Question time

by  boomgate

I’ve been wondering, for those that write on this blog type thingy, when you write do you write for an audience or write for yourself? Does the fact that other people might read what you are writing effect how or what you post? Does it matter if no one reads it?

For me, I have to say it’s a little from column a, a little from column b. I have posted long ranting things for my sake, thinking no one else would interested in yet end up with a number of replies. The reverse isalso  true, where I have posted things where I was sure would receive comments and nada. Sometimes I do find it really helpful getting someone else’s opinion and perspective of on things, especially if a certain issue in my life is causing stress. At the same, because I know other people are reading this I am guilty of self censorship, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not.

Anyhoo, any thoughts would be good :)

7 thoughts on “Question time

  1. Hey, boomgate,

    Part of that is really familiar to me. I’ve gotten the most interest from people commenting on posts that seemed completely personal, that I was sure nobody else cared about at all.

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  2. I write both for myself and others. Often if many people are writing to a subject I won’t. So I suppose that is a sort of self censorship.

    I rarely get comments so I don’t know if that means people agree or disagree or just think I’m nuts. :)

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  3. Sometimes both…I want to express my feelings on a subject to anyone who will listen and occasionally I want to address a certain segment of the blogging populace. To stir debate, to get people to think or just to let people know what I think of them.

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  4. I think some level of self-censorship is really key…not with respect to my opinions, but with respect to personal history or events if it would affect other people to have those published where theoretically anyone can find it.

    As to the main question, I feel like I’m still “finding my voice” in that regard. I’ve come to a reasonably comfortable balance of writing what *I* want to write about, in the way I want to write it, but not stuff that’s really “just for me”. I guess I mean I write about topics that I think are of interest outside my own head, but when I try to mold my style into what I think will attract readers, it never works and it doesn’t feel natural anyway, so I stop.

    As you can see, I realize I’m too long-winded to have a broad audience appeal anyway. :)

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  5. I began writing for myself. In fact it was about a year before I even told people I had a blog.

    Now I write for myself but with an audience in mind. I think that’s where the self censorship comes in. I try to write about things that other people might have an interest in.

    I still try to include a lot of myself but I limit it so that I’m not talking about the lives of my family or friends and I try not to bore potential readers.

    It’s hard to find a good balance of just enough/not too much self censorship.

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  6. when you come into any writing exercise – and by that i mean, any writing effort at all, be it writing a blog post, a political speech, or a grocery list – it’s important to start from inspiration and then take the time and make the effort to edit. so for me anyway, i start from an impulse to write – something pisses me off, or i’m worried about something, or something strikes me as funny or absurd or weird, and i write about it like i’m writing in my journal or in a letter to a friend.

    then i take a few moments to go back over what i’ve written and see if there is anything in it that is legally objectionable or shameful to my libertine sensibilities. i usually end up publishing it with little more editing than fixing typos. sometimes though there have been posts up for quite a while before i’ve gone back and just wiped them out of embarrassment.

    i have a readership of maybe a dozen people at the most, so i’m pretty free to shoot my mouth off any way i want. the only thing i try to consider is that once it’s out there, it’s out there for good, and stuff can come back to haunt you. otherwise, i think that it’s important to find that voice which is as unmoderated and immoderate as possible – but then i come from an OG punk rock perspective.

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  7. I write for myself, largely. I’m lazy enough that I don’t write unless I’m feeling really driven to it. I write what I want to write, when I want to write it, and I don’t much care whether it gets read or not. Don’t get me wrong: I love links and discussion and hits… but I don’t write for those things. They’re just fun extras.

    Of course, I always have an audience in mind. If it’s a big controversy, I try to write knowing that there will be people reading who don’t know me and who don’t know the subject. And if it’s something personal, I try to keep the details generic enough that I won’t get slammed if someone googles me or anyone involved. But that’s about it.

    This, of course, means that I’ll never be much of a big blogger. I’m far too sporadic and unfocused in my posting (even if the posts that do come through are pretty good most of the time). I don’t mind that, really… I’d feel guilty if there were a lot of people waiting for me to say something and I didn’t. I still feel vaguely guilty when something happens and I don’t comment, even with my weensy audience and wacky posting schedule. Ah well.

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