Monday, September 26, 2016

Intention, Expectation, and Desire

When I write I consider three things always, whether I INTEND for the piece to be read by others, whether I EXPECT it to be read by others and if I DESIRE for it to be read by others.

I've been making a concerted effort this last half of the year to write something every day, anything.  Because I only count things written as part of stories, not notes, not ideas, not outlines, reminders, or instructions.  This does not mean I only count words I write that will be published.

I desire anything I write to be published or at the very least read by many other people.  I have removed the expectation that every word I write will actually be in the story, but I do intend for them to be.

Simply removing the expectation frees me to write quickly, often, and at volume.  This is my normal mindset for NaNoWriMo novels, I desire these novels to be published, I intend for them to be published, but I don't expect them to be.  This is also the mindset I've been using to keep up a daily output.

Previously the only time I tried to have a daily steady output was in the NaNo Novembers.  The idea of a first draft being so far removed from publishable that it would necessitate a rewrite seemed completely foreign to me.  Now I'm trying to embrace it, or at least tolerate it.  One of my most hated writing adages is, "Writing it rewriting" (credit Hemingway or E.B. White, either way, I don't like it).  That seems like negative thinking to me.  I partially blame the movie Amadeus.  Salieri said Mozart never made any erasures.  Everything was perfect as it left his pen.

Because I've almost always written on a word processor or computer I never really considered anything a first draft, but more like a work in progress.  Now I'm thinking, go from the beginning to the middle and don't stop until the end.  Then go back and change things.  I'm still reluctant to think that anything is strictly a first draft, not for public consumption, or worse still, something to be written only as practice, a first attempt of countless more, as it were.

It often seems like a waste to remove the intent that anything you write will be read by a wide audience (or has the potential to).  Why write anything you don't intend to share?  This is strongly my inclination, but I've recently figured out this is not universally felt.  I've long known there are things people write for a single consumer (like a lover, or themselves) with no expectation or intention of them being read by anyone else.  Journals and love letters are like this.  I'm not really talking about that.

Besides, in the back of my mind I do always expect someone will someday get ahold of anything and everything I write and whether I like it or not, they will read it.  It might be a self-destructive feeling because it makes me write while looking over my shoulder, which is not something you want to do when you are journaling, using writing as meditation, or writing something that will be a first draft only.  

That and I'm sort of paranoid anything I write could someday be subpoenaed. 

The rarest thing I write is something I don't expect to be read, I don't intend to be read and I don't desire to be read.  

Can you guess what sorts of things those could be?  

Do you have anything you write with none of the above?  

Write me a comment and let us know.

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