The cartography, writing, and ramblings of one crazy winter lover who likes to blog about the fun and inconsequential.

Writing For Fun

First off, let me start by saying that, yes, I do in fact plan to at least attempt to have my writing published professionally. So, I am a part of the teeming masses of hopeful authors who toil away in the hopes of acceptance letters that, likely, will never come. Except, unlike many I have personally met and interacted with, anecdotal as it may be, I do not write primarily for profit or publish—I write for fun.

One of the tragedies of the writing world, unfortunately, is the notion that writing for fun and writing to be published or to make money are mutually exclusive. “Writing for fun” is a term applied to what published or publishing hopefuls give to the “lower” forms of writing: fanfiction, deviantART poetry, ebooks offered for free, and in general what does not make it out into the business world that has consumed so much of writing. It is a way of distinguishing writing “above” the dreck, and to justify why some writing may be terrible. “This story was written for fun,” a fanfiction description will say, in hopes to avoid criticism.

Now, that is not to say that I hold disdain toward those who write with publishing solely on the mind. In fact, I wish them all the best in their endeavors, and they will probably have more luck than I in getting published. No, this is not a condemnation of writing for profit, but rather a criticism of the idea that one cannot write for fun in the hopes of profit, either.

To me, writing is just plain fun. That is the easiest way to describe it. There is very little in this world that excites me as much as sitting down in front of my story and typing away for hours, immersing myself in the worlds I have created and characters that inhabit them. Crafting simple words into a tale woven together from different ideas, thoughts, and inspirations is a joy in and of itself, and one that has, I think, few parallels in the world. When I write, it is because it gives me a joy, and thus I write what will bring me the most happiness from it.

I write stories set in the winter because I love winter, and stories about love for I, too, am in love. If I am currently wowed by science fiction, then I write science fiction. If the mood strikes me, I could write short stories, poems, or even a sonnet or two. All of this I do in the name of fun. And yet, I do not consider “fun” to be a shortcut to cutting corners or to a shield from criticism.

It is at this point I draw the line, between fun and laziness. Because, I believe, you cannot have fun with writing if you do not also freely admit when it is bad as much as when it's good. Writing should not, after all, end simply at the last word, but rather continue on in edits and drafts. Claiming to write for fun while not doing anything more than vomiting words onto the page is not, really, any fun at all. It is taking a shortcut in writing.

Because, I think that, ultimately, having fun is not a synonym for laziness or simplicity. We, as humans, can derive the greatest of our joys from hard work, and writing is no different. To truly have fun with writing, you must learn to love the entire craft, from the brainstorming to the final draft long after the initial story has been whittled and edited to perfection. After all, if you were to build a chair, you would not stop before sanding it or polishing it.

So, I declare that while on the one hand it is wrong to look down on those who write for fun, it is just as wrong to hide behind the term to cloak your laziness. Instead, writing should be fun because it is a long and sometimes difficult process that requires hard work, effort, and dedication. It is fun because, when it's all over, you have something that you can admire and be proud of, a piece of writing fit to be remembered by all.

That is why I write for fun, and I hope I am not the only one. Thanks for reading, everyone, and more updates will be coming before and on Christmas. Until then, take care.

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