Why is writing fun?

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So there are a bunch of you writers on ILX, and in order to survive college I have to start enjoying my assignments. What's so great about writing, in general? Please wax poetic and do not limit yourselves to talking about papers!

Maria (Maria), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 00:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Why is it fun? Hm, thats an unusual question actually.

Why do I write? I love making up worlds in my head, I love turning the ordinary into something magical. I like a challenge - dialogue for example is bloody hard work. I like to communicate who I am to others.

I like that I can move people with my words.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:02 (fourteen years ago) link

None of which is much help for essay style writing I suppose, but hey, make essays fun!

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I like creating worlds.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:04 (fourteen years ago) link

I like creating words!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Bindlesnorf, for instance.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Raggettorium.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:08 (fourteen years ago) link

And a fine, fine building that will eventually be.

More seriously, I've often felt writing to be this great rush, this sense of balancing off the sometimes crazy ideas running loose in your head with the discipline of getting them down on the page, and sometimes formulating as you type. Quite often things that I've received a bit of praise for happened as I wrote them rather than with any immediate forethought -- this isn't to say that forethought doesn't or can't have a role. But for me, it's the sense of hitting a live wire of something in your head and being able to put it into words, or at least capture what you're trying to get it at even if not to your complete satisfaction, that explains why writing is fun.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Writing sucks!

Seriously.

A fantastic writer, fantastically really drunk once wrote me a letter stating that the only difference between somebody who calls themselves a writer and somebody who doesn't is this:

"When one claims the mantle [of writer] the process [of writing] is suddenly much, much harder. One has to acknowledge the irreplacably vivid histories and literary precedents to one's products, and one's absolute inability to write of that caliber. The process [...] is a constant struggle of halving the distance to greatness; fighting against twin tides of overwhelming creativity and existential ennui."

INT. MY FUCKED UP NEW FILM -- ALWAYS (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:11 (fourteen years ago) link

There's certainly a buzz to be had by getting it down on paper.

When I was little I used to see racks of blank exercise books at the supermarket and get all excited, though I could never work out why. Now I do.

Whether I'm writing or not, I frequently get an insatiable urge to write, even if there's nothing to write. Do you get this, Maria?

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:12 (fourteen years ago) link

I find it hellish, tedious, and frustrating.

andy --, Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:12 (fourteen years ago) link

When one claims the mantle [of writer]

Ah, solution! Call yourself an observer.

There's certainly a buzz to be had by getting it down on paper.

I don't even need that! Bring on the typing! In fact I have to say that if it wasn't for modern typewriters and then since 1987 a computer at home I'd write far less than I did, because frankly writing longhand sucks rock. Your hand cramps. Yeah, Neal Stephenson did longhand for his trilogy but he's a freak and can afford the reconstructive surgery.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh gods yes, blank notebooks, and pens... love of my life, never without one.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:14 (fourteen years ago) link

The sober subtext of this is, as far as I've construed it, is in three parts:

1) writing never gets easier
2) the final product is always compromised and weak
3) the process is writing, the product is commerce


(xpost to self)

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Ned, that brings me to another question actually: typing vs writing longhand.

I find poetry HAS to be written by hand. Longer texts, I do on the PC but I cant do poems that way, I think its because I see them more like paintings - I work on them, adjust them, fiddle with the look.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:15 (fourteen years ago) link

here's a general question:

what ratio of time do you spend prewriting (researching, plotting, planning, consciously and undistractedly thinking about your piece) before you actually sit down and write?

with prose, I'm thinking I probably spend 1:1 prewriting/writing
with drama, I'd estimate 4:3

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Ugh haaha i dont do much planning at all with mine. I tend to just get an idea and splat it onto the page. Then work it afterwards. I've never done a piece I've had to do major research for. This might be why I am a crap writer.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:19 (fourteen years ago) link

the process is writing, the product is commerce

Totally, dude! Having to find ways to sell a manuscript sucks! Why can't they just agree to my genius? ;-)

I find poetry HAS to be written by hand

I'm sure everyone finds their balance. For my part, I don't write poetry or short pieces as such (my FT blog posts and my AMG reviews are vaguely heroic efforts in getting me to stop -- check out this ILMixor post as an idea of how every 'normal' post would run if you let me!), so perhaps there's a difference in style that's key. I am more slapdash and less prone to fiddle around, though people like the good Mr. Matos have been very helpful editors on that front.

