When I volunteered to cover “audience and writing for readers” for the Unconventional Blog Tour, I thought it would be easy. I even “wrote” a bit out during my commute to and from work. No, fellow drivers, not literally, but rather working through some ideas and concepts.
Then I sat down to write it; and not only didn’t the writing come easy, but the draft post was eaten by the Internet. I’ll take that as a sign that perhaps it wasn’t as brilliant as I thought it was.
The short, easy answer to “why do I write,” or, here, “why do I blog,” is “for myself.”
The longer, philosophical answer gets into a combination of wanting to be heard; but also wanting to connect with others, through writing and reading, commenting and posting. For this particular area of the universe, it’s connecting over books and reading and literacy and reading culture. But either of those answers are, in a way, so bland as to be meaningless.
To be honest, when I picture a reader — picture an audience — well, I picture me. Not me, precisely: not me in terms of gender, age, politics, religion, career, education, etc., etc.
I’m a reader, so I write for readers. I write about books, and why I like certain books. It can be a bit difficult, especially when it’s about a book where I want a reader to discover the book just like I did, but at the same time, I want to delve into what made the book so incredible and that could spoil the book for readers. How do I figure that out? Based entirely on what I enjoyed finding out for myself.
I write for people interested in reading culture. People who realize a “book” is more than paper or e-ink; who are intrigued by story or narrative; who want to be entertained; who are seeking information. Who see the value in people reading, and so are interested in all the things that go along with stories and books and reading: diversity, and cover art, and publishing; different types of readers; how a draft becomes a book; what the difference is between “young adult” and “tweens”; what reading levels really mean; etc. etc. This includes writing as if reading matters; and hoping that my readers, here, share that belief.
I’m a librarian whose job involves Readers Advisory, so I write about why people would want to read certain books. RA is about more than telling people what my favorite books are, it’s about identifying what the appeal factors are for certain books and writing about that. Readers of this blog will, hopefully, see that and remember books not for themselves, but for the readers they work with. Booksellers or teachers may call that book matchmaking something different, but the common intent is there.
I’ve seen various things in other places (articles, blog posts, twitter) about what blogs are or aren’t; what bloggers are or aren’t; what blogs should or should not be. And then they give advice to all and sundry based on that.
I won’t go into what does or does not work for other bloggers.
To be honest — and I’m trying to be honest — this is what works for me. This is what makes me tick.
It’s not true for everyone.
And it shouldn’t be true for everyone because then the blogosphere would be terribly boring. Even if somethings are the same — say, you blog for readers — you may come to it with a different approach than what works for me (which tends to be a combination of what I enjoyed about a book and what others may like about the book).
So why do you blog?