It has been nearly two months since I began this blog, and I told myself at the start that I would be writing for my own pleasure, which it isn’t always, and that I should not expect too much from others. Pretty quickly, I learned that I could not steer friends and acquaintances my way since they nearly all fell silent after visiting, and some didn’t even visit.
Last week I received two way-to-go comments in my spam folder, and I was swooning. How could these be spam, I wondered. They seemed so obviously addressed to the particular me, and I actually responded to one of them. This morning, I came here to write and discovered 20 comments in my spam folder, each a variation on the ones I just described. I can’t figure out the angle since there were no apparent solicitations, but I have to say that I feel a little hoodwinked and more than a little ashamed of my innocence.
Also, there were not many but at least more visitors last week than there had been previously, and I found myself feeling somehow obliged to be better than my best self. Now that I had some followers, it went on in me, I would need to become brilliant if I wanted to attract loyalty.
The past few days, visiting fell to zero and along with it my confidence. By last night I had written several different posts, none of them especially good, and these ended up in the trash. So this is what I have come to: When I think I am writing for others, however imagined or however I imagine them, I lose myself and my capacity to write authentically. It is this authenticity I believe, or want to believe, that will draw others to my work.