1. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    Write for the enjoyment of others? or to serve as your own creative outlet?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Georgew, Mar 11, 2011.

    The obvious reply to this would be both.

    So let me expand.

    Which is more predominant in your motive for being authors/writers?

    I find that writing for me is extremely personal, and my reasons are entirely selfish for writing. Of course "selfish" brings with it negative connotations but in this context I think it's perfectly reasonable.

    I'd love for others to enjoy my writing but my motive for writing is far more to serve as my creative outlet than it is to please others.

    What about you guys?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write to tell a story and entertain. I have no great literary ambition with my work beyond it being entertaining.

    For me it's when someone reads the story it begins to have the life it was ment to have - nothing gives me more pleasure than feedback saying someone laughed, cried, was shocked etc I love it when my characters are spoken about like they are real.

    That spurs me on - when I had finished my awful first, first draft it was a couple of teens reading it that spurred me on - one thought it could be as good as Lord of the Rings and the other Eragon (I dislike both lol but compliments taken where I can get it).

    Don't see the point in writing if I don't want it to be read.
     
  3. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    My predominant motive , I was a reader , an insatiable reader, big authors , little authors , unknown authors inspired emulation
     
  4. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you go to a party, you will have a good time if everyone else is having a good time. You'll relax and feel at home. You'll play the games that other people are playing and dance if other people are dancing. On the other hand, if the host keeps coming up to guests and saying "Oh are you ok? Can I get you anything? Did you try the pate? You should talk to Steve -- he looks lonely" then no one is going to have a good time. A good host just throws a good party, and doesn't dote too much on the enjoyment of his guests. On the flipside of that, if you go to a party and it's clearly all about the host's enjoyment, you're not going to have a good time either. If the host insists that you all dress up as martians and play simon says the whole night because that's what he/she wants, then the party is quickly going to go sour and people are going to start leaving. A good host just throws a good party.

    In the same way, a good writer isn't going to constantly worry about whether or not his readers are enjoying themselves, and isn't going to write something for the sole purpose of his own creative expression or enjoyment. While both of these things are factors in good writing (perhaps side-effects), I don't think either of them should ever be the focus. Good writing should be good writing, and that comes before everything else.
     
  5. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    A fair point.

    What I would add though is that your referring to one form of writing, Fictional Stories...

    Many people, myself included keep journals, and for me to show anyone that writing is unthinkable.

    Also there are of course pieces of writing that might completely oppose the main stream but are just feelings and thoughts that you need to get out, regardless of how badly any readers react to it.

    Of course though they are abstract examples but you see where I'm coming from.

    I doubt all Painters wish to advertise/sell and or flaunt their work to everyone... I think there is a beauty in making a form of art whether it be literary or visual for the sake of making art, rather than to seek the approval/praise of others.
     
  6. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's so good I think you should put it in a blog post.

    Personally, I write the stories I like to write, but try to do it in an accessible way. I'd like as many people as possible to be able to enjoy them, without compromising the content.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Even with my diary. My Grandfather kept a diary everyday from the age of 12 which covered 1916-1972 when he died. My Gran burned every last one of them. Even now I wish she hadn't.

    When i keep my diary I hope it will be kept - it's a means for progeny I will never meet to know where they came from. Yes I do consider the audience after I have gone when I write it.

    I write non fiction and a variety of stories - all with ultimate thought someone may read it.
     
  8. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write mainly for myself. I only have two stories I want to get published in several years, when I'm a much better writer. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to write when I don't want people to read my stories, but I think I'd go nuts if it all just bottled up inside. Knowing no one is going to read it takes the pressure off though. I can just write for enjoyments sake, and not care about how or what I write. I still want it to be good, but for me :)
     
  9. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    That's exactly how I feel.

    If you write novels, regardless of whether you're going to let others read them or not, I think you have to really enjoy the process. I don't think I could stand working on something for years just for the sake of the end product.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    back in my old life, when i wrote for money, while i did write to be published and make money with my writings, i also wrote because i enjoyed doing it more than anything else in life...

    and in the 15+ years i've been writing as 'maia' it's been totally for others, since my 'day job' as a practicing philosopher, so the work is meant to enlighten and what i write for my mentees, as a writing mentor, or rewriting a book now and then, is also totally for those for whom i do it...
     
  11. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    A good come back.

    But for me a journal is somewhere to reflect. Essentially it lets me focus my thoughts rather than letting them loose in an overactive/easily distracted brain if you see where I'm coming from.

    I find that if I become too concerned with writing for others, I lose my voice and just begin emulating my assumptions about what others would like to read/hear.

    I suppose though, it might be nice to share my Journal with a loved one someday. But for now I use it as a way to separate my useful thoughts from the ones that frequently rattle about in my head.
     
  12. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't write for myself or for anyone else. It just sorta erupts; it needs to come out and it takes over. I posted a quote from America's 17th poet laureate on this subject a few months back. I'ma re-post it cuz it was perfect:
     
  13. Georgew
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    Georgew Member

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    Nice quote.

    Sometimes I get that nagging feeling that I need to write. But unfortunately it isn't all that frequent these days.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    This happens too for me it's like the story is filling my brain and it will explode unless the story makes it out onto the page. I love the end of a draft I get a few days where my brain is at complete with it's self and doesn't need me to do anything - I spend those days out walking and I can just see things for what they are and not what I might need for the story.

    I'm not telling the story just for me though.
     
  15. ThinkingOutLoud
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    ThinkingOutLoud New Member

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    Writing as a personal creative outlet in the "selfish" context spoken of, and the element of people enjoying a writer's work actually go hand in hand because when the artist (writer) enjoys their own work, when the artist is proud of their work, the reader will take enjoyment of the material most times at least to a degree.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Totally agree with you, i have the same approach. I just need to write to get all of these thoughts and inspiration and ideas on the paper and somehow get them out of my brain. if i have an idea for a story/scene i will elaborate it until the only way of getting it out of my mind is writing it. and i never talk about the stories im writing, because i share the same approach as someone i read once: if i started telling people what im writing about and what kind of story it is there would not be necessary writing it down anymore, besides i find it so much more satisfying writing it than telling it. :p:rolleyes:
     
  17. Sidewinder
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    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perfect. That's exactly it. Beautiful way of looking at it, Forkfoot.
     

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