Ratio? Hmm. With 'essay' pieces something can often gestate as an idea but it has to reach a certain critical mass before I can start writing about it, and usually I'm thinking of it randomly rather than with concentration. Beyond that I'm not sure...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:20 (fourteen years ago) link

it isn't fun, not in the slightest. ok this is a tough thing to answer cos i'm not in the best health otherwise, but really the "pleasure" i get from writing approaches zero. but what else is there? it's thought concretized.

f--gg (gcannon), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't even need that! Bring on the typing! In fact I have to say that if it wasn't for modern typewriters and then since 1987 a computer at home I'd write far less than I did, because frankly writing longhand sucks rock.

Oops, I was talking figuratively; I rarely write anything at all by hand. Lectures and exams, that's it. Everything else I do is typed.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:25 (fourteen years ago) link

And yes, exams give me wanker's crap.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:26 (fourteen years ago) link

The current issue of Arthur has a new photo of JG Ballard pecking away at his old manual.

andy --, Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:28 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't get any pleasure from the process, but I enjoy the results.

Curious George Rides a Republican (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Whether I'm writing or not, I frequently get an insatiable urge to write, even if there's nothing to write. Do you get this, Maria?

No. I did a few years ago but now I get the urge to write about things and don't because I feel that I don't have the organizational thought capacity, the insight, the vocabulary, the elegance to say what I really want.

it's thought concretized.

Couldn't we say something nicer, like "it's thought given vitality"?

Maria (Maria), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 01:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Okay, now I'm hooked on this thread. It's funny; every real writer I know'll drop everything to talk about their craft when the instinct strikes. And every writer has a philosophy directly in conflict with another writer. The five great truisms I'll acknowledge are these:

1) A writer has to set false conditions for themselves. No great (and this is substantively different than mere 'good') novelist / dramatist / poet ever got to where they are by simply writing when they felt like it. Self-imposed rules like '50 words / day' or '50000 words / day' or 'I must finish a chapter each month' or the simple 'write every day' are incredibly important. Since none of us feel truly inspired all the time, and most of us feel it almost none of the time, it's these artifical goals that keep us creative and unblocked.

2) Writing rituals are arbitrary and dumb. Flat-out foolish. But that doesn't mean they're untrue. I think I focus on my writing better in a public place -- but this is because I'm forced to appropriate social behavior (e.g. not getting bored with a scene and jerking off) which at home I can indulge. The important thing about these rituals [wearing a robe, writing at a certain time of day, writing to music or without] is that they augment your writing, not limit it. A stone-mason can't call in to work because he's feeling 'creatively blocked.' Neither can a good writer.

3) Writing is serious and lonely. Get used to being weird and critical and driving yourself into a funk over dumb, personal, unarticulable shit. Even more, get used to answering it yourself. I used to sleep with a girl who'd wake up in the middle of the night with, practically, a fever, to ask me shit like "do you think that the phrase 'smooth as silk' can be transmuted to 'smooth as milk' and maintain the original Asian allusion while piling on a maternal notion, or do you think that's overkill?' I'd usually roll over and go back to sleep, and I really dug this girl.

4) Kill your babies. If you notice a phrase (metaphor, paragraph, page, scene, what-have-you) as a piece of Beautiful Writing - one of those Paterian "gemlike flames" - take it out and deconstruct it. When something draws attention to itself too boldly, destroy it. As Paul Magrs told me, "sacrifice it on the alter of your future craft." The goal of a great writer, in my estimation, is to write transparently (often) and lucidly (always). To tell the story. Unless one's a poet (god bless poets) one's ALWAYS at the primary service of the story. Fancy-pants articulation and narrative filagree come with experience, not with surface manipulation.


