Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who Reads a Blog? Does it Matter?

Following the advice of Ralph McInerny that I quoted in a blog post over a year ago, I try to write my entries here in such a way that others will want to read them.
But I've never really been satisfied with the number who do read. Why do other blogs have hundreds or even thousands of readers, while my own incredible blog struggles along with a mere handful?
A quotation I came across in yesterday's Wall Street Journal helped me understand that while every writer hopes for a large readership - and every author wants to write a best seller - maybe the act of writing is a good in itself. Even if no others read, the author may still gain.
I do find that this blog helps me think issues through. It's a repository of some notable things I read elsewhere and want to remember. And it meets my needs for creativity which, though small, do exist.
Here's the W. Somerset Maugham quote that got me thinking about this yesterday. With apologies to a dead man, I changed "book" to "blog" to make the thought more obviously applicable:
It is a salutary discipline to consider the vast number of blogs that are written, the fair hopes with which their authors see them published, and the fate which awaits them. What chance is there that any blog will make its way among the multitude? And the successful blogs are but the successes of a season. Heaven knows what pains the author has been at, what bitter experiences he has endured and what heartache suffered, to give some chance reader a few hours' relaxation or to while away the tedium of a journey. And if I may judge from the reviews, many of these blogs are well and carefully written; much thought has gone to their composition; to some even has been given the anxious labor of a lifetime. The moral I draw is that the writer should seek his reward in the pleasure of his work and in release from the burden of his thought; and, indifferent to aught else, care nothing for praise or censure, failure or success.
From "The Moon and Sixpence" by W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

1 comment:

  1. I read this blog! And good thing to remember when writing too...