Writing, For Fun

As you may have begun to suspect, I have committed myself to participate in the annual marathon that is National Blog Posting Month, or #NaBloPoMo as it as known. This requires bloggers to post something every day during November. Many of the blogs I follow do that, and in some cases more than once each day, but I don’t usually. Why? because I simply don’t have enough to say that is even of interest to me, let alone inflicting it on you! So, for me, this is a real challenge. I have a long list of draft ideas for posts that I have made in the three years that I’ve been doing this, many of which may never see the light of day, but it is a useful fallback for when I have an occasional fit of insanity and commit myself to something like this. I’ll be sharing some of them with you in the remaining days of November. Only 27 to go!

For today – Day 3 – I thought I’d write about writing. Why do we do it? What do we get out of it? Does anyone care? I won’t rehash my reasons for starting this blog, which you can see on my About Me page and in numerous posts, but why do I write at all? The obvious answer is: because I can. I was lucky enough to have a good education which engendered in me the love of books and everything about them. I read fairly widely, and  was always in jobs which required me to write on a regular basis. When I retired I promised myself that I would write purely for fun, and I have done this a fair bit, though nothing like as much as I expected. Natural indolence conquers all! I would like to try my hand at short story writing, and have some ideas for this but I haven’t taken the plunge yet. Maybe I will, and share something with you one day. Just don’t hold your breath, please! I have a dream that I may actually get something published at some point, although I am realistic enough not to expect to make my fortune at this. Having seen this from the great Dr Samuel Johnson:

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for the money.”

perhaps I should give up now! Or perhaps I should just accept that I am a blockhead and carry on as I am, safe in the knowledge that my limitations have been pre-ordained! An early 20th century quotation does, however, give me the perfect excuse:

“If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when reading.”

That is attributed to Don Marquis, an American journalist and author. In modern day terms, that would presumably be writing for the Jeremy Kyle brigade, although their almost universal lack of teeth would likely cause damage to the books from extraneous spray. The quote does however make an important point: that writers should always keep their audience in mind, especially if it is essential in making a living. But I don’t need to earn a living, I have my pension, so I can do what I like, right? I rejoice in the good news that I don’t have to dumb down for a mass audience. Then again, if I’m honest with myself, I’m probably not starting from a high baseline anyway! There is clearly a balance to be achieved, though: if you are writing for a living, you must of course produce for your audience, but does that mean that you can’t enjoy the act of writing, of creating something? I would never describe anything I have ever written as art, but there is a process involved in the creation of a piece of art, music, literature etc. And if the creator doesn’t enjoy that then perhaps they are doing the wrong thing with their life? If I don’t enjoy writing, I’ll stop. If I am the only audience for what I write, then so be it. That won’t have prevented me from enjoying the time I have spent on it, nor should it – for any writer, whatever the reason that they write.

I follow many bloggers and read quite a lot of them on a regular basis. With some of them the reason that they do it is very clear – particularly with the more commercially oriented. There is nothing wrong with that, provided that it is done honestly and openly. With others, it is less clear. Some appear to have a need for self-publicity, which is an accusation which can be levelled at anyone who blogs, and I include myself in that. There is an undeniable buzz seeing your writing on a computer screen, knowing that people anywhere in the world can read it, especially when it results in an exchange of comments and thoughts with other bloggers. Some seem to be blogging as a way of reaching out to others, either to help or be helped. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with that: it is, after all where I came into the Blogosphere!

So, dear fellow blog reader, why do YOU do it? Do tell, I’d love to know!

I leave you today with some more words of wisdom from Dr Johnson:

“Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you believe is particularly fine, strike it out.”