5) "Know thy audience." -- Jack Epps, Jr. Writer of "Top Gun" "Dick Tracy" "Turner and Hooch" and "Anaconda." There's no such thing as broad-appeal. Write the story for a particular person, hopefully somebody close and optimally for one's self. Be your own worst audience, cruelest critic, and heartless editor. Don't write to genre convention; write a good human story of blood, sweat, shit, bile and semen in spite of the genre of your piece.

and a few personal observations

a) Don't write about a drug you haven't used
b) Don't write with 'tone' first in mind. It's absolutely crippling.
c) Listen! I doubt anybody can give characters voices completely from the atmosphere. Your experience
d) Don't write what you don't believe / like. This is an undergraduate plight. I can't tell you how many papers I grade by people who don't believe in the shit they spout. "Marx was right when he said .... " written by a blonde sorority chick from the OC who drives a Lexus with gold-tinted windows won't convince anybody.
e) (or d #2) You CAN'T write what you don't believe / don't like. If you're not a cheesy person, you won't write cheesy stuff. If you don't like cornball romances, don't write one because you believe you can 'hack it.'

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Good choices all. The false conditions thing is precisely how I finally got around to writing longer fiction pieces thanks to NaNoWriMo.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:09 (fourteen years ago) link

Yay Paul Magrs.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:11 (fourteen years ago) link

f) edit your fucking posts.

or do you think that's overkill?' I'd usually roll over and go back to sleep, and I really dug this girl. = or do you think that's overkill?" And I'd like to imagine I'd said "let's fuck instead, but ususally I'd roll over and go back to sleep, and I really dug this girl.

c) Listen! I doubt anybody can give characters voices completely from the atmosphere. Your experience = c) Listen! I doubt anybody can give characters voices completely from the atmosphere. Your experience is your greatest asset, far more so than your limited imagination.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Indeed, forcing yourself to write is what it's all about. No creative endeavour is 100 inspiration; you have to work hard, even when you can't be bothered. If you consider yourself a writer, it's a job, and jobs require effort whether you're in the groove or not.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, I thought of something else:

Know a good editor/reader. Doesn't have to formally do it for a living but if you know someone who likes your work but isn't afraid to focus in on things and point them out to you, keep that person as your friend!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:16 (fourteen years ago) link

So true! I also like to keep a friendly, uncritical voice somewhere near by to read stuff and tell me it's great when my ego's taken a hit or two, or I'm having a bit of trouble.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:18 (fourteen years ago) link

I saw "Paul Magrs" and thought of the Minneapolis weatherman from channel 11.

I hate actually writing unless it's easy, which it usually isn't. I love having written, though, because I'm not actually writing anymore then.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, don't ask yer mum to read it, she'll always say it's ace.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I saw "Paul Magrs" and thought of the Minneapolis weatherman from channel 11.

His brother Ron has been on the news in Chicago 4-EVAH.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:24 (fourteen years ago) link

g) if you're unsure of some of your own theories, advance them to somebody more respectable than yourself in conversation and wait until they state them back to you, at which point claim they're their theories so you don't have to take a personal risk if they're proven bunko.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:29 (fourteen years ago) link

If I'm just writing to write, for myself, I really get off on the whee-let's-go!-and-let-the-words-fly-around aspect to it. That kind of free-associate writing, where you don't exactly know where you're going, is pretty thrilling to me. Often it's a case where some idea has been tumbling about in my head, unsatisfyingly, and it's not until I actually sit down and put pen to paper that I'm able to work it out and come to some interesting conclusions -- especially fun when they're totally unexpected.

If I'm writing to be read, I don't always enjoy the process, because I tend to be rather painstaking (too much, perhaps) -- reading and rereading what I've typed, slowly tweaking -- but most of the time I like what I'm able to come up with. I impress myself a lot. And it instills a certain pride in me that I rarely get elsewhere.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:32 (fourteen years ago) link

This is probably gross, but the feeling most like finishing a great piece of writing is equivalent, in my mind, with taking a tremendous and happy poop.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:34 (fourteen years ago) link

Which would explain the popular 'constipation' and 'diarrhoea' analogies.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 02:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Don't trust writers who organize their thoughts in dot-points, as if they're rules. For instance:

Don't write what you don't believe / like. This is an undergraduate plight. I can't tell you how many papers I grade by people who don't believe in the shit they spout. "Marx was right when he said .... " written by a blonde sorority chick from the OC who drives a Lexus with gold-tinted windows won't convince anybody.

