Last Thursday, in the process of being thankful for my first full year of blogging here at WordPress, I discovered that my old LiveJournal from my college days was actually still there, in spite of my not having posted since July 4th, 2007. After that discovery I decided to look for my other online journal I’d kept at roughly the same time. I found that though Xanga had recently upgraded their platform, they’d been kind enough to create an archive of my past posts, which I could have for free as long as I could remember my username and password. (Further complicated by the fact that both journals were linked to email addresses long dead and out of reach, so there was no password retrieval option.)
I finally figured out the right combination to log in and retrieve my Xanga archives, but the only way to view them was to import them into WordPress (don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad WordPress is accommodating of other blogging platforms), which then resulted in some scrambling. The old posts are all now marked Private, until I can decide which ones I want to let see the light of day. In the sorting (which is still ongoing) I discovered the gem below, originally posted on November 18, 2007, which I decided to share with you all, occasional lapses in grammar intact. 🙂 Enjoy!
A few days ago it was slow at work (I work as a hostess at a couple of different restaurants here in town – this was at my day job). Not dead slow, I’ve had worse, but still slow enough for me to have done most of what needed doing and now be bored. So I started writing on some little pink sticky notes we had there and I just thought I’d share what resulted with all of you.
I want to write something, but what? To make the rhythmic pen strokes that form letters, letters that form words, words that capture thoughts and ideas in sentences. To write. To create marks on a surface that somehow create and convey meaning. But what do I want to say?
To engage in the act of writing merely for the sake of it, without an intended end, would seem a waste of materials and time. (On the other hand, I’ve got nothing else to do at the moment, less I want to clean something. But if I clean it all now, I won’t have nothing to clean later this afternoon and I’ll be bored then instead.) But perhaps it is necessary to indulge in a little seemingly pointless writing to generate the ideas and thoughts required for writing something of a more meaningful persuasion. Then again, perhaps writing can be engaged in simply for the pleasure of it, with no ulterior motives or goals needed.
The question then would be, could a piece written in this manner be considered of less quality or merit than one written not for pleasure but for an agenda? How does one even measure the worth of a piece of writing in that regard – would it not be like judging a piece of art? A work seems beautiful and artistic to some and meaningless to others. Yet does that change its value? Would it not be the same with a piece of writing? (Assuming it’s all spelled right and grammatical and such. There are some standards writing has to answer to. Well, if we’re talking prose at least, poetry would seem to be closer to art, because they can do whatever the heck they want and call it poetry.)
On the other hand, how would one judge a piece of writing unless by whether it communicated its author’s intent or not? If the author had no intent to convey and was only writing for the joy of the act of placing pen to paper (or hand to keyboard, these days) then by what could one discern the quality of what was written? So maybe it is essential to have in mind something to say when writing; some concept, question, or narrative to communicate.
It could be, though, that this is only true if it is important to the author to have his or her work considered for quality, or lack thereof, by others. If no other opinions matter, however, and the writing is done with no intent to communicate anything specific but only for the creative act of forming symbols on the paper for the enjoyment of the author – why not sketch or draw or paint, why write? Again, it would seem a waste of both materials and time that could be put to a better use.
So, apparently, unless one wants to waste materials and time, doesn’t care what other people think, and finds pointless writing enjoyable for its own sake – one should either have something to say or become an artist. (Wow, I’m glad I got that figured out. Now. . . what am I going to say?)