You had better read this piece quickly, then, before I delete it! 😉

 

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Writing, For Fun

  1. I think about this all the time. The reasons i started blogging last year and the reasons I continue to blog this year are very different. I began blogging to emphasize the importance of early reading with young children and to share the children’s book I’d written. After taking the WordPress 101 course, my direction changed. I came across so many interesting people who blogged on all topics and it was an education in itself. I began to write posts about topics that interested me and I continued to write because I felt I was getting better at it. So, here I am over a year later, with lots more interesting friends who add much to my life and a blog that runs the gamut of topics. Every week I think that I may have written my last post and yet, I keep finding things to write about. So, for now, I’ll continue.
    Have a peaceful Friday, Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We change over time, so it’s only natural that our blogs will change with us. Mine is very different now from when I started, and my regular readership has changed too. There’s nothing wrong with that, although it’s a shame that some have gone because they no longer blog themselves. The key thing is what you say here: if we don’t write about things that interest us, we can’t expect anyone to be interested to read our posts! You have a lovely day too, I’m pleased to have met you via our blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello, Clive, I’m up and around for the day, now and still have no idea what I will write about this weekend. I don’t know how bloggers post everyday! Yes, there are always new and interesting people coming to visit and so, it keeps us on our toes. I was reading Maria’s post and she mentioned you, so we must thank her for our new-found friendship.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have no idea whether I’ll even write at all this weekend, or when I next will. I write when I feel the need, rather than to a plan or a timetable. Each to their own: whatever suits us best! Maria and her blog are lovely, so I’m happy to add my thanks too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post made me re-think the why I blog. I have had so much stored up inside of me that wants to come out now after I retired. I had no idea of how to get in contact with people like you Clive when I started two years ago. ( I didn’t know about tags or anything else at WordPress.) As my English is limited I like to combine my words with lots of photos and since February 2016 I have expanded into writing more detailed in Danish too at another blog. I had never dared that had I not started this blog in English two years ago. I hope you don’t quit. As long as you get inspiration you will have new things to share

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Maria. I think it’s a question we all need to revisit now and again, as it helps us maintain some focus in our writing. I’m not thinking of quitting – it’s more a question of working out what I am trying to say and do! I’m pleased to have found your blog, it broadens my own horizons to read people with different life experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Clive. As you say some bloggers post once day or more. I follow one who does that and writes very interesting posts. But I think it’s a bit too frequent to post that often. I feel overwhelmed of such a speed. Once or twice a week suits me better

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoy your blogs. The varied themes are always interesting.
    Your theme of why we write is one that I pondered a few weeks ago after writing a post that I thought was good but almost no one read – thankfully you did.
    I suspect your and my reasons are quite similar.
    I look forward to seeing your post s come up in my reader/email notifications.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You sound dangerously close to considering quitting this great blog! Doesn’t make sense, since you appear to enjoy writing, and you write so well. I respect that 4 years is a long time to do this consistently. I’m only at the end of my first year, and can’t imagine stopping. I think it is so good for the brain! I’d like to see you give it more time…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for your lovely words, Diane. I do enjoy writing, and that is what will keep me going, I’m sure. I know I sounded a bit of a diva in this post, but that wasn’t intended!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I blog. I was reminded by WordPress a couple of days ago that it is four years since I set this up, although it took me a further five months before I got around to doing much about it. I’ve always been a slow starter! I was very clear what I was doing when I began, but over time that has become less clear to me. I have considered whether I should just accept that my time has been and gone – recent stats would suggest this – but something nags at me not to give it up. There are several reasons for that, and I’m putting together a piece which will help me understand my motivation, and which I will share with you when I’m sufficiently clear, assuming that I ever am, of course.

    In the meantime, I thought I’d share again a post I wrote last November which addresses this theme. Many of my current regular readers weren’t following my blog then and may not have seen this before. I also think that it is one of my better thought-out pieces and, as such, deserves a second airing while I buy myself some time to think things through. I hope you enjoy it and, as they say, watch this space 🙂

    Like

  6. I write because I can’t stop the words. There are always stories buzzing around in my head. I have ideas I want to expound upon. I also want to find an audience, people who are like thinkers who I can communicate with. Thanks so much for such a well written interesting article Clive. I hope to weave words as beautifully as you do one day. Smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a Great post. I personally blog because I love writing, taking photos and I love to share. I’m abit of a story-teller. Like you say, to think somebody in America etc. Can read about little old me is kinda mind-blowing. I also hope that people enjoy it 🙂 Tracey

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s