Um, you fucking idiot. Was Marx poor? No. Could he manage to maintain a critical distance between his own circumstance, and that of an economic theory (with social repercussions?). Yes. Oh boy, it would've been fantastic to have papoers graded by a tutor who judged you not on the strength of your ideas, but the colour of your hair..
Dick.
Also, Maria, be careful about taking advice from writers. It's a product, not a process. respect those who've published widely, well, and made money from it; that's what writing as a profession is.

paulhw (paulhw), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:17 (fourteen years ago) link

1) Suck a fat shit, paulhw.
2) Learn to separate exaggeration from actuality.
2a) I predict you're the type of douche who writes a terrible paper and blames the grade on the professor's bias.
3) You're bitter because you're balding, I bet.
4) respect those who've published widely, well, and made money from it; that's what writing as a profession is. Yeah, like Dan Brown and RL Stein and Franklin W. Dixon. Also: if you're interested in music respect musicians who're widely distributed, popularly acclaimed, and rich; that's what music as a profession is.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:31 (fourteen years ago) link

i hate it, when I wrote on a regular basis it was fun for about six years, then as I got better it got harder, and more painful, and more difficult, and was finally just not worth the bother. the last piece of fiction I wrote was the best thing i ever wrote, but it was two pages long and took eight months. fuck that! it just takes too much out of me.

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:32 (fourteen years ago) link

2a) I predict you're the type of douche who writes a terrible paper and blames the grade on the professor's bias.

See, the funny thing is that Paul IS a professor.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Far out.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Hey Remy,

I'm not exagerrating. Many of the most important writers (academic, literary) are not somehow "representative" of those they write about. In fiction it's called imagination, and in academia, it's called research.
Not bald, and I grade papers. I would fail yours, cos you're a dumb fuck.
Also: didn't claim that music that's good (necessarily) sells well; but most music writing that's good is popular for a reason. Grow up kid, and accept the fact that you've got a long way to go, and few excuses for that distance...

paulhw (paulhw), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:38 (fourteen years ago) link

(See, Paul, the funny thing is how completely wrong you've got Remy's character and age pegged...)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:43 (fourteen years ago) link

I thought this was the thread about WHY WRITING IS FUN. I see I'm in the wrong room.. I'll be off then.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:45 (fourteen years ago) link

No Trayce, god Trayce, it's about how abusing the living shit out of other people is fun. Keep up lah.

Autumn Almanac (Autumn Almanac), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:47 (fourteen years ago) link

my big hurdle (or, what?, since hurdle means you jump it, eventually) is the not-knowing, the "you've got to write your way into it" heavy lifting. coming up with the word-to-word, sentence-to-sentence matter is ok, but the large arcs are impossible for me to imagine. i have so little Trust in (what? myself, "people," creation, etc) that i don't follow the initial curve of an idea out to the point where it starts to make a whole shape. Big Picture thinking, i can't stand it. Formulae never work for me, either, i just resent them; that said, a little book called The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is incredible fun.

Basically, I have no patience.

f--gg (gcannon), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Curious George Rides a Republican (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:52 (fourteen years ago) link

get it while it's hot

f--gg (gcannon), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 03:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Sorry scuse my typing - low blood sugar, I have a bad case of the shakyfingers.

Trayce (trayce), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:37 (fourteen years ago) link

That Aimless, he tricked us, he asked us to recommend him some poets and the next thing you know he comes back and is writing rings around everybody.

