear a dress.
    You know what I mean though. Good post. I hate rules about writing. I only obey grammar rules because they facilitate clarity of expression…see Eats shoots and leaves for the results of poor grammar and punctuation.
    Hmm, you’ve set me a challenge. Break as many rules as I can. Hang on, does that I mean I have to go learn some?

  3. shiona May 16, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Definitely you’re not the only one entertaining the dream of making a living as a writer. I used to indulge in such dreams a lot. There were times when I tried to put my fantasies down on paper, but then I realized it’s hell of a lot of work. I had imagined you just sit at your beautiful desk and the words start flowing easily and smoothly, but it wasn’t anything like that.
    Yet I consider myself really lucky in this respect because translating is somewhat similar to writing. You still have the pleasure of typing and your mind active in a similar way. Well, it’s not giving life to your own ideas of course, but it is a kind of self-expression.

    Writing a journal has been part of my life ever since I remember. I’ve got about ten or eleven thick notebooks so far. Sometimes I like reading entries from the past and it’s like having my life filmed.

    • J May 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      I can totally see how translating can be satisfying even though you may not be giving life to your own ideas. It is still writing and you are putting your mark on it too.

      I have stacks of A4 journals and I too enjoy reading entries from the past. I haven’t written a paper journal since I found an electronic one and I sometimes miss writing by hand..

  4. enreal May 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ”
    ~Vita Sackville-West

    I had this by my desk… after reading your words I looked up and smiled… hope you smile too.

  5. Angie February 11, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    You and I are very similar. Don’t know why I started publicizing my journey either, but it provides a release for me, and the comments are vital. Somehow I feel that by sharing my journey, they are ultimately walking with me. I’m not doing it alone. Often I start off not really knowing the end result, but it forms in the process. I often end up crying at some point but being overwhelmed with satisfaction at the end for some ephipany I’ve had.
    Keep writing. Let your fingers enjoy the keys and plays us your melody. I’ll be reading.

    http://www.angnic.wordpress.com

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