Erratically, I check in on various blogs that I enjoy reading. I have several such blogs I kinda, sorta, tend to monitor. I just can’t seem to find the effort or time required to monitor them on a daily basis. In their own ways, each gives me pause, makes me think, gives me insight on the world around me, or simply provides me with interesting reading.
To be sure, I don’t think Yorick von Fortinbras will actually quit writing, any more than I am likely to. Perhaps his posts will become more erratic, like mine tend to be: sometimes fast and furious, other times you’d think I’d quit writing on this blog. At any rate, that post got me to pop a reply and as I wrote that reply, it started me thinking.
I’d commented that
I don’t think that’s a bad way to write. I think, instead, it’s merely a way of letting your creativity guide you. When I write, sometimes I sit down wanting to write with nothing in mind, but the urge to write. So, I just put fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper sometimes) and start writing. I have no idea what I’ll write about or where it will go if I have a starting point. This is neither good writing nor bad writing, it’s just writing. What makes it good or bad is how much you clean it up afterwards, if it’s necessary to do so.
Even when I’m writing a story over several days, I don’t always know what’s going to happen next. I know Point A and Point D and maybe some points between, but I have no idea how I’m going to get from Point A to Point D. That’s the job of my creativity. The job of my writing is to make coherent sense of what’s been written and that’s when good writing or bad comes into play.
This got me to wondering, how many people out there that are trying to write confuse, or so it seems to me, creativity and writing? Do you, if you write, consider your writing good only if you think you have something worth sharing? Or do you, like me, see good writing represented by proper spelling, sentence structure, the selection of words for their power, the beautiful flow of the words working together?
creativity (plural creativities)
- (uncountable) Graphism of symbols such as letters that express some meaning.
- (uncountable) Something written, such as a document, article or book.
- (uncountable) The process of representing a language with symbols or letters.
- (countable) A work of an author.
- (countable) The style of writing of a person.
So, creativity I seem to have down pat: to create or invent something where that “something” can just as easily be a blog post, a dissertation, a philosophical treatise, an amusing short story, a frightening horror tale, a heartfelt poem, or a wonderful song as a new storage medium, a new gun, a new engine, a new OS. How can this be either good or bad? Discard the emotional context – the atom bomb was just something created, just like my short stories. It’s how they’re used/presented that makes them good or bad. And that’s my exact point.
When you initially write something down, you’re creating something. It may not be great writing and may be full of idiosyncratic errors: spelling, grammar, all that stuff I mentioned earlier. But you have created something. It’s yours, your baby, your conceived something made real. Like anything else, it’s neither good nor bad, it merely is. The writing, that’s a different story. If all you wanted to do was get it down so you don’t lose it, it’s good no matter any errors.
If you want to present it to others, to share it, then it’s time to start wordsmithing. It’s the wordsmithing that will brand your creation good or bad. That is where writing comes into play. Sometimes, even “bad” writing is presentable. Look at some of the work of E. E. Cummings or Lewis Carroll. Even there, though, I imagine there was a bit of wordsmithing to get it the way they wanted their creation to look, to be presented to the reader.
So, now that I’m well off on a tangent with this apparently now nonsensical post I have two choices. I can get it back on track, or I can leave it the way it is and post it. I’m going to chose to leave it as is, with perhaps a little wordsmithing for grammar and typos, and leave you with this quesiton:
Is this good writing or bad? Why?