Audience. Followers. Publicity. All are new territory for me. Up until last summer I almost exclusively wrote for letters, school projects, and journal entries. In all of these types of writing my readers were well defined. I either wrote for my friends, my teachers, or myself. It was easy to think about who would be reading what I wrote because I knew my readers personally. All of that changed when I entered the blogging world.
I started my personal blog as an outlet. I felt a compelling need to share my writing, even if nobody read it. I was an avid reader of blogs, and for several years I had considered starting one of my own, and one day last June I decided to take the plunge.
Honestly, in the beginning I had no expectation of anyone reading my blog. For the first couple of weeks a few people read my blog. They were all people I knew, but I was excited to have someone read what I wrote. It just felt good to get my writing out into the open. Then, one day, I wrote a post, and a random stranger read it. To tell the truth, at first it freaked me out. I simply didn’t know what to do with the thought of someone outside of my friends and family actually reading what I had to say. I realized, however, that I read the blogs of people I don’t know all the time. The fact that I don’t know them doesn’t stop me from loving their writing. Why wouldn’t my readers feel the same about my blog?
Having strangers read my blog has made me think about my readers more. It is helpful to consider how people will interpret what I write. I want my writing to point to the glory of God.
This week in my writing class we participated in an interesting exercise where we described our ideal reader. Here’s what I came up with:
“I want to write for someone who is on the edge between living life with abandon or settling for mediocrity. I want to write for someone who is trying to decide if a life of adventure and pursuing their dreams is worth it. I want to write for someone who is trying to choose between a safe and easy life, or a difficult one lived for the glory of God. I want my words to be a catalyst, and give someone hope and encouragement, while simultaneously challenging them. I want someone to be inspired by my writing.”
I’m sure I’ll be doing lots more learning about what it means to have readers, but for right now I simply want to say thank you! Thank you readers, whether I know you personally or not, for supporting me in this endeavor! Thank you for sticking with me when my writing is messy and underdeveloped and thank you for giving me the space I need to pursue this dream!