I criss-cross over that blurry, gray area often.
You know the one.
On one side, you have clear-cut reasons for blogging. For you. And you, alone. You write what inspires you. You write what moves you or troubles you. You get it all out on the computer screen, you click publish and voila! Your soul is purged. The weight is lifted. And you can go about your day a lighter, happier person.
On the other side, you have clear-cut goals for your blog. You want to entertain. You want to engage people in discussion. You want to make people think. You study (ok, not so much study…how about wonder…wonder very, very intently. If grades were given for this activity, I’d probably get a D+) your stats, trying to figure out what people want to read. What are your most popular posts? Are you best at comic relief or social commentary? You agonize. You wonder. You think you have something and you write it down. You, with great trepidation, click publish. Your soul weighs heavy with anticipation. You walk away with uncertainty hanging over you like a cloud. Later, when you check the comments or stats you are either shocked that they loved it or puzzled that they didn’t.
Then, there is that gray area. Where you’re writing for you. Where you’re writing for them. A sweet mixture, passionate for both sides. Cheering for both teams. Hoping for a tie score just as you click that publish button.
I spend most of my time in that gray area. Sure, I want to write what I want to write but I want what I’ve written read. Read by someone. Anyone. I want to be heard. And felt. And understood. I want to share. I want to learn from the comments. And grow from the feedback. I want to be introduced to new ideas. I want to inspire someone to look at things differently or share in the company of a similar experience.
So I’ve been working on this formula. The perfect amount of time spent in each area.
When I created this formula I was a little disappointed in my emphasis on pleasing the reader. But let’s face it. No one likes to write to the wind. We want someone to see what we’ve written. We all crave a little validation.
Jana’s comment yesterday (Jana of Learn. Make. Think.) was the inspiration for today’s post. She was thrilled by my last couple posts that revealed more of myself. I read her words, puzzled. Seriously? People want to know more of me? Why? I’m not really that interesting. I’m just like you. And you. And you, over there, lurking and never commenting. And then, of course, there have been the couple shout-outs by WordPress. Or the spike in comments on my more light-hearted posts, or pictures, or serious comments on the world order or music I listen to. Or, the severe lack of comments on my more light-hearted posts, or pictures, or serious comments on the world order or music I listen to.
Because I sure as heck can’t.
What about you? How do you determine what to write? Who do you write for? And how much time do you spend pondering the impossible?