While sitting with friends at my Tuesday night men’s group, I was jotting down some thoughts for a blog post. After explaining to a friend what I was doing, he asked
“Who reads your blog?”
There are so many subtle implications to that question.
Who reads it, as in, who wastes their time reading your blog?
Who of importance reads it. If they aren’t known, then your writing isn’t important.
Who, as in “how many people” read it? As if there is some magic line drawn by an unspecified number of readers, that divides between a blog that is of no real value, and one that is worth the time to give attention to it.
Truthfully, I don’t know who reads it. Or how many.
On a good day, it might be 50 people. On another day, it may be less than 10. Neither of those numbers is really impressive, but is that the point? Is the value of someone’s writing only defined by the sheer number of people who read it? Thousands of people read the billboards that align the highway near my home. These advertisements would hardly be described as quality writing.
But to be honest, I don’t write for readers. And I struggle with the concept of self-promotion. I write for me. To explore my ideas and beliefs. To find out what I think about life and the world around me. I write to find my voice, and to share it with the world. But I don’t worry who reads it. Or who likes it. Or who responds. That is icing on the proverbial cake.
This is what I teach my students. To write for themselves. To search their ideas and beliefs. To create. Because the real reward of writing is in the process itself. If my writing encourages, enlightens, provokes, or inspires someone else, that is all a bonus.
But my friend doesn’t know that. He doesn’t read my blog. And that’s okay with me.