It’s amazing how quickly the things I do can shift from “for myself” to “for others.” Take this blog, for instance. My first few entries were written before I announced my projec tto the public. I would say those entries were the closest I’ve been to writing purely for myself. I didn’t rightly care what I wrote, just that I was writing. The act itself was more important than the results. However, I’ve noticed a chance since other people started reading and commenting. I find myself thinking more about what I say, and if people are going to want to read it. I feel like I should write something interesting, which will hopefully spark discussion and commentary. I’ve started checking the stats daily, to see what kind of traffic I’m getting. In short, I’ve started writing for the readers and not the writer.
That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate having my words out there and read; by no means do I want you to stop reading (I have been reading all the comments so far, even if I don’t respond to them)! It’s just something I’ve noticed, an insidious mind worm that shifts things towards a purpose different than the one I started out striving for. Maybe it’s ego: there is an inevitable rush of satisfaction and validation when you realize that people read what you write, especially without asking them to. And being social creatures that crave validation, that taps into a very deep level of our psyche. So I suppose I shouldn’t feel bad for merely being human, but it is unexpected; I don’t think of myself as overly ego-driven, but my recent actions say otherwise.
I also have started wondering about the daily posting schedule. It’s not likely to change any time soon, but it doesn’t leave me much time to develop longer essays and discussions. I’m trying to build up a buffer so that I can take a few days off, since I don’t want to burn out yet again doing something that I love. Right now I’ve got a post lined up for the weekend (the second half of Webcomics I Read), but I’d like at least a few days. If I can write two entries on my days off (or short work days), that may get me somewhere. But I think it’s important for me to keep on writing, at least a little bit every day. I just want to find a way to work on longer things, too.
So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. My reasons for writing want to change, and I’m not sure I want them to. I want to continue writing daily, but I want the time and motivation to write longer, more in-depth things (that I might even have a chance to edit). I said before that writing helps me put my thoughts in order, and this is another example. In fact, I’ve even got an idea for another entry. I don’t know if I’ll have time to write it, but I think I’m going to try.
But I do appreciate you reading this.