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:43 (fourteen years ago) link

There is still lively and interesting academic writing.. sometimes it takes patience to work your way into it. For instance, if I hadn't been forced by a paper topic to struggle through this Deleuze piece from Yale French Studies several times just to get a handle on it, I wouldn't have seen the spark in it & kept it stored as a reference for later work. I don't know what is in vogue right now in English language studies, but I've been enthralled by some work in French on the 17th century, absolutism and sovereignty, as well as some French historians on ancient Greece, especially tragedy. But there's nobody I have to really talk to about this stuff, because of the obscurity of it in the US. It wouldn't be dry if there were.

xpost bit - On writing - I'm still trying to crank out one last paper. It may be too late, but I've told myself I have to finish it. But just as a practical matter, writing in a language that isn't one's native language can throw more roadblocks into an already painful process. So that may be no small part of the problem. I've done professional copy editing and proofreading and have an incredibly picky editorial eye for English, so it certainly caused me some severe guilt/shame problems to be constantly producing work in another language, which inevitably had grammar problems I was helpless to correct.

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:47 (fourteen years ago) link

paul -- i mean that all good writing has an agenda, and often it's rendered v. v. subtly but simply infuses the nature of the argument. the point is to take the rage and subordinate it to disciplinary rules so that you and the other foax can engage in the productive (and generally progressive) process of scholarly discourse that typically transcends any one argumentative standpoint, no matter how well reasoned. also, left & right v. seldom have to do with these chips on shoulders. ppl. can get rilly passionate about other things too, like cycles of wheat prices across europe in the 16th century. & actually there were like three political agendas at play in that debate too, if you knew the characters involved and the subtle places to look!

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:49 (fourteen years ago) link

xpost:
Wait daria, am I correct to understand that you are writing these papers in French at the academic level? Holy calamity!

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:51 (fourteen years ago) link

Ouais. My French seems to have deteriorated in the past year, but yes, I did that, or tried. I shouldn't be so down on myself. These days, the American public education system being what it is, most of my peers suck at writing in their first language.

And if Stanley Fish is right and the next big thing in academe will be studying religion, again I feel like it's a real shame that I can't survive in the environment - it was one of my interests within my field (and I took it quite seriously, really trying to see from the inside of an entirely different worldview from several centuries past) and would that I still had it in me to be a responsible, motivated, hard-working student, I'd be wowing them at the MLA in four years. I've always been good at predicting the trends.

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 05:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Actually, that's my advice. Try writing it in French! Or Russian, or Spanish or something. Then, when you're about to start breaking glass in your room again because it's so goddamn difficult, switch back to English. Everything will be SO EASY! It'll be all sunshine and roses!

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Why? Is writing fun?

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:05 (fourteen years ago) link

xxpost: I think that's actually good advice.

xxpost:I could never really get into Stanley Fish. I much prefer his fictionalized counterpart, Morris Zapp.

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't know much about what Fish does (I'm allowed to not know much, I did French), but when I read the piece I just linked, my feeling was that his general impression as far as where people's interests and energies will be going was accurate. Politics and religion and the intersection of the two.

When Jacques Derrida died I was called by a reporter who wanted know what would succeed high theory and the triumvirate of race, gender, and class as the center of intellectual energy in the academy. I answered like a shot: religion.

Precisely. Also, I am kicking myself for having spent my time in undergraduate philosophy courses reading aesthetics and "high theory" when I should have been reading Machiavelli and Strauss and such. Foucault was worth the time, though, he's as handy as the jar of crushed red pepper I use for cooking just about anything.

daria g (daria g), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Seems like this thread is crying out for- the Pinefox!

Ken L (Ken L), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:30 (fourteen years ago) link

i like dominoes. not the pizza, but the little, white topplers and i like how they tumble out of your inner mouth and peck peck peck... a few minutes later you're not thinking about where you were or maybe you are but the gameness comes front and center. magic magician and the smiles playing at the cascade of gravity pavillion.

tonight only?

ah no, for the rest of my life. you run hard and you spit. that's what you do when you breathe the words.

i guess the REAL trick is turning that into a sea i can sail a ship on... something you would all be pleased to spend an afternoon... cause dude, it's plegm.

loogie bay. you never see that on a t-shirt with a silhouette sunset and sea gulls.

some folks run for the olympics and some folks run peck peck peck around the block every day.

you know, i could pull the mint out... or turn myself into neptune... then i'd spit salt water and sardines would take photos in front of me in my sleep.

ah, but my complexion is not nearly green enough i would imagine.

i suppose that's why i like plays, because there's always those colored filters you can pull over a spot light... and then i could be as aqua as i wanna be.

