Here I offer a brief rumination on the joy of writing purposelessly.
As I write, I often think: Who am I writing for? Why am I writing?
Of the Stephen King’s and J.K. Rowling’s, whose stories garner international acclaim and usher forth a wave of visual media adaptations, they provide an answer swimming in financial security and celebritism.
Then there’s the freelance journalist who writes as an independent body, effortlessly transitioning from one publication to the next, constantly adapting to their newfound environment, and reaping success each time.
Meanwhile, academia has provided me with a response encompassing only the praise of my professor or immediate peers, where following the rubric is king to success.
Of these types of writers, each has a purpose to either sell, inform, or contribute to an institution. But to my fellow hobbyists or busy-bodies—who treat writing as a pass time, rather than an occupation—what purpose do we have?
Many consider writing for oneself as contrary to the expectations of our capitalist society because it is difficult identifying its benefits. When viewed from a sociological perspective, a capitalistic ideology demands us to spend every waking moment as an opportunity to produce solely for the sake of gain or profit. It’s a mindset that places our value as individuals on our ability to output as much as possible.
The purposeless writer is faced with this dilemma the moment they dare to open a blank document. Unlike the author, journalist, or student, their reason for writing isn’t deliberate or marred by a set deadline. It’s far more interesting.
They write simply for the hell of it, unconstrained by the need to achieve a certain expectation or produce the next literary masterpiece. The purposeless writer has a certain lack of constraint that few creative souls possess and writing without purpose is a beautiful thing.
Should you choose to approach your next writing session through this lens, know that writing without purpose does have its merits:
We ease the tension brought by the need to achieve or gain
There is freedom in the forms and structure we can approach the crafting of sentences and ideas
To write without purpose is an exercise of reflection and contemplation
Writing at its core has always been a creative pursuit. However, it seems now that this once indulgent activity has knotted itself within the mullings of work and duty. When we begin to associate writing as work, we lose that sense of wonder and joy that initially charmed us.
Writing purposelessly reminds us of that spark to chart the unexplored, investigate the unexamined, and find freedom in expression.
About the Author:
Aaron Talledo is currently pursuing his BA in English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He finds inspiration from literature, music, and film and expresses creativity through writing. In his free time, Aaron enjoys fitness, meditation, and video games.