Sunday, 27 March 2016

Writing for Fun

Hello y'all; I realise my posting is getting spotty again lately but that's because I'm taking more time to devote to my studying and writing of fiction. Which, this week, led to a question that I wanted to throw out to you: is anyone else writing just for fun?

I'm currently reading a book on writing (The Writer's Way by Sara Maitland, to be more specific). In fact, I have a great hoard of books about writing, as reading them is one of the things that makes me feel fired up to hit the keyboard. But I'd noticed that many of them, unsurprisingly, have a slant towards marketing, publication, and otherwise making money from your work. Which is good and valid, and helpful to many people, myself included.

But. At one point a few years ago I was blogging two or three times a day, every day. Afterwards I took a long break, and during this break decided to get back into writing fiction. But after years of scarcely any writing except blogging and journalling and writing articles, I really struggled to think more imaginatively again. My mental landscape of dragons and pixies seemed to have been swept clean, and needed rebuilding. I was so rusty I was lucky if I could bash out a paragraph of fiction, let alone anything I might deem worthy of taking to an agent.

So I dropped all thought of publication for a while. I decided that I had to get right back to my writing roots; where I started in very early childhood - writing for fun. And from there, maybe I could rebuild my craft and my imagination from the ground up.

And that's still where I am. I write reams of fanfiction. I work on my NaNoWriMo novels, short stories and other projects - just for my own amusement. Occasionally I even vomit up a bad poem. One day, I may start thinking about getting something into print again. But at the moment, the most important thing to me is working on my craft and learning to find the joy in writing, in storytelling, just like when I was a child.

Last night, as I was reading The Writer's Way, I had what I thought was a brainwave and whipped out my phone to go on GoodReads. If there are so many books about writing for publication, I thought, there must be some books with brilliant ideas on writing for pure enjoyment. Well, it turns out, not so much. The only 'fun' I could turn up was always coupled with the suffix 'and profit'. So I turned to Google, where I had the same results. Even a Reddit thread where someone was asking if anyone else wrote 'just for fun' had turned into a discussion about how to get a publisher within four replies. (I wonder if the person who originated the thread is sat behind a screen somewhere going, "That was so not the question.")

So, my fellow writers - are any of you out there still writing for unadulterated enjoyment and pleasure? And if so, can you recommend me any books? ;)

11 comments:

  1. I do write just to have fun and to have my stories on paper (so if I get sudden amnesia they don't dissappear from the world), and I have the same sort of problem. My friends usually write with publication on their mind and all their conversations revolve around that topic. I can understand, but for me, writing is about the joy of creating, and if I want to share I'll take it to the printer!
    I encourage you to keep writing for fun as long as you want to :D

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    1. Ah fantastic! I'm so glad to know that others are on the same page (heheh). Thank you! :D

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  2. I enjoy writing, though I also enjoy selling it. That said, a book that you may like on the subject, which doesn't assume that you'll necessarily be selling what you write, is Thinking Write by Kelly L. Stone. It focuses on methods of encouraging creativity.

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    1. Yessss, perfect! Exactly the kind of recommendation I was hoping for! Thanks so much.

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    2. Glad I could help! I hope that it works at least as well for you as it has for me.

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  3. It sounds so simple but writing for fun is actually a brilliant idea. I hardly ever write for fun anymore, I always feel like at least one other person has to approve of what I've written. Thanks for this post, you've reminded me that I really should write for fun more often :)

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  4. Too bad :(
    I love writing, and I always write for fun, but I lost the habit of writing fiction, somehow I got too anxious about the reception. I'd like to start again. Anyway I don't have any good books to recommend.

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    1. I hope you do start again. I was really rusty after a long break from fiction but it's so worth it, just for personal satisfaction if nothing else! I wish you luck.

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  5. You know... I am always wondering if people still enjoy doing an art when they do it for a living... And if they don't where do they still get inspiration and energy from?

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    1. I really hope people still enjoy their art... I have to assume they do, otherwise every aspiring writer or artist or musician would be incredibly discouraged and have nothing to work for. I mean, surely if you stopped enjoying the art when it becomes something you HAVE to do to pay the bills, we'd have so many empty bookstores and galleries because everyone would give up and slump into everyday office jobs and whathaveyou. :(

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