Art for art’s sake

There’s this scene in Finding Forrester where the main character says something like, “Why is it that the words we write for ourselves are always better than the words we write for others?”

The truth is that writers write for a million different reasons. Maybe they even write for no reason at all. But I believe that it happens to every writer to write at least a short story, a poem, a play, something with no expectations at all. Just because. Just for the fun of it.

I’d like to believe that masterpieces are created that way. When you’re free, when you’re just doing your thing — the world has nothing to offer you, nothing to take away from you– that’s when you create real art. Because you want nothing, because you’re just having fun, you’re writing words for the sake of writing words. One after another until you get to the end.

There’s no pressure, no expectations, or dreams. It’s just you and a blank screen (or empty page if you’re into that kind of thing).

I have to admit it. We write for others. We want to inspire, to provoke a reaction, to make people feel. But we also write for ourselves. We write because we have to, because we learn more about the world around us and ourselves. That’s something we should never forget.

So maybe, just maybe, the words we write for ourselves, the words we don’t expect to be read or understood or loved, are better than the ones we write for others.


18 comments on “Art for art’s sake

  1. seaangel4444 says:

    Thank you, Cristian. I always love your words! Cher xo

  2. K. A. Brace says:

    When I write for myself I do it to have fun and make things happen people would just find too outrageous to take seriously. And their not meant to taken dseriously. They’re meant to be fun for me. >KB

  3. “When you’re free, when you’re just doing your thing …”, you’re right, that’s when great things are created. Wonderful words, thanks.

  4. orionwriter says:

    I watched the movie a couple months ago. I personally think that when we are free, we create the most…magnificent things. Sometimes we end up creating things that we ourselves could not have imagined. Creativity…it’s so full of surprises.
    Great post. :)

  5. Yes, I now believe that art is done for oneself. I don’t say that makes it any less.
    In fact it elevates one’s work ethic.

  6. drminna says:

    This is so right! I couldn’t agree more.. All the poems or stories I’ve written down in such moments are, and will always be my favorites.

  7. Making art can be a way of self-discovery, alright!

  8. balroop2013 says:

    Words and ideas come spontaneously to writers and poets…they write more for their own joy and contentment. They write because that is their way of relaxation. Sometimes they are amazed at their own creativity! That is what I call ‘ART’.

  9. Awesome…. true, so true…. let’s go one step deeper…. We write, paint, sing and dance as we were created to do. The Creator, created us to creatively create. One voice, one song, one word and one love for all to share… But it starts with us, as we release what’s within…. Great post.

  10. Jim Brennan says:

    Yeah, just because. Exactly!

  11. aqilaqamar says:

    Directed writing at times is a crime because it really impedes you. I have 2 novels I started writing one for Nano but didn’t care to finish but I want to still write it. Because it’s fun and it’s me

  12. Sona Rulz says:

    It’s human psychology.. we love to listen to others’ pain… The more critical their life-story is.. the more it draws our interest… all the super hit stories/movies embedded in the human hard-disks are marked for ‘lil khushi and more gaam’
    Kadambari is more ‘talked about’ than Mrinalini.. A character becomes HIT not for being related to someone popular but it is HIT because it is STAND- ALONE character with distinguishing characteristics.
    Yes.. all info must not be given out in a story.. some thoughts should be hidden beneath the canopy and let for readers’ assumption. Am not an avid reader but from whatever I read/watched I analysed this USP.
    good day :)

  13. Great post Cristian & valid point. Perhaps these pieces are more potent because of those lifted restraints. I worked in law & at one time, the State Attorney’s Office. One of the Misd. Attorney’s I worked for, Mark Yeslow, had a habit of standing behind me & reading while I was typing. This drove me crazy. And I noticed that I made more mistakes. I was no slouch. I typed 107 words-a-minute & was very good at what I did. But as soon as I felt his presence the mistakes began!! It’s hard to relax & let go when you feel as though your being pressured, watched or being graded. Excellent post, sharing now!! :)

  14. kalekyemuia says:

    just what i needed before I start writing thanks for this

  15. M T McGuire says:

    Lovely stuff! I still write for me, mainly because there’s no-one else I come close to understanding. However, my personality profile is some bizarre combo that only crops up in 6% of the population, which might explain why it’s so hard to find a niche for the resulting books.



  16. vsvevg says:

    Well, I do sometimes use material for my journal in my work, but I would not want anyone to read it! Nice post.

  17. spindae2 says:

    Ohhh so true. The things I wrote and thought no one would ever see them are sooooo pure. But as I know I will show the “piece” to someone it gets messy as hell and I never be completely honest. That’s why I fon’t publish my poems/songs online they are just for me.

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