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Are We Having Fun Yet?
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Over at his blog, Mark Terry wonders whether we're having fun writing. Mark says:

I'm reasonably confident that most of us got into this gig because we thought it might be fun. There may have been some ego involved and there may have been some dreams of big money, but you just don't keep at it if you don't enjoy the process.

I write. I've always written. Before I learned the alphabet I "wrote" by drawing pictures and explaining to friends or family what was going on in the pictures.

Why do I write? Is it for fun? Maybe, in part. Then again maybe it's because writing is the one thing I can do well, or (probably more correctly) because at an impressionable age I was told I did it well. It was (and is) a way to get praise, approval, a feeling of accomplishment.

Certainly I have fun whipping words into shape. And not only in the expectation of what rewards the words might bring. I love words. They're the best toys ever. Still, there's no doubt that rejection is no fun. Being told my work is useless hurts and so, to the extent I might feel I'm writing only to be rejected, my enjoyment in the process is diminished.

Then too, the basic purpose of writing is to arrange words so that they will communicate something to readers. The fun is in trying to transfer what I'm seeing in my mind into a reader's mind. But this presupposes that people will eventually read the words. If I'm trying to write for publication, and expecting that I won't be able to sell the work, and thus no one will read it, the task seems pointless which certainly diminishes any sense of fun.

What if the sort of thing I want to communicate is unlikely to find publication and be read? How much fun will I have writing it? On the other hand, could I enjoy writing something I didn't particularly want to write which I imagined might at least have a readership?

Would it be more fun to write exactly what I want and stick it up on the internet where someone will get to see it? Of course, giving up any chance at publication would likely lessen my sense of accomplishment.

One thing I'm sure about is that I'll keep writing something, for someone. But is writing fun? I don't know. Is breathing fun?

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