Monday, July 7, 2008

Do people really care about what you have to say?

The other day I was at lunch with a few friends who are about as far removed from the tech world as one can get when, somehow, the subject of blogging came up. One of my friends who I've known for a number of years asked if I would still blog if I knew people didn't read my words.

"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.

I wrote.

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.


idabel oklahoma said...

I once read.. getting comments is one of the best signals of how well your content is resonating with readers. So, I'm commenting to let you know you resonate me. Seriously, I do enjoy your words. You will probably read my blog and think, her brain can not possible understand what I write. My blog is just an escape, nothing serious, just stupid fun. Yours is very good and taken seriously.

Jill of All Trades said...

I feel the same way. I didn't have any viewers/readers until I started joining some blog catalogs lately and it is a thrill to know others read my words, but, I would still write as I've always done for many years be it pen or the keyboard. It is just random stuff that pops out of my head at any given moment but I LOVE it!

LADYwSENSE said...

I feel your passion for writing and I understand how you feel about it.Writing is an expression of what we are within, and believe me it's one of life's VENT.
As a nurse it is the second most important intervention there is. LET PATIENT VERBALIZE FEELINGS to relieve pain and tension.Life is much better because we can write and i share the same passion like yours.Our pen and our beautiful fingertips so far is our mightiest weapon to face this world don't we?