Does Writing Need to Have a Purpose?

Sadje asked an interesting question today. She asked, “Does writing need to have a purpose?”

My short answer, which is actually more of a question, is doesn’t everything we do need to have a purpose? If not, why would we do it?

But let’s stick with the topic of writing. And for purposes of this post, I’m using “writing” and “blogging” as synonyms because almost all of my writing is for my blog.

My purposes for writing are several. First and foremost, I enjoy writing. It satisfies my need to occupy my time doing something I enjoy. Another purpose is to keep my mind sharp. Blogging does that by offering challenging prompts to exercise my brain and to stimulate my imagination. At my advanced age, I need to do everything I can to keep my brain active and my synapses firing.

And finally, blogging enables me to be part of a worldwide community of other bloggers. And in these times of social distancing, being able to interact with others who enjoy writing and blogging is, to me, priceless.

One-Liner Wednesday — Writer or Waiter

“If you wait to write, you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.”

Dan Poynter, American author, consultant, and self-publishing pioneer

Okay, what are you waiting for? Either start writing or bring me my breakfast.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt.

Blogging Insights — I’ve Got a Secret

Dr. Tanya has decided to change things up a bit for her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Instead of using the Q&A format, she’s going to provide us with a quote about blogging or writing and ask us to express our opinion about said quote.

Here’s this week’s quote. It’s from Ralph Fletcher, an American writer of children’s picture books, young adult fiction, and poetry.

“Here is the secret of writing: there is no secret.”

Well that’s probably true. Anyone with a pen or pencil and some paper or a computer and a keyboard can write. But I notice that in Mr. Fletcher’s quote, he didn’t say anything about the secret of good writing.

I think there are definitely rules for good writing and there’s nothing secret about what they are, although it’s hard to get any two writers to agree on which rules are most important for good writing. So all I can do is to discuss what I think is good writing.

First and foremost to me is that a writer needs to be proficient when it comes to grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling. Those are the fundamental building blocks of writing and without them, good writing is impossible.

Assuming proficiency in those fundamental tools of writing, the secret of good writing — especially when it comes to writing blog posts — is that the writer knows how to engage and entertain the reader. Readers want to be entertained. If they’re not entertained, they’ll lose interest and stop reading. Thus, even if the goal of the writing is to inform or educate the reader, a good writer will do so in an engaging, entertaining way.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

RDP — Venation

I saw that today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is “venation.” Having never heard of that word, I had to look it up. It is defined as “the arrangement of veins, as in a leaf or in the wing of an insect.” Who knew?

Okay, so after learning what “venation” means, the task at hand was to incorporate a word I’d never heard of before and had certainly never used before into a post. And for those reasons, my initial inclination was to take a pass on using that word.

Then, this morning, I went into my backyard to have a cup of coffee and I looked up and saw this in the sky…

And I thought, Hey, those clouds up there are showing some really interesting venation.

Well, I don’t know if those clouds resemble the veins of a leaf or an insect’s wings, but close enough. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Avoid Like the Plague

I recently came across this article that listed 15 clichés writers should avoid like the plague. The article said that, “The hardest part about cutting clichés is they are so widely known they just fall off the tip of your tongue (cliché). If you spot any of these phrases in your writing, pull out your red pen (another cliché).”

Here are the aforementioned 15 clichés listed in the article.

Writing on the wall
Whirlwind tour
Patience of Job
Never a dull moment
Sands of time
Paying the piper
March of history
Hook, line, and sinker
Long arm of the law
In the nick of time
Leave no stone unturned
Fall on deaf ears
Cool as a cucumber
Cry over spilled milk
Champing at the bit

I thought it might be fun to write a posts that is essentially nothing but these clichés. Here it is. Let me know what you think.

There was never a dull moment in Donald’s life, but nonetheless, as the sands of time slipped by, he could see the writing on the wall. He knew that his whirlwind tour would soon be coming to an end and that he would eventually wind up having to pay the piper. There were only so many people who would buy his lies hook, line, and sinker. Eventually, his bullshit would fall upon deaf ears. And there were those who were champing at the bit waiting for him to get his comeuppance.

But there was no point in crying over spilled milk. In the past he had always been able to avoid being apprehended by the long arm of the law just in the nick of time. Still, as always, Donald remained cool as a cucumber. He would leave no stone unturned, even if it took the patience of Job, to avoid going to jail. He was sure that, in the long march of history, people, with their short attention spans, would eventually forget about his indiscretions and forgive his trespasses.