Writing for writing’s sake

July 6, 2012 1:19 pm

I’ve spent the last three or four days going over topics for my next article and have sadly been uninspired by every variety of mundane idea that has been suggested. I have even taken to social networking to try and find someone with a bright idea on which I can elaborate and expand to 800 words just so I could have my words published again for the first time in too long. I am the kind of person who, without too much trouble, could take a two-line idea and turn it into a substantial piece of writing by adding some unnecessary adjectives and some quirky anecdote to render it personal. For that to happen, however, I have to be at least a little bit interested in the subject.

Forcing myself to produce an article got me thinking about what kind of attitude I have towards my writing and blogging and for what purpose I am doing it. Firstly, for anyone who knows me, it goes without saying that I love writing. I love having my ideas put on show for anyone and everyone to comment on, whether agreeing or disagreeing, and I love the look of my name in print. However, saying this, last summer I started up a blog, not because I had a brain overflowing with musings that simply had to be shared with the online world or because I couldn’t contain my creativity any longer, but because I needed to beef up my Journalism portfolio.

Writing as a child was for the sake of the content, not for the sake of getting something published

Therein is the first piece of evidence to suggest that I am blogging for some purpose other than to fulfil my own thirst for the written word. I am writing to build up a collection of my work that, at some point, might help me get a job in a very hard-to-crack industry in the future. I have even stated that in my bio on this website: right there, in black and white, are the words “writing for various online newspapers as she aspires to be a journalist in the future”. The fun of writing for enjoyment’s sake has slipped away without me even realising until, well, right now. Now it seems to be writing for writing’s sake. So, about how long did I have innocently enjoying spilling stories onto ripped up pieces of paper from cheap notebooks without the constraints of what I might want to do in the future? Those times were long ago, but I distinctly remember lying on my bed, legs waving in the air, as a young child armed with nothing but a pen and my imagination. I created everything; from entirely new worlds with made-up characters, to expansions on existing worlds. From what I can remember, Hogwarts was never the same after I was finished with it.

I used to force these stories down my parents’ necks, sometimes just two pages long, sometimes they had whole chapters of, I’m sure, unfinished, unhinged sentences where the storyline didn’t add up or the characters contradicted themselves. Back then, it wasn’t the actual writing that was the focus of my attention; it was the content. Today, on the other hand, it is vital that I use the correct grammar and sentence structures in order for my work to be coherent. It is imperative that I vary my vocabulary in order to keep my readers interested in what I’m saying, even if, like this one, the text has no real direction or point to make. I write, now, not only for the enjoyment of seeing my thoughts displayed on paper, but for the importance of having a thick, varying portfolio to display at interviews to potential employers. Today, it is the mixture of the skill of writing and choosing a topic that will interest many people that determines what I write and how I write it. And, if I want to be a journalist in the future, it will be that forevermore.

I actually think I’m okay with that. I’m not saying that writers always have boundaries or rules to adhere to, because, for example, if you want to be an author (as I used to before my imagination became stale), you can write what you want about who you want and let your mind run freely. For me, however, what I write, why I write and how often I write has all merged into one mélange of creating portfolio pieces and I find myself falling into the clutches of the will-this-help-me-in-an-interview syndrome. Luckily, all is not lost. Although it’s become a lot more rigid in the last few years, I have always, and will always, enjoy writing whatever, whenever, whyever. And that’s a good sign for a budding journalist, I’d say.

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