When I logged onto the blog today, I checked my site statistics. I’d say I check once every couple of days or so just to see if anyone’s stopped by. It’s ego, maybe. Or hope. Writer’s hope.
Because I wonder: if a writer writes and no one’s around to read the words … is she still a writer?
Today I’ve noticed I’ve had four visitors: a fairly busy day. One from the United States and the others from Argentina, Brazil, and Italy. Sounds cosmopolitan, I know, but since I’m assuming these are mostly spam, what I’m hearing here on the blog is … the echo of my own voice.
It’s mostly just me, a few other kindly folks, and a couple of old friends reading ’round here. And my husband – who’s always faithful, loyal, and my number one fan.
There’s been a lot written about bringing more readers to your blog. Many articles have also been published about the demise of blogging as a communication tool between writers, idea generators, and the reading public. Sometimes I read other bloggers’ helpful suggestions, sometimes not. In either case, I don’t have much time to “build traffic,” and what I’d really rather do is spend time on the writing. The craft. The dream-catching.
I guess one truth is: I’m not sure who my reading audience is … or even … and this is especially important, if I’ve got anything to say that’s of any value to anyone else. I’ve got a writer’s voice, but I know my content is mostly self-reflective. If I’ve got a theme of any kind, I guess it’s teaching myself to feel hopeful in a world … that mostly isn’t. For a lot of people. And for so many, many reasons.
When I speak to my students, my 32 miraculous, surprise-me-all-the-time writers, about writing every day, I believe in and try to follow my own advice. If I’m not writing here, I’m capturing the will ‘o the wisps of truth fleeting through my thoughts and guiding my life in a journal. I want to write real and inspire my students to do the same. And here’s one more of my truths: Those kids quite likely motivate me more than I motivate them.
So in my writing life, the wind may blow me this way and that – but it always dies down after awhile. Because there is one truth among those who write above all other truths … Writers write.
And so I’m a writer – even when no one else is around to read the words.