(Yacht running before the wind off Main Beach, near my home, July 2013)
My stats page tells me I have posted 103 times since I started this blog late in 2012. I estimate that adds up to about 80000 words; about the length of a Ph.D. thesis, but that’s most certainly where the comparison stops.
I’ve written on themes of Travel, Ethics, Philosophy, Photography, Christian Spirituality, Human Rights, Childhood Reminiscences, and a load of stuff in between. Sometimes I’m pleased with what I’ve written. Other times I cringe when I read the stuff afterwards. I’ve wondered occasionally whether readers who followed the blog after reading one particular post, would have been disappointed by subsequent posts. Certainly reader response has varied. My stats page tells me so.
With some posts the page view meter goes berserk. With others there is no response, and I wonder if the site is working. I’ve noticed a pattern: The popularity of posts, as measured by page views and comments, is more or less predictable.
Usually, whenever I have a rant or write in any way judgementally, the silence is deafening. When I write about spirituality, especially Christian spirituality, I can hear the leaves rustle, but not much else comes in response. Ethical and philosophical pieces sometimes provoke a spike in the stats, and other times not. Photography and Travel themes are the stand-out. They almost guarantee top of the charts responses, especially on facebook.
Chewing on this, I’ve learned two useful things. The first: Writing extensively about my inner world and the way I see things, isn’t a gateway to literary fame. That’s ok. I can deal with that. The second: My posts are really a dialogue with myself; an intimate exercise. They help me know myself better, and allow me to share who I am more deeply than I could ever do face to face.
There is a third, now I think about it: Although I do write for myself and to myself, I realise I also write to an audience: To you, whoever you are. So writing a post is a bit like having a three-cornered conversation. Me, myself and you. Except it’s not really a true conversation, except between me and myself, apart from the contributions of a few loyal and much appreciated correspondents. Never mind! I know you are out there and I know you read my stuff. What I don’t often know is what thoughts the blog generates in you.Really, how could it be otherwise?
I enjoy writing about stuff that interests me. I also enjoy writing on topics that cry out to me to be addressed, whether or not they are likely to be popular. If what I write interests you too I am pleased, but that’s as far as it can go. My blog is an opportunity, nothing more.
You and I will likely always be at different places along the journey of life, and not everything will gel with you the way it does with me. My blog is an opportunity for me to give expression to the me that is not always obvious to those know me, but is intrinsically me. It’s an opportunity for you to take whatever you want from that, mull it over, and hold your course or alter it as you choose.
In my blog, the voyage really is the destination. Deeply satisfying and full of promise. I can’t imagine ever reaching home port.