Writing For Writing’s Sake


Below is an excerpt from an interview with Literary Orphan’s editor, Mike Joyce. I like this particular answer of his so much because I’m so tired of the same old tired advice you hear/read from writers: “write every day.” Why? You can write crap all day long but if it’s crap and you’re just filling pages why waste your time and energy? Writing when you’re not inspired is excruciating. Writing when you’re inspired is a joy or a sorrow or a catharsis. Go out into the world and experience, live your life, soak it all in. Inspiration will follow when the time is right to write about it. Of course, for some people writing every day is a help. It’s just not proven to be so for me.
Anyway, the interview is great. Go read it all.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

MJ: Purposelessness. We’re not overly fond of writing for writing’s sake. If you sit down to write a story, and flip your pen for a few hours, and then decide to write just because you need to write because that’s what all the manuals are saying… that piece isn’t for Literary Orphans. We want inspired writing.

Amen, brother.

4 thoughts on “Writing For Writing’s Sake

  1. That is the best comment about aimless writing that I’ve ever come across. Although, to be fair, perhaps when they advise you to ‘write every day’, they mean ‘journal’ or some other way to work out your demons, rather than serious writing (which you would need to edit anyway).


    1. Yes, I think journaling and creative writing are two different things altogether. For me personally, creativity and creative writing can not be forced so that’s why I hate when I see a writer advise writing everyday, no matter what. I can’t write everyday just to satisfy some so- called expert’s idea of what a writer does. I can’t even journal everyday. I’ve gone years without journaling. I’ve gone years without writing anything at all. There is no prescription for “how to be a writer”‘, it’s different for everyone.
      Thanks for commenting, MarinaSofia.


  2. i think it is two different things…writing everytday is not about writing to kill it or even submit to journals….
    i mean at the end of the day, too many writers base their identity on getting published…
    and journals know that…
    to make a statement that says if this then not us…thats bullshit..
    because at the end of the day, it could be inspired writing and if they did not know it written
    when someone wrote for the purpose of writing…they’d still accept it…


    1. Brian, I think if you read the whole interview you’ll get a better idea of what he’s saying. I just pulled this answer out because it resonated with my personal pet peeve of reading writer interviews that say over and over to write every day. And I think he’s right. If your intention is to submit work then send a piece you’ve written thoughtfully and not just something you dashed off one day. Of course, highly talented writers could probably do that but I think that’s probably the minority. He nor I are saying to write with submitting to a zine in mind, no. Just edit, that’s all.
      Thanks for commenting!


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