Although I’ve told myself (and my audience, all two and a half of them) that I just enjoy blogging for its own sake, I’ll be honest and admit it isn’t really enough. Most writers mind whether their work is read or not – even if it is only by their small and faithful audience of friends and family – and most want some sort of response to what they’ve written.
The disconcerting thing about writing a blog is that you never know what kind of response you will get. I suppose that applies to writing in general, but with a blog it’s more immediate. You know straight away that someone ‘likes’ your piece, and it’s also obviously pretty quickly if no-one does. I was disappointed, for instance, that nobody ‘liked’ the story I posted last time, when previous posts had produced at least a few immediate ‘likes’. The story did need more work, but as far as I could judge it was fairly presentable as it was. Or was it in fact markedly less good than other posts that have been ‘liked’, some of which I haven’t thought very much of at all? Perhaps the process whereby blog posts get read and ‘liked’ is more random than I like to think and depends on little more than the weather, the time of day, the title or what mood someone is in.
Or is it simply that certain things work in a blog and others don’t? I’ve posted a couple of stories previously and the odd poem, but I can’t remember now whether anyone ‘liked’ them or not. Some my most considered and heartfelt posts have had very little response, while others that were written relatively quickly and didn’t seem to be saying very much have had a lot more interest. But then I can’t see in them what I can’t see, just as I can’t see the back of my own head or the way I stand when I’m not looking in a mirror.
So how seriously do I take the favourable comments or the baffling silence? Like most writers’ egos, mine revels in a good massage from time to time. But equally I welcome feedback that isn’t all ‘positive’ but will help me to improve. I certainly get that from my lovely writing group, most of whom are far better writers than I could ever be. I wouldn’t seriously expect the same standard of interest and perspicacity from blog readers, most of whom will – like me – scroll through a post and only stop to read it properly if it takes their fancy. Unless it’s by a friend, of course, in which case I will take more time with it. I don’t necessarily ‘like’ or comment, though, unless something in particular jumps out at me.
Which all goes to show that no response is just that, and the reasons for it are unknowable. And there’s still that craven bit of me that wants to beg, “Oh please read it, please tell me you’ve read it and liked it.” In other words, please love me – the me that shows up in the blog. I’m not twisting your arm, honestly. But whether you like the blog or are totally indifferent to it, I’ll still go on talking at people in it and believing that somewhere out in cyberspace there are people who might actually enjoy it.