Dino’s Journal

Writing

So when I started this experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I disable the ability for me to view this site's stats. The result, a much better online writing experience. Not being influenced by the number of readers I get, allows me to simply not worry about it. It makes it easier to just write about something I want to write about. It makes it easier to write for myself.

As a related update to the results from Experiment Log – 001, I found that the number of readers did not increase in the 2nd half of that experiment. It stayed low when my posts were not being listed in the Read.Write.As feed. As I stated in the results for that experiment though, I no longer care about that.

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It's been almost one month since I started this experiment. I've decided to end it at the start of a new month, just because I didn't see any benefit to prolonging it. I started this experiment with the intention of answering the questions below. And so here are the answers.

I want to see if not publishing to the Read Write.As feed will decrease the number of people reading my posts.

So this was interesting because during the start of this experiment, I still had access to my site's stats. However, a little over a week after starting this experiment, I started Experiment Log – 003, which basically hid my site's stats.

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That “something else” might be something similar to the Hawthorne's. Of course it might not be on that intimate of a level, but to have another individual read our entries and build a joint narrative alongside us – a vision of writing on the web as writing in a shared journal.

I think CJ Eller in this post touched upon something that I didn't know was at the back of my mind; part of me wants my close friends to also be writing journals or writing on their own blogs.

Back when I was in high school, it was me and a couple of friends who were always playing around with computers and consequently the internet. We had our own Archmage guild. We tried to find ways to end up in the same kingdom when playing Utopia. We spent countless nights hanging out on mIRC channels. We had customized Friendster profiles. We had our own blogs. We basically followed each other online, just like close friends do.

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Dino Bansigan is concerned about writing “more for myself and less to an audience” but I find myself wondering why those must be seen as mutually exclusive. Is it not possible to write for oneself yet to an audience?

Bix asked a good question that I don't have an answer to.

For some reason, I cannot wrap my head around the concept of writing for myself, but at the same time writing to an audience. I feel like if I can just look at it from a different angle though, I would figure it out. The closest thing I can think of, is writing for myself but writing in such a way that the content is palatable to readers. But then, wouldn't I be writing to an audience?

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How I Know I'm Writing To An Audience

  • I keep checking the view counts on my posts.
  • I keep checking the stats on my site.
  • I'm using the pronoun “we”, instead of “I” when I'm writing a post.
  • I'm trying to add context to my post, or trying to explain something in my post, which would not have been necessary had I been the only intended audience. For example, trying to explain or justify why I made a specific decision is a hint that I'm writing to an audience other than myself.
  • I'm writing in a way as to encourage comments from readers. – I don't really do this on posts on this online journal, but more so on posts on my dev blog.

If I keep those listed cues in mind, I should be able to write more for myself and less to an audience.

#Reflection #Writing #Blogging

I want to get back to writing for myself. When I started this online journal, all I was looking for was a place to write down my thoughts. A place where I can express myself. An outlet. A hobby.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of this. I bought into the idea that I should write posts that have value. And that those were the only kind of posts worth writing about. And while that is a very admirable goal, I realized that I could not sustain that kind of effort. Not when I work full time as a senior software developer. I also realized that it changed how I write: I was writing for the views; I was writing to an audience.

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I originally started this site as my personal, somewhat anonymous online journal. The plan was to write journal entries about the daily happenings of my life. It would serve as some sort of historical record of my life, shared online.

However, as I was going through the digital declutter phase, I've had a few realizations that convinced me to change the focus for this online journal.

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