Writing as an end in itself

It is so easy to get caught up in writing to achieve an outcome rather than writing as an end in itself. We become trapped in worrying about if we write well enough, worrying that people might read what we write, even worrying if we will be able to read our own handwriting at some future point!

But just the act of getting your thoughts out of your head and onto “paper” is a worthwhile pursuit in itself – with no regard for what becomes of it at some future point. It is the process of thinking out loud that is worthwhile, “seeing” your thoughts as you think them, slowing down your racing brain long enough to be able to relate to your thoughts and understand them.

I have so many notebooks that start off with the intention of bullet journaling, or recording gratitude, or whatever other extrinsic outcome that end up slowing to a halt as I give up on their original “purpose”.

But I now know that just writing, with no aim in mind other than to enjoy the process, is something that I get great value from and return to again and again.

4 thoughts on “Writing as an end in itself

  1. You are right. But I am wasting time by suffering twice when I begin to dread something in advance. Then If I write my worries, the mind cannot will itself to even if it wants to, is it certain I come to suffer three times, right?


  2. I maintain a number of notebooks that can best be called commonplace books rather than journals. The are on the whole A5 in size and made by Leuchtturn1917 because the pages are numbered and thus easier to index. I use them to jot down notes from things that I am reading, quotes and poems that I might use later and form arguments that help frame ideas. I also keep lists for personal and work projects. I find the physical act of writing helps my “flow” and I pick up the books and use them more than using digital wiki tools over the past twenty years.


    1. Me too. I’ve got notebooks all over the place which vary from Bullet Journals, to day to day diaries, to stream of consciousness that goes on and on. Sometimes I have used these paper notebooks in the way that you describe but I’ve ended up valuing the text tools I now have on everything from my watch to my Mac that all sync up. Moving from one way of doing things to another helps keep things fresh I reckon.


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