[this is one of those posts i will have to scurry away and hide for weeks after i submit it. i fall in the school that believes it's as easy to admit you're a writer as it is to admit you're an alcoholic. embarrassment from the privilege vs. embarassment from taking pride in my thoughts/lunacy/poor technical abilty vs. denial of the burden and addiction. take your pick all you want, but it's a three-or-three-and-a-half-headed beast at my house.

i've enjoyed the posts upthread. peck on, pickled pipin' peckers. er. uh. um.]
m.

msp (msp), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 06:33 (fourteen years ago) link

i love writing: i write what entertains or interests me

i'm not sure i cd distill advice into a list, and watchin remy an paul bite chunks out of each other is partly why: i have bad habits an good ones, and i probably don't know which is which

i magpie from others the whole time

i cannot disguise my writin as someone else's

i have an absurdly low threshold of boredom: i try and make this work for me rather than against me

i have a good memory for anecdotes an unexpected counter-flow items: i think this is worth cultivatin (ie you remember who someone was an what they thought by recallin the story which is the exception to their rule)

"concretised" isn['t a pretty word but it's right in one sense: when your sentence is on the page you can move it round... your writin is made up of little bricks of thought an there are good, better, best orders

as a professional sub-editor i wd say that 40% of what i read wd be better at two-thirds the length (you reorder to effect this), and 40% at one-third

there are not enough published works that are just one sentence long

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 10:49 (fourteen years ago) link

to answer the question: writing is fun bcz it's a species of magic

just by making cold black marks on a blank white page i can reach out far away and fuck w.your hd

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 10:52 (fourteen years ago) link

*goes off and checks wordcount on last entry in 1974 piece*

one sentence, 69,457 words long.

oh oh oh it's magic!

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 11:04 (fourteen years ago) link

it's fun because it helps *boost* my insecurity complex. i phear my current state of mind/body - hyperventilation, headaches,... - is partially due to writing/realization i SUXOR BADLY at it. :-( that said, there are times - fe writing about porn - i am driven to near orgasm (hah!).

nathalie barefoot in the head (stevie nixed), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 11:07 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm always typing out short stories on my puter, which I find fun to do.

But then I read them back and realize I have to edit and delete stuff because it's rubbish, and then edit some more, and then a little more, and ...

Ste (Fuzzy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 11:40 (fourteen years ago) link

law doesn't allow me to wield swords at people, that would be way more fun, but i'm not allowed to do it, so i have to wield pens instead.

ken c (ken c), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 11:54 (fourteen years ago) link

i almost mistyped pens as penis

ken c (ken c), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 11:54 (fourteen years ago) link

You could also do that, but I don't know if I'd recommend it as a long-term career choice.

Using math proof writing as a model for writing papers isn't as bad an idea as it sounds, in my experience. It really forces clarity.

Maria (Maria), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 14:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Marcello, it's magic. Yes, that, and somebody once wrote that writing is easy. You just sit a while and stare at a blank paper (or screen) until tiny drops of blood appear on your forehead. Besides, writing lets you be producer and director and all the actors, and the audience, and the critic....

pepektheassassin (pepektheassassin), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 19:33 (fourteen years ago) link

It's never fun for me because I have such high, unattainable hopes that I can never meet. More than anything else, it's good for getting one's thoughts organized and honed.

Michael White (Hereward), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 20:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Analytic writing makes me smile. It is a pleasure to compose sentences.
Creative writing makes me want to impale a fork in my skull.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 20:57 (fourteen years ago) link

I think it's good for organizing my personal history. When I fictionalize certain incidents in my own life, I end up finding a new side / interpretation and often come to either an uncomfortable realization or deliberate supression that helps me exorcise whatever demon I'm trying to usher out within the space of the particular piece. And I think that all good writing is an attempt to codify one's internality, so I'm guessing this is fairly common.

