Writing in search of a meaning

I had an interesting discussion today concerning creative writing. My English professor claimed that creative writers should not start writing with a theme or meaning in mind. He said, and I love how he phrased this, that “the meaning is forged in and during the act of writing. Not before, and heaven help you if you try to add it later.
The other part of the developing theme is the idea that the things most true to the writer will eventually come out in the writing as you develop it. More importantly, it will not come out when you want it to—you cannot simply sit down and decide to write a story with a fully developed theme in mind. At best, you end up with an Aesop; at worst, a sermon. Not that there is anything inherently bad with either of those, mind you. Its just that you won’t be writing creative fiction anymore.
My question is, what if you try to sit down and do the opposite; that is, try to write a sermon or an essay without any idea what you want the meaning or theme of the prose to be? I’m trying to find out by writing this.
Really, this whole site is an example in extemporaneous literature. Its cool if people read it, and I appreciate whoever spends their valuable time here, but if I wrote this purely for recognition, I’d have given up probably two months in. This is an experiment that costs me around $5 per year to keep up; so I could probably have this site around forever.
My hope is to hone a writer’s instinct. I’ve heard descriptions of what it feels like or what thoughts come to mind when you are in the middle of writing something and everything “clicks”. But I’m with Aristotle when it comes to learning. I think the best way to learn is to do what you want to learn. Its a little bit of a chicken and egg situation, but it makes more sense when you hear it said by the character Jake, from the cartoon show Adventure Time: “sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Maybe that’s the central theme of this blog, at least right now. Go out there and do something; anything. Its the doing part that is important.

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