“A writer really writes for an audience of about ten persons. Of course, if others like it, that is clear gain. But if those ten are satisfied, he is content.”
Alfred North Whitehead
I read a blog a few days ago about blogging. The blogger suggested that people who say they write blogs for themselves may as well just write in a journal. His comment prompted a thought or two about why I write a blog. Here is my initial conclusion:
I write a blog to share ideas that I find entertaining, edifying, encouraging, enlightening, and/or empowering. The E-ticket. Some of those ideas come from other people; some of them come from me. It doesn’t matter the source. If I like it, I share it with my audience of about ten persons.
I am thinking about sharing more of my stories. I like my stories; sometimes they really crack me up. My father used to say, “I’m going to tell myself a joke.” Then he would be quiet for a few seconds while he was thinking of his joke. Then he would laugh out loud. He never told the rest of us what the joke was. I’m like my father in that I like to tell myself stories, but, unlike him, I share them with those around me.
(Note to self: The tricky part of sharing stories is their length. Stories on a blog should not go on forever like Aunt Edna’s ass. They should be short and neat. That is no problem for “Clark the Cat” and “Life at Cabela’s” stories. I can make them short enough. However, I don’t know if I can do the same with the “Rhino” stories. We’ll see.)
I write my blog for another audience of persons who happen to be dead. (If they don’t mind, then I certainly don’t.) I write for George MacDonald, C. S. Lewis, Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, H. L. Mencken, Kurt Vonnegut, Leopold Aldo, Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, G. K. Chesterton, and Isaac Asimov. They have been the source of so much inspiration, it seems only fitting that I should share the fruits of their labors.
There is another audience for whom I write—the persons in my karass. These are the people whose taste in the literature is the same as mine. Imagine that books are like pizzas. The people in my karass all like the same toppings on a thin crust. Our favorite literary names are Elizabeth and Alice.
Knowing one’s audience is supposed to be a good thing. Finding one’s audience is also good if one can do it. I recommend finding your three audiences: Ten living persons, ten dead persons, and the persons in your karass. You may not know who is in the last one; I mean, with all the billions of people in the world eating every imaginable kind of pizza, how can we find that special community who shares our taste? You just have to believe that they are out there, eating their personal pizza by themselves wishing that someone would join them. That’s another reason I write. I’m looking for pizza partners. There is room at my table.