Three people, in as many months, have told me their creative efforts are “just for fun.”
This was in the context of showing me their wares — a brilliantly crocheted flower vase or a cat carrying-case re-purposed from a plastic water jug — and me remarking astoundedly, “This is fantastic. Are you selling them?”
Each smiled and said matter-of-fact, “No. It’s just a hobby. It’s just for fun.”
Once, I had a creative hobby that was just for fun. Once.
I used to be a scrapbooker.
<Pause for effect>
Yes, for about two years, I scrapbooked. I even had a scrapbooking friend — Debbie — who took me to a midnight scrapbooking event at a local crafts store in Tucson.
It was pretty much what you imagine.
Then I had kids, and unlike many moms who go scrapbooking crazy after birthing photogenic children, I just went plain crazy. Said craziness left me no time for cutting decorative borders and captioning weekends spent at the Jersey Shore.
My one creative hobby since then, which has only increased over the years since my day work has become more marketing focused, is creative writing.
In the last two years, especially, I have become a pretty serious creative writer and even started this year submitting some of my pieces to literary publications. No published pieces as a result of those submissions… yet.
So when each of those above-mentioned creative types told me they weren’t selling their pieces — not at a crafts fair, not to fancy shmancy boutiques on the lower east side of some city — I was taken aback; impressed, actually.
And I wondered.
Would it be possible for me to write … just for fun?
Without any expectations?
Of course, I do this already.
There are pieces (many) I have written that are sitting in a file somewhere, on a floppy disk in WordPerfect 2.0, that will never see the light of day, let alone end up in a literary journal. There are drafts of posts I don’t have the heart to delete sitting in limbo in a folder on the backend of this blog. There are starts of stories I never felt compelled to finish.
Were those all “just for fun?”
Before I get too didactic, let me clarify that I’m talking about the process, here. The intention.
Can I really write just for fun? Without the hope that what I write will become more than just an exercise,; will become
The one that gets noticed?
The one that hits the right chord with the right person?
The one that gets me the top literary agent?
The one that enters me into the roster of authors that appear in a Prentice Hall Language Arts textbook?
The one that ends up sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard wrapped in a gorgeous cover with my name on it?
If “just for fun” means the same as, “for the sake of my sanity,” then yes, I write just for fun.
Or if “just for fun” means “I self-laughed a lot when I read my own blog post back to myself” then yes, I write just for fun.
But, more than anything, I write so that I will be read.
The reading by others is what makes my writing fun. This I know.
I just wish, sometimes, it weren’t so.