Diving headlong into this writing project was a bit of a leap into the unknown. I knew I wanted to build up my writing habit but otherwise didn’t set any creative boundaries beyond that. 16 days in and it’s been a rollercoaster ride. The writing itself has been relatively easy as I’ve scribbled away on ideas and reflections as they’ve happened or specifically with the purpose of writing up a blog post. What I hadn’t anticipated was the effort it takes to turn personal jottings into something publishable on my blog.
Setting aside the technical difficulties with my website or the fact I have played catch up with my publishing online, writing for a public audience requires a level of rigour that is under appreciated. Thinking about this, I remembered a blog post from a fellow blogger who I admire. Sabrina posed the question “who do you blog for?” and I’ve been thinking about that question ever since.
No question, I blog for myself as a way to record my thoughts and distill my ideas. But beyond that I have little definition of who I am writing for. I started blogging to keep in touch my family and friends with our new life in New Zealand, but it’s not such a new life any more and I’m sure that except for immediate family that audience has completed disappeared. Instead my audience is mostly other bloggers whose blogs I also read.
Unsurprisingly bloggers appreciate the work of other blogs. They understand the rhythms of writing. The ups and downs, the lean times where words are hard to find, and the slightly addictive compulsions of sharing your thoughts and deeds. I’m half way through my 30-day wordsmithing challenge and feels pretty good to write regularly again although I can’t help but think I should have more of a plan about what I should write.
In reality I just start writing. Not quite the first thing that comes into my head, but raw thoughts based on the scribblings in my notebook. What’s amazing though is that my published posts so rarely look like my handwritten notes. Somehow the sheer act of using a keyboard turns private ideas and notions into something publishable like some sort of internal translation system. I’ve never noticed the subliminal editing before and now I have it’s hard not to feel self-conscious about it as I write.
It’s a bit like dancing on your own in an empty house with the music turned up, then, catching yourself in the mirror to realise that the crazy person staring back is actually you.