The Joy of Writing

I’m on something of a vacation from work right now, as perhaps so many others are, in anticipation of the holidays. As a writer — and this may be something that all writers do — I tell myself that I’m going to buckle down and use the time constructively, to work on and, by the grace of the Muses, finish one writing project or complete my novel.

Writing is work, aye, but there is a pleasure in it too, an indulgence of the intellectual that compels me more to piddle and play around, than actually accomplish anything. I like to think of the distinction between these two modes of writing, the one done with an aim to finish, polish, and show off a completed piece, and the other done more with the spirit of a child finger-painting or playing in a puddle for the experience of the thing, as directed vs. non-directed writing.

Before you proceed further, dear reader, know that the following words will fall most emphatically in the former. Much as I’d like to be able to write click-bait, or attract more readers, I feel today, as I often feel, that somewhere along the way I’ve simply failed to invoke the kind of interest that I would hope for, but then I remember back to a time when I began to first put words together into sentences, then into paragraphs, and finally stories that I pieced together, pecking away on an old typewriter, and I remind myself that I never wrote anything with the aim of being a great writer or attracting any kind of following. I wrote for the simple love of writing, for the act of the thing itself.

There’s something I found magical in the power of ink on paper, that I still find magical in fact. There is nothing intimidating to me in a blank piece of paper or an empty screen on a word processor. These are places to stretch my legs, to reach my fingers into and feel around. This is fertile ground waiting to be filled with seeds, asking to be made into forests, into jungles, into orchards green and golden. One need only hit a key, bang out some words, and see what things may grow.

I’m free to birth worlds — and destroy them too — and under my pen and beneath these fingers empires can be built and the realms of men and all manner of peoples and creatures I can imagine can be laid low. Great loves between lonely souls happen (with my help) and the bitterest of hatreds and stories of revenge are possible too. Indeed, all is possible here. Everything and anything. From the most humdrum and banal of existence to the wild and exotic. My god, how could anyone not enjoy writing?

To blazes if no one reads what you, dear reader, or I ever write. I’m not here to rival Tolstoy or rub shoulders with Steinbeck — I just want to play in the puddles and finger-paint. Maybe (if I’m lucky) some people will humor me with something of the spirit in which they humor the efforts of their own children, who, with juvenile and herculean pride, show off their artwork to parents who then promptly attach it to their kitchen refrigerator, leaving it up for all to see, even as the corners curl and yellow with age and the colors fade.

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. -Bruce Lee

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Lyndon Moore

Lyndon Moore

is a military veteran, nurse, martial artist, writer, and world traveler. He has been published in the O-Dark-Thirty Review, a literary journal for veterans.