"After all," he said, "how do you know that people really care what you have to say?"
I pondered that point for a minute because I think it's something that every single person who has the gut wrenching need to sit at a keyboard and chronicle the secret and intimate happenings of their lives for the entertainment of others has to face: what happens if people simply don't care? Why, after all, would one invest the emotional energy that it takes to create a personal blog if nobody is going to read it?
I can't answer for other bloggers but I blog for a number of reasons. Mostly, I do it because I love writing. It's something I have been obsessed with since I was five years old and writing stories about epic battles between alien invaders and robots. It continued through my teen years when I fell in love with J.R.R Tolkien and D.H. Lawrence.
Throughout college I wrote nearly every day and, even though very few of my words ever saw the light of day, I continued to write with the passion and vigor of a well worn veteran. I cared about every word and I carefully crafted each piece I wrote with the same care I would if it were going to appear in The New York Times.
Time marched on. I finished college and moved into my chosen field. But my love of writing never waned and, no matter how much I tried to avoid it, I always found myself back with pen in hand. It was like an addiction. I explored different styles: personal journalling, fiction, biographical, it didn't matter. I wrote. It was burning within me and had to come out. It didn't matter if I was good or not or if anyone else ever read my words.
Then I discovered blogging and, suddenly, I had a way to get my words before others and allow them to stand on their own and be judged. Again, I felt the excitement and passion rise as I wrote about everything from tech to family and put it out before a potential crowd of millions. It was intoxicating. It was exciting. I felt alive.
Funny thing is that I still feel that passion every time I write a post for you to read. I feel it now as I sit in a coffee shop anxiously waiting to meet with someone who could change my life. I'm filled with nervousness but compelled to write; to reach out.
So to answer my friends question: yes, I would blog even if nobody read my words. I don't do it for others. I do it to satisfy the burning hunger I feel deep within.
But I'm always glad to have some company along the way.