"Who do you write the blog for," Someone asked me today. The answer is simple, yet incredibly liberating. Plus, it's an answer everyone should copy. I write the blog for my own personal consumption.
I am the audience.
If anyone else enjoys it, that's gravy. It's all part of "my work, done my way." But this comes from something deeper and more fundamental. Let's start over with that, and progress forward. It's about:
- "My thought, done my way."
and then, naturally, the consequence is:
- "My work, done my way."
- "My writing, done my way."
If you think about it, there really isn't a reasonable alternative. You can't think someone else's thoughts. You are the only one doing your work. And the same goes for your writing. Anything else is absurd. Like trying to digest the meal someone else ate. It just "ain't gonna work." So why try?
I've written before about the liberating power of not caring. When you don't care about the consequences of speaking the truth, it lifts a great weight from your spirit!
But this is not the advice I was given in college. Nor is it found in the many books on writing. They tell you to carefully consider your audience. But when you use TheHackerCIO's approach, and your audience is your self, and if you know yourself, then it's never a problem to write for that audience! You will know what you like and what you don't. And coupling that with not caring about the consequences means it doesn't matter if you lose audience from a particular opinion. I write for myself and for those who are going my same direction: to discover those of similar mind and values; to seek those who are --ultimately -- like myself! So I can't possibly fail. Even if only a handful follow my blog, I've discovered the segment I want as readers. And if no one reads it but me, it's the best of all possible audiences.
It's a most demanding audience, by the way. I have tough, rigorous standards.
Naturally, you have to count the cost of this policy. You may publish things that get you kicked out of Senior IT Executive Forums. Same thing with asking questions. If you don't consider the audience or care about consequences, you might be asked to leave some Meetup. Or even a job. But do you really want to be part of such a forum, meetup, or workplace, where you must gingerly consider everything you're going to say? Where you must concern yourself, not about reality, answers, and truth; but about whether your question or level of understanding will offend someone? Again, do you want to put yourself in an environment where your state of knowledge must be hidden from others, as you pretend to have a knowledge you lack? If you do choose this, note that you have hindered yourself from ever attaining a better understanding! You can only do it on the sly, without revealing your actual state.
That's not a way I'd want to live.
And neither should you.