1. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

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    Philosophy of writing.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Aceldama, Jun 29, 2022.

    So, I've never really been able much to express myself too well in social settings. I typically just have always tried to go with the flow and try to only speak and act when necessary.

    I've always used writing as a method to express myself. Even if it was never read. It makes me wonder if self expression is the common thread that makes writing, writing. And what makes a writer a writer.

    Are there any that write purely for crafts sake? If so, the motivation wouldn't be for love of the art. There are non-fiction writers but who's to say that that person doesn't find self expression through facts rather than fiction?

    My intuition is telling me that self expression is what makes writing writing and a writer a writer. Maybe thats only true for me. I cant really think of any other reason for a person to write. Excluding practical reasons such as documentation for a proffesion or say, a historian.

    Curious as to what others think.
     
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  2. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    Literature makes a writer a writer
    It does so selectively, capriciously, and with little regard for their welfare
    I hope it's expressing itself - but I suspect it's really laying eggs
     
  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I think it depends on a person's purpose for writing.

    Some people, at least at the beginning end, write because they really really want to make anime or a video game or a movie, but those things require resources beyond their reach, such as the cooperation of other people for one. But writing is done by one person with a keyboard or a pen.

    I think some of these will decide they love writing for its own sake after a while. And when you reach a point where you're somewhere near pro level or at least high-end amateur, you probably have developed a love for the writing itself.
     
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  4. ABeaujolais

    ABeaujolais Member

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    There are reasons to write that are not intended to be read by anyone else, therapeutic, organizational, goals, affirmations, etc.

    To me the question about what makes a writer a writer falls within the context of writing for the purpose of communicating with readers. I believe the desire for self-expression is one thing that can ruin one's writing in terms of value to the reader. I've seen so many written pieces that seem to focus more on expressing the writer's talent and skill, rather than focusing on the audience and communicating ideas. Put another way, I view a writer like I view a baseball umpire. The very best are almost invisible. If the goal is self expression or to show one's level of talent as a writer, the goal of communicating with a reader becomes secondary. To me a writer's focus should be audience. I think it's more important to elicit a response like, "I learned...I was entertained by...I appreciated," rather than, "This is really well written!"

    My career in writing was technical and dealing with facts. Our focus was complete depersonalization, where the reader could not tell that one paragraph was written by someone different than the last paragraph they read. It was creative from the standpoint of taking a set of facts and creating a presentation based on strict rules set forth in the Writers Manual (The Bible). The common thread between that style of writing and others was audience, audience, audience.
     
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  5. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

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    I see your point but its based on the assumption that self expression is meant soley for the writer. It would appear to me that the storytelling/communicating ideas aspect is just a facet OF self expression. A story tellers a story teller because they want to tell a story. Because that's who they are. Thus communicating ideas is still a form of self expression because you cant separate the what from the why.
     
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  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You can learn about ways to express yourself through writing by reading a lot and seeing what's being produced by the professionals. I don't understand the not reading part of your post. This is holding you back in more ways than you think. We all use writing as a tool to invite people into worlds and situations and what that means. I can guarantee that most successful writers are quite avid readers. If you want to elevate your skills, I suggest more reading.
     
  7. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Contributor Contributor

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    I think the OP meant if his own work is never read.
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    My bad. I think you're right.
     
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  9. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Contributor Contributor

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    Writing is the act of processing, ordering, and recording thoughts and emotions. It doesn't matter if the target audience is solely you or 5,000 other people. What matters is that you write to your target audience accordingly.

    If you write purely for yourself, be it love of craft or therapy or self expression, the audience is just you. Case closed, nothing to worry about. If you expect your work to be read by others, it has to contain relatively universal elements that make it understandable (hopefully compelling and entertaining too, but that's a lot to expect from a grocery list) to its anticipated readers. It ends up being a translation game where concrete concepts are used to develop abstract ones in an entertaining matter, which is a huge aspect of the craft.
     
  10. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    I started writing in elementary school (poems).
    They were easy and fun to write. I stutter, so rhythms as with poetry (especially the rhyming kind) appealed to me.
    I was also bullied at home and at school and it was before i got into sports. So my only ways to express myself was through writing and drawing.
    I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to escape into my own mind.

    My writing evolved in middle school when i started writing fan fiction. One of my favorite books at the time ended, so i continued it. I put in action and adventure. It was fun. It was also the first lengthy thing i'd written and the first of my writing that i posted to the internet.
    People enjoyed it (i cant imagine why... I found it and reread it and HOLY COW, the grammar sucked) and it made me want to continue writing.

    Sophomore year of college was when i submitted one of my stories for publication and it got published. That was what made me feel like a writer versus a storyteller.
     
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  11. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    For me, the point of writing is so that everyone knows that douchebag Ea-nasir sold some dodgy copper ingots.

    Although honestly, if I ever decide to start a substack or newsletter or whatever I do think I'll call it "Sumerian Copper Complaint Department".
     
  12. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

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    LOL
     
  13. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

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    Ive always felt the best way to have your writing connect with anyone is to have it first connect with yourself. I think its noticeable if someones motive is to first connect with an audience. The writing would come off as contrived.
     
  14. AntPoems

    AntPoems Contributor Contributor

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    There's always the classic practical reason: profit. Someone who cranks out formulaic cozy mysteries or spy thrillers or sitcom episodes to make a living has as much right to call themselves a writer as Shakespeare or Stephen King. A writer is one who writes, no matter what their motivation.
    Now, this I'll agree with. I do think it's possible to write well based purely on craft considerations, without really connecting with what you're creating, but it's best to care. As a writer, you are your own first audience. Most of my own work is humorous, and I write it to make myself laugh, because if I accomplish that, then I'm certain that someone else (hopefully many someones!) will laugh, too.
     
  15. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    I'd go the other way. I think it may be this simple:

    "Boy, can you make folks feel what you feel inside?"

    - lyric from The Ride (Gary Lee Gentry, John Blayne Detterline)
     
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  16. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

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    I guess I didnt take seriously the considerstion that someone would write for selfish motives.
     
  17. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't think it's selfish to write for money. I think it's called a job. And that doesn't devalue the writing or mean it's less likely to connect with readers. Actually, quite the opposite is true given how much writing and how much has to go into the writing for it to sell and make it into print in the first place. I'm in the game for cash and prizes. ;)
     
  18. AntPoems

    AntPoems Contributor Contributor

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    Aren't all our reasons to write at least a little bit selfish? "Expressing myself" definitely sounds like a self-centered act — and there's nothing wrong with that. I think most writing (or any kind of creative expression, from painting to mime) comes from a desire to communicate something of oneself to others, a desire that's selfish in the best possible way.
     
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  19. Foxxx

    Foxxx Knight of Resignation Contributor

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    I gave up on the game of cash and prizes long ago. What I want to communicate, and how I want to communicate, is not popular, and I am not willing to compromise on that because it would make me feel inauthentic and I would no longer enjoy writing.

    I write often for self-expression. I also enslave myself to do justice (or die trying) to the ideas that come to me like I'm a lightning rod, which for whatever reason a mysterious force or power or "muse" has bestowed upon my amateurishness.
     
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  20. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Member

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    Ask yourself, if no-one ever read it but me, would you still write? My guess is that a lot of writers still would. We love words, and use them to express a fundamental part of us. The creative drive is a strong one.
     
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