Michelle Wittle On Writing For Fun

Michelle Wittle On, Writing Tips

There is no such thing as writing for fun. It may be at times fun to write, but I firmly believe that true writing isn’t something you can just do for fun. Writing isn’t a hobby. It can’t be something that you were just bored on a Saturday and figured you should write about something.

 

I have mentioned before how writing is a bloodletting and I stand by my statement.

 

I can’t stand people who think writing is just a self-indulgent hobby.

 

Do you really think I enjoy characters smacking around in my brain? Is it really fun getting woken up at 3 in the morning knowing you have to turn on the computer and write this one scene down? Can you seriously look me in the eye and say it’s a blast not eating or sleeping for three whole days as this novel comes pouring out of you? You mean to tell me that it’s awesome getting your ideas rejected time and time again?

 

Writing as a hobby! It’s just not possible.

 

Let me clarify that a bit. A true writer, one who is committed to the craft of it (and may or may not be committed in another sense), would never say that writing is a hobby. It is something you either are or you aren’t. There is no in between and there is no hobby-ing here.

 

Writing is something you are born with. It is a gift handed down to you within your DNA. It can be a learned skill, but I don’t think a person can just fake being a writer. Writing is too much of an art and a science. You either have it or you don’t. You can learn techniques, but you can’t learn the art of it.

 

I am sorry if I offend anyone. It is just, to me, writing is everything. It is such a big chunk of who I am and it is just another link to my father and my family history. I hate when people look at what I do as just a hobby. Like I am some kind of bored woman who just dabbles in writing because I really liked English class when I was in high school.

 

I have been fascinated by words since I was four years old. I have been telling stories since I came out of the womb (sure, I didn’t use proper English until I was like 3, but still, I have a tape of me when I was real little just rambling gibberish for like twenty minutes…straight). I have been a writer and a storyteller my whole life. I don’t look too kindly on people who think I am just using my manicured fingers to write my blog before I meet the girls for lunch.

 

Sure, I let my life and others around me dictate that I couldn’t possibly be a writer. I even believed that I wasn’t one. Then one day, my writer self pushed forward and I haven’t stopped indulging her since. I may not always stop to write down my thoughts; but trust and believe they are in my head. I denied being a writer for so long and now look at me. My writing self didn’t go away; it just waited for the right moment. When that didn’t come, it took matters into its own hands and forced its way out.

 

True writing is not a hobby. I believe you either have it or you don’t. You can learn the techniques of it, but you can’t learn the art of it. Writing may hide inside you for while, but it will sneak out and smack you in the face. It’s up to you what you do when you get smacked.

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4 thoughts on “Michelle Wittle On Writing For Fun

  1. Absolutely agree. I also think that true writers are people who DO – not swan about declaring that they ‘are writers’, but have only a few Saturday afternoon pen-scratchings to show for it, or ‘the novel’ that they haven’t actually written yet but must get around to one day… Writing is a calling, it is about doing, it is about pushing the limits and it is an engulfing passion. Not a hobby. Absolutely not.

    Matthew Wright
    http://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com
    http://www.matthewwright.net

  2. I disagree. You say that writing can’t be a hobby and can’t be done just for fun, then what do you say to justify all the fan fiction writers out there. They are people set to crafting a story, even if there are some major copyright issues with it, but they don’t write it for the craft, they write it for the story and for the fun of telling that story. And isn’t that what writing is all about? The story. Even if you write in non-fiction, unless you have some sort of story in it, then it falls flat. And if writing is a story, then anyone can write. Story telling is one of the first arts a person manages. Children, whether or not they grow up to be writers, tell each other stories. Before we even painted on caves, we told stories. Story telling predates writing. Writing, true writing as you call it, is simply one of thousands of media for telling stories.

    Your rant, and it is a rant because you seem to support your arguments with few facts beyond what you were like as a child, seems more like a response to someone carelessly saying, “Oh, you’re just writing.” I can see how that hurts, how something you’ve dedicated your life to has been belittled to “just writing.” But it’s a very empty argument. In most places, I can replace writing with carpentry and it still makes sense. And your evidence of how you were as a child seems to be more of a justification for your choices than actual proof that writing is ingrained in your DNA. For example, I was fascinated with fire as a child, I even went so far as to bring matches to school one day, but I’m not a pyromaniac, I don’t burn myself, and I don’t even light candles very often(I lost my lighter). Who you were as a child does not justify who you are as an adult.

    Saying things like “A true writer, one who is committed to the craft of it (and may or may not be committed in another sense), would never say that writing is a hobby. It is something you either are or you aren’t. There is no in between and there is no hobby-ing here” just widens the gap between writers and the rest of society. Writers are already considered an elite group, almost as elite as the scientists, the billionaires, and the politicians. People who are disconnected from the rest of society and yet play a big part in it. The biggest difference between a writer (and I include the hobbyist writers, and yes, they do exist, if you left your elitist group, you’ll find them), and non-writers (anyone whose biggest writing project is an email to grandma) is the focus and dedication they put into it. A hobbyist writer might not write as much as a professional, but they still put hours of work into their project. Writers don’t run away from projects the way most people might. Dedication can make you into anything, including a writer, whether or not you were “born for it.”

    By the way, what is true writing? Give me a concrete and specific definition of true writing. Is the opposite false writing? So, true writing is any words on a page while false writing is like this aljs dfoasjd ofija. or this. (If you could see me, then you would have seen me pretend to hit the keys but not pressing them). If you’re talking about people who only write every so often yet have a book published, how are they any less of a writer than the person who writes everyday, has several novels worth written, but has never published a single word?

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      I think writing, like other things, are left to the individual to define. I can only give you the definitions I create for myself. As I said in the post, this is my opinion and these are my thoughts. I’m not speaking in real general terms, I’m speaking in my own terms.
      And as far as the fan fiction comment, I can’t really speak on that because I’ve never read it or wrote it.
      Again, thanks so much and have a blessed day.
      Happy Writing.
      Michelle

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