I have been wondering, like many a scattered soul on the blogosphere, about what it might mean to write aimlessly. By aimlessly I mean to write without a specific purpose such as to sell, to build a resume, to add to a larger work, or to vent.
When I browse posts in an unfiltered sort of way, without any express purpose as a reader, my idle meanderings make me speculate on a purpose (or perhaps the purpose) that writing serves in our lives.
Writing for pleasure of expression (not for a professional purpose) is a luxury that we can indulge in only in our most privileged of moments. And yet, it is the neglected foster child of our existence, to be pushed away, yet again, for something that is more important at the moment. A job-related activity, a networking event, an application, even a trip to the grocery store. Things that indeed cannot wait.
Writing, for those who want to write, always remains the older, more serious, responsible child that keeps sacrificing its demand on our time in preference for the screaming younger child–a daily activity in immediate need of attention or a larger goal that would provide us a long-term concrete benefit.
This situation does not simply apply to professionals or students who might be involved in a field far removed from writing activities. It also applies to people whose job itself is writing as well–novelists, academics, content writers, communications professionals. . .
When writing is a job, the writing which we do for ourselves disappears from our lives.
Many of us indulge in activities that have no proven benefits, at least in the near future. We go to places of worship, perform daily rituals, spend energy maintaining clothes and shoes we never use for years on end. But writing? It’s an activity to be indulged in at the very end of all others. It’s either too sombre a task or too inconsequential.
But increasingly, as I’ve been reading these idle meanderings, I’ve become more and more convinced that these pieces of expression might be one of the more defining moments of our lives. Our writing, in moments of idleness, defines us as we define our writing.
They are things that seep out of the open mind, and they need an open mind to read them.
For writing is about taking stock, about pausing, reflecting, reviewing our direction, even understanding ourselves. This is why the directionlessness is important–to let that mirror show ourselves , in the best way it can, who we are.