Looking at today’s daily prompt I was drawn to consider the purpose of writing without aims, to be Aimless and to be free. Yesterday I considered the limitations of perfection and has led wonderfully on to this.
We are always told to ‘write with purpose’. To choose your audience and write for them, whether that be on a blog like mine or choosing your audience for a novel. The words you choose will be in part, a rather large part, directly affected by the audience you have chosen. Where you would see a character swear in a fit of rage, you have to rework and alter the characters natural reaction because you already decided it would be a teen read.
We become afraid of writing without meeting an aim. That it is wasting those moments of inspiration because it doesn’t get us closer to an end goal.
Why should I, the person holding the pen, have to bow to an aim? Why should I, the creator of the art, worry that the piece doesn’t fit the aim? Why can I not simply write?
Simply put words on the page.
Decide after what the project can do. Let the project decide its own aims- after it is complete. I have started doing this more and more. Last year, I was only writing if I knew what the project could be ‘used for’. If it fit specifications of a competition. If it met the outlines of submissions. If a purpose was already found.
When I first started this blog, I would only write when I thought something should be documented; participation in read-a-thons, for example. Yes, I still announce what I am doing; but I also put general posts, random thoughts, tips, creative pieces, my own word crawls and even ask for help.
How about on a smaller scale?
So deciding the purpose of a project is a pretty big deal, whether you choose before or after you have written it. But aimless writing doesn’t have to be just that.
‘Wording Aimlessly’ for me is the perfect way to ‘warm-up’ for a writing session. I take a dictionary and open it randomly and choose a word (usually by closing my eyes and pointing). I write it at the top of my page, then for five minutes I write word after word. Using the totally random word as a starting point.
This process has no aim. You don’t have a word goal to reach. You don’t have the pressure to make it fit in with a project. You are simply writing word after word and letting your mind open up to the words locked away. You will be surprised, after a few lines you mind will automatically start forming sentences; even if you have no idea where they came from.
I keep all of these exercises. I have a separate file on my computer for when I type the exercise and a notepad for when I hand write it. I have started building the habit of flicking back through the pages because sometimes those broken sentences can inspire a scene or even a whole project.
There is value in wording aimlessly- eventually.
So go my friends, find some paper and word aimlessly, before long you will experience the freedom of writing without the constraint of aims.