Writing for fun- What's great about writing
New writers could be forgiven for thinking they’ve entered some stern, ultra-celibate world of discipline and obsessive accuracy. Anyone would think that writers literally devoted their lives to the minutiae of writing, from the sheer mass of technical information on the subject. The good news is that they don’t.
Technical issues do matter- to a point. They stop mattering when they become obstacles to good writing.
Let’s be honest about this subject, for once. If you ask people why they write, the one answer you will never get is:
“Well, I wanted to spend a few years tangled up in my syntax, tripping over obscure grammar and mindlessly following precedents.”
Good writing means the fun, creative side of writing, and nothing else. This is the field where the writer can cut loose. Stories, characters, jokes, observations, it’s all there, and it flows well, adding power to the writing. Ideas start riots in the mind, and the combination of stimuli and thought builds mountain ranges.
Forget marathon running, if you want exercise. Become a writer, and really get a workout. Good writing is always a challenge to oneself. My first book, The Threat-Hamster Papers, was designed specifically to break as many rules as I knew how to break, and to have fun writing a book I liked. I’m now on the fourth book, 12 years later, and to this day I loathe even the idea of finishing them.
Commercial writing and having fun
Commercial writing, sadly, is sometimes considered the antithesis of creative writing. That’s actually entirely wrong. The best commercial writing is highly creative. It attracts interest because it’s different. It stands out specifically because it’s better writing.
Consider the options:
1. Blow your nose on our tissues.
2. Change your life forever with Sneezex.
Tough choice, eh? You might even suspect a joke in option 2, but who could possibly give a damn about option 1? That’s what creative writing is all about.
Commercial writing comes with some caveats, but really, there’s no excuse for the lack of creativity being enforced by commercial writing theory. It simply obstructs expression and therefore defeats its own purpose, even in draft form. What’s the point of writing anything so dull nobody will want to read it?
With web writing, obstructing expression and information quality makes no sense at all. The basis of SEO is identifying search terms. Searches are based on voluntary actions. People are looking for information they want. Why, then, are they expected to read drab little bits of fluff disguised as information? An inspired writer can make a house brick an interesting subject. A good commercial writer, even an expert, can be confined to absolute drivel simply by “rules” which really don’t work and wind up writing something which is as lost in the crowd as a house brick.
Fortunately for everyone on Earth, good writing will always beat dribble. The fun side of writing is its healthiest contribution to humanity. The joke is that the modern version of commercial writing would never have been allowed on air, 50 years ago. Modern commercial writing is far more creative than it was back then. The makers of rules rarely recognize how much rules change.
The fun in writing
The fun in real writing, as distinct from shopping list writing, is to create new worlds, universes, people, and explore the possibilities. It’s a very intense personal experience. Imagine being Shakespeare, reading Hamlet for the first time, or Aldous Huxley, in the process of bringing Brave New World to life. What about Asimov, creating the Robots books or the Foundation idea. How could it not be fun, challenging and exciting?
A point for the bureaucrats- I could resist this urge, but what the hell- These people were not solemn pedants, plodding stoically through yet another sentence of servitude to trivial points of language use. They were real writers, some of the most successful in history, and unlike the vegetative products of today, their books will still be published, 500 years from now.
Fun is life. Death isn’t much fun. Creativity is a living process. Death does nothing but ossify, lifelessly. Take your pick writers, and you’ll never look back.
Note- Please excuse plugging of my own book on this Hub, but it really does show what I mean.