30 November 2015
Even as I attempt to (s)crawl my way back to a more regular writing schedule, the question that has been bugging me since, well, early this year continues to nibble away at the edge of my thoughts, like an annoying rabbit that’s found an extra crunchy lettuce leaf there and won’t leave me alone. Why do I blog? Or tweet or Instagram or put myself out there in any form, really?
Hardly anyone visits my website, and I have the numbers to prove it. I don’t know if anyone reads my tweets, and the dozen friends who regularly “like” my Instagram pics probably don’t justify my diligence – no offence, guys. The one place I am guaranteed a fairly captive audience is Facebook – simply because those people are my friends and family – and I rarely share anything there.
Early this year, I briefly considered closing down my website, Twitter account and Instagram. The only thing that stopped me was the assumption that I would probably want to go back to them at some stage. Today, I can honestly say, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I WAS THINKING.
So why do I blog? Or tweet or Instagram or put myself out there in any form? I finally found my answer one morning, and it was so simple I’m stunned that I didn’t figure it out myself. Screenwriter Max Landis, in a reply to /Film, said:
@slashfilm I’m a writer, and I get primary pleasure in my life from having things I wrote read. It’s a vice, maybe? I don’t know.
— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) August 10, 2015
(To understand what they were discussing, read this.)
I’m a writer, pure and simple. And unlike Landis, who gets to derive pleasure from having people read his work because he’s a successful Hollywood screenwriter, I get my kicks from penning coherent sentences that hopefully mean something, and putting them out into the big unknown.
It doesn’t matter if one person reads it or one hundred, I have to hit “publish” because I don’t get the same satisfaction from amassing a private folder full of Word documents. I suppose there’s a narcissistic element to it as well – I always think all writers are at least a little bit narcissistic when it comes to their work.
For so long I’d been trying to figure out what I’m doing here. Am I trying to accomplish something? What’s the point of all this? No one would blame me for shutting it all down to focus on the stuff that I actually get paid for. But something in me always goes, STOP. And I understand that there will come moments when I need this space, these outlets. It won’t be all the time, but when I do, that’s when it’ll really matter.