Friday, February 18, 2011

Type

Dear Diary:

I joined you almost three years ago. I became part of a community, at first reluctantly. As I became more comfortable, I became more willing to reach out, and let others reach in.

Since then, I have noticed two types. Those who write to write, and those who write to read.

Those who write to write do not need an audience, although they know they have one. They do not write to gain any type of fame, nor do they write to be noticed. They do not write for attention. As they write they paint a landscape of life , using as a brush the written word. The imagery created is art, and the writer truly an artist. They ask questions, but find the answers within.

Those who write to read write to an audience, searching for validation from and unknown individual who somehow believes they have the answer to the question posed. They portray an aura of self-importance, yet have the ability to assume the posture of a victim. The profess confidence, yet portray insecurity. There is no imagery, and no great story. There is nothing profound.

I am not self-righteous enough to believe that I am either one or the other. During the best of times I am one, and during the worst of times I am the other, yet for the majority of the time I am a blend. I would like to think I am confident enough to be the former for the most part, but know that I have written purely for an audience in order to be noticed on more than one occasion, leading to an interesting, and yet sad, contrast.

And while this is what I have noticed, there is nothing wrong with either type. Some choose one. Some choose the other. Some choose both. But as long as the type is chosen for the right reason, then that is what is important.

For choosing one for the wrong reason just makes one look desperate.

16 comments:

  1. I believe your voice is completely and always your own, whether you are being celebrated or criticized. Because of that I know you write to write.

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  2. I studied creative writing for 7 years -- I don't know how to NOT write with an audience in mind. But whether I have one or not is immaterial -- I'd still bang out the same kinds of posts I do now. They're fun and cathartic to write, even though they're terribly self-indulgent, which isn't the first time I've been described as such. It's natural, it's human.

    I write because I don't know what else to do. It's all I've ever wanted to do, since I was a kid -- I have 300 pages of a novel gathering dust under my bed somewhere. And I'll continue writing, until I can't type or scrawl another word.

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  3. That's actually a great observation. I tend to agree. Then I wonder which type I am...and I wonder if I fall somewhere in between too.

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  4. i swing wildly between writing strictly for myself, writing for the "audience" (generic) and writing specifically at one or two people in particular. i feel cheapest when i resort to the last one, because it's almost always motivated by less-than-pure impulses, like to score points in public that i can't score in private.

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  5. What I write in my private journal (offline) is strictly for me. What I write online is for an audience and for me--if it weren't in part for an audience, I wouldn't post it online. I think you can write for an audience and not just be looking for affirmation. I began writing for community, to find others who could relate to my story and whose stories I could relate to as well.

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  6. Agreed.

    I think I change depending on the day, my mood, the topic...

    Mostly, I write just to get the stuff outta my head.

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  7. I think I fall in the middle. Sometimes I write a post and I just throw it up and its raw and uncensored. And other times, well, I write the exact same kind of post only I'm at least aware that someone is going to read it and I cringe as I hit publish. Maybe its ok to be in the middle. I at least try to be honest whether I'm writing for an audience or spontaneously.

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  8. everyone writes for an audience, or this really would be a diary.

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  9. I struggle with this. I started the blog for me, and I had a very small audience at the old blog. I needed it to get out some very difficult stuff I was dealing with. Since I moved to the new blog, and as I see my stats growing a bit, I find myself apprehensive to write some things. Like I have a crowd to answer to now. I know that is silly. Blogging could really be looked at as the ultimate in passive-aggressiveness; we write *as though* we are talking to ourselves with the knowledge that someone is listening.

    ...and sometimes my babbling serves no point, such as right now.

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  10. Interesting, I posted today on the exact same topic Counterfeit Validation - The Need to be Followed. Check it out if you're interested. I think that post says it all for me http://chopperpapa.com/?p=962

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  11. oh man this is soooooooooo true. i wish i was the write to write person...but I love having an audience and what can i say...im a glutton for laughs.

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  12. In the beginning, I wrote to the abyss. I had to, I didn't know what an audience was.

    But, as people begin to comment, and you in turn, comment on other blogs, you begin to write to an audience because someone is listening.

    I find myself leaning to agree with kitty - if it were for yourself, it would be a diary or a journal.

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  13. The etymology of blog is the shortened form of Weblog. A Weblog is an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page.

    So, technically, a blog is personal. Just because it is accessibly to an audience does not mean it is written for one.

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  14. That geeky response of yours makes me heart you just a teeny bit more, nerd. ;)

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  15. Quite simply, I love this post.

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  16. Interesting. I truly think if people didn't want some sort of audience, they would scribble in a notebook. That being said, I try to not sell myself short by pandering.

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