Remy (null) (x Jeremy), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Remy OTM. At it's best, writing in a journal, the only kind of writing I do outside of work, is a way of thinking. A conversation with yourself. I've realized things, seen angles and points, come up with ideas, that I had missed when events occured in the real world. This kind of writing, though, is never as good as talking to someone who you feel is really listening to you.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 21:07 (fourteen years ago) link

mark s, I kiss you (and I'm reading the If . . . . book and enjoying it a lot!)

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Tuesday, 1 March 2005 21:27 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

augh

j., Friday, 12 July 2019 05:08 (five months ago) link

Writing is rewarding when you do it well, but it can only be fun if it incorporates an element of play. This sense of wordplay can and probably should come naturally, but it is often extinguished by the injection of strong ambition, competition for praise, and the imposition of editorial judgments about what is good, better or best. Someone who is under pressure to perform seldom feels that their task is full of fun.

For a shining example of writers having fun, see A thread where you commission a poem from ILE

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:06 (five months ago) link

Analytic writing makes me smile. It is a pleasure to compose sentences.
Creative writing makes me want to impale a fork in my skull.
― 57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, March 1, 2005 3:57 PM (fourteen years ago) bookmarkflaglink

otm

flopson, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:20 (five months ago) link

Writing is least fun when you've got an audience in mind.

pomenitul, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:23 (five months ago) link

I hear it helps if you imagine they are naked.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:25 (five months ago) link

Erotica will never be my forte.

pomenitul, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:28 (five months ago) link

Not if you write children's books

xp

Evan, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:29 (five months ago) link

What about grotesquerie?

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:31 (five months ago) link

I like it when my pen makes the funny marks on the page. Oh, how it makes me laugh and sing to see the funny marks!

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:33 (five months ago) link

Then nakedness is only one eldritch state of many.

xp

pomenitul, Friday, 12 July 2019 18:34 (five months ago) link

Writing became more fun when I finally incorporated it into my daily routine. Once the initiatory act no longer required intentional effort and just became a thing I did regularly like eating or weeping in despair for a fallen world, I was able to forget about the more mechanical parts of the process and just, like, roll with it, baby.

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:58 (five months ago) link

(This is what makes my contributions to ILX so very, very chefkiss.jpg.)

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:59 (five months ago) link

the only good writing is posting

Pretty much. What did people even read before message borads existed?

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 19:02 (five months ago) link

Shredded Wheat nutritional panel is only good for maybe 2-3 close readings and then I'm out.

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 19:03 (five months ago) link

Try the romance copy on the opposite panel. Real tear jerker.

Evan, Friday, 12 July 2019 19:05 (five months ago) link

i think twitter has made me a better writer in some way. especially the 140 era (rip). not sure about ilx. my academic writing is strong relative to my peers and i take great pleasure in it; it’s a fun game to try to inject just the right amount of style while maintaining the dry tone and technical correctness

flopson, Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:18 (five months ago) link

Writing became more fun when I finally incorporated it into my daily routine. Once the initiatory act no longer required intentional effort and just became a thing I did regularly like eating or weeping in despair for a fallen world, I was able to forget about the more mechanical parts of the process and just, like, roll with it, baby.

― Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, July 12, 2019 2:58 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

this is probably the biggest influence of ilx, in terms of writing. reading ive aped all my styles from you guys

flopson, Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:20 (five months ago) link

Contemporary English's (acquired, not innate) tendency towards dryness and consummate transparency drives me up the wall, although it's a useful corrective when grafted onto other, less cost-effective languages.

pomenitul, Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:31 (five months ago) link

I like rite gud

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 13 July 2019 20:00 (five months ago) link

“Writing is like the life of a glacier; one eternal grind” - my man John Muir

brimstead, Sunday, 14 July 2019 22:21 (five months ago) link

Def

calstars, Sunday, 14 July 2019 22:23 (five months ago) link

Muir's livelihood was grounded in the money he earned from his writing, mostly for periodicals. Hence, the eternal grind.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 15 July 2019 02:40 (five months ago) link


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