Writing for Myself

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.

I was jealous of bix when he said:

Obviously, anyone actually reading me knows I don’t think about your time very much, and I certainly don’t have any trouble posting every hour day. Mostly I blog for myself, and recently I removed Statcounter and W3Counter code so I stopped letting myself get trapped into thinking about readership at all.

It sounds counterintuitive and maybe it is, but I really need my blog to be a place where readership is an afterthought. With all this talk about blogging being about “thinking out loud”—and what’s more, thinking out loud in your own space which other people are free to ignore—I just can’t think much about, well, you.

I want to be able to do that; blog without worrying about an audience.

Then there's this other blogger who just popped on the Read Write.As feed and said:

1 ~ This blog isn't for you.

It's for me. But don't worry, that's cool. It's great that you're here.

I envy being able to say that.

A series of posts that I love writing, but don't really consider as posts with “value”, are the Music Log posts. I enjoy writing them, because I enjoy listening to good music. It is a form of self-expression really, like saying “this is the kind of music that makes my day.” It has nothing to do with writing a post that has “value”. This is me writing more for myself than to an audience. When I restricted myself to only writing posts that have “value”, I restricted my ability to write posts like this, to write for myself. Yet I still did anyway, and this started an internal debate that went on for months, until today.

Today I asked myself, what is really stopping me from going back to writing for myself? I realized that the answer is, “Nothing.” I was the one who was setting limitations on what I should and should not write about.

With that in mind, I plan to move my Game Log posts, from my gaming journal into this one. Playing video games is a big part of who I am. In fact, I even wrote down “gamer” as part of this site's description. And yet I rarely get to talk about video games on this online journal. Why is that? It was because I was preventing myself from doing so, because I thought the people following my online journal would not be interested in those kinds of posts. There I go again, caring about the audience.

One thing I have confirmed from the experiment to unlist my blog from the Read Write.As feed, is that I was definitely, writing to an audience.

I want to get back to writing for myself.

#Reflection #Writing #Blogging