Writing for emergence

Published on Jun 13, 2019

The common narrative is that we write everyday because we have a goal. Improve our writing. Build up content for professional growth. Writing for fun. But as @jacklyons shared in his post, he's on a 61-day streak and still he doesn't know for sure why. I wonder if there's perhaps another way - writing not due to a goal, but to draw out and discover a new goal everyday.


Perhaps some of us don't work this way - to have an objective upfront, then write to fulfil that objective. In the early days when I started out on 200wad, I had goals and I fulfil it by writing. But for some others perhaps, and increasingly more so for me recently, writing is to draw out something. What exactly, I don't know. But the act of writing draws it out. It's emergent. I don't always like what comes out every time for sure, but I like it often enough, to be interested in continuing to write daily. It's like participating in a lucky draw everyday, your ticket is the post, writing is buying the ticket. Some days, I strike gold and win big. Those posts, I relish and re-read all the time. Most days, I get a cheap prize, like those 10% discount vouchers for every $1000 spent - nice but not so useful.   


Yesterday, I talked about writing gibberish when you don't know what to write. It helped me learn how to navigate and persevere through the low points in my writing, and enabled me to come back up stronger, as part of a bigger journey of learning about myself. I realised now that I was writing for emergence during those moments when I was writing gibberish, despite being super uninspired, bored and on the verge of giving up. I wrote then not because I had a goal, not because I could see my "why". I wrote because I hope that by writing, a new goal could emerge. And on hindsight, it did.   


Perhaps that's why some continue to write here despite not knowing why? 


Update: @jacklyons said that knowing this helps him in relaxing into the randomness, and simply enjoy the lack of a goal - what a beautiful image to have about writing for emergence!