Blogging Insights — Who Do I Write For?

For this week’s Blogging Insights prompt, Dr. Tanya has given us a quote about writing and asked us for our reaction to the quote.

The quote is from Cyril Connolly, who was an English literary critic and writer. He said…

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.

My initial reaction to this quote is whatever floats your boat. If you don’t care about attracting a large public following and want to blog for your own satisfaction and fulfillment, good for you. You do you. If your goal is to amass a huge following, and that means catering to your public, that’s cool to. I personally believe you can attract a following and be true to yourself at the same time.

I started blogging in 2005 because I felt compelled to write and someone suggested that I start a blog for my writing. It started out mostly as a personal journal where I posted about whatever was on my mind. Most of my early posts were long, meandering posts and I wasn’t really expecting others to be interested. I was writing exclusively for myself and there literally was no public reading my blog. Not even members of my own family.

In July of 2013, I moved my blog to WordPress. By then I had learned to write shorter, less meandering posts. I also started experimenting with flash fiction and responding to WordPress and a few other bloggers’ prompts. And I was thrilled when other people started reading my posts, commenting on my posts, and following my blog.

My writing has continued to evolve. I respond to more prompts from WordPress and from other bloggers. I now host a handful of prompts myself. I continue to write relatively short posts (possibly due to writing on an iPhone), and I’ve tried, for my own mental health and wellbeing, to be a little less political.

But through it all, I still write for myself. Yes, my blog has lots of followers. Yes, my posts get a decent number of views, likes, and comments daily. And that’s great. But even if it went back to what is was like when I first started blogging and I had no “public,” I would continue to write. After all, my most important member of the public is me, and if I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I write and re-read my posts, I can say that I haven’t sacrificed myself solely to generate a larger public following. With my blog, what you read is who I am.

So back to Cyril Connolly’s quote, I don’t think writing for the public and writing for yourself are — or need to be — mutually exclusive.

15 thoughts on “Blogging Insights — Who Do I Write For?

  1. Wiwohka May 22, 2023 / 5:48 pm

    I really enjoyed this…I was just pondering this morning over how those I love and call family rarely if ever read what I write, the more I write, the better I feel, the less it matters who reads it. Thx.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jilldennison May 22, 2023 / 7:27 pm

    I fully agree! My blog is my own, I write what I want/need to, often things or issues that I’m trying to understand better and can do so through my writing. I don’t write for the purpose of getting x number of views per day, but admittedly I find it rewarding when people take their time and effort to read my work and comment. Rather like an author of a book who wrote the book because it needed to be written, and he hopes people will buy it, but if it isn’t a bestseller … so what? Personal satisfaction, growth, etc., are a big part of the equation, at least for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 22, 2023 / 10:03 pm

      You expressed that very well. I feel the same way. But I have cut way back on my political posts. Used to get so damn angry writing them that I felt it was unhealthy for me. But I really do enjoy and appreciate your post. I think the two of us are pretty much on the same page and you express your views (our views) and perspectives in a much more articulate and thoughtful manner than I ever could. I come across like an angry old man yelling at the Republicans to get off my damn grass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jilldennison May 23, 2023 / 12:19 pm

        I think that our writing would be flat, somehow stale, if we didn’t do it mostly for ourselves, if we did it solely for kudos or for profit. Ha ha … I hear you about the “angry old man …” Sometimes I can’t help myself from simply letting forth a rant!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. drtanya@saltedcaramel May 25, 2023 / 8:29 pm

    “I don’t think writing for the public and writing for yourself are — or need to be — mutually exclusive.”

    I think this is the best view about this week’s quote.

    Liked by 1 person

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