Writing a blog is really a great source of ideas.
It’s 23.33, sunday night.
In theory, in about thirty minutes a post should go online on Karavansara.
And here I am, staring at the fog inundating my courtyard like a pool of soap water, and racking my brain for an idea.
And then, on my other blog, the Italian one, a surfer comments a recent post, asking…
Why do you care about the number of readers reading your blog?
Is it a matter of money – more readers, more donations?
Or is it a way to confirm how good you are? More readers means I’m a better writer?
Why bother about being read?
Now, ok, I’ll admit it – I’m facing a difficult week, and my first reaction is slamming repeatedly my forehead on the keyboard.
When someone that’s actually reading me asks me why I am interested in being read, the sense of emptyness and desolation scares me witless for ten seconds solid.
But then, c’mon, let’s think about it – here’s a theme for the new post!
Why bother about being read?
It goes for my blog(s), for my stories, my non-fiction stuff, my academical works…
And I don’t mean why bother writing, mind you.
Writing is hard as hell, frustrating, does not command a lot of respect, but what the heck, it’s the best game in town.
Better than reading, most of the time – which is why I’m a writer first, a reader second (if you like to make lists – I’m a lot of things at the same time, actually).
Writing is the most fun you can have alone.
But what about the desire of being read?
Why value the readers, why desire as many readers as possible?
You probably met those guys, the ones that say they write for themselves.
I don’t circulate my stories/poetry/whatnot… I write for myself.
I always thought it’s silly.
Meaning, ok – I write for myself, meaning I am the one that wants to know how the story ends, what the characters will do, what the universe in which they live looks like.
And the story has to satisfy me first.
But then, I need readers.
And it’s not about money – although being paid for our work, being recognized as a professional, is important, and feels good.
Money keeps me alive long enough for my passion to fire up another story.
But it can’t be a simple matter of money.
It’s not like notches on the grip of my Colt.
And it’s not a simple matter of getting a certification of sorts.
It’s not a race – oh, it might look like that, in Top Tens and Sales Ranks, but it’s not the reason why I want to reach as many readers as possible.
Ten readers more does not mean now I’m ten …whatevers… better than before.
Dammit, if the number of readers was a certification of quality, we should all kow tow to nerdy chicks writing slash porn fanfictions about the Winchester brothers*.
So, why bother?
My personal answer – which is mine, and it’s all right if for you is different (and I’d like to hear from you in the comments) – but my answer is this:
I get a hell of a kick out of the idea of someone out there feeling about me the way I feel when thinking about… H.P. Lovecraft, R.E Howard, Leigh Brackett, E.R. Burroughs, Ray Chandler, Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, or any other of the few dozens of writers which are my personal Pantheon.
I want to reach as many readers as possible because I want to touch the lives of as many individuals as possible.
Maybe providing ten minutes of fun.
Ten minutes of fun and a spark of an idea are enough.
Enough to make my day.
Enough for me to ask for more.
That’s why I bother.
* yes, this is sexist, and cliché, and unjust.
Sorry ’bout that.