A blogger I read religiously said simply, "I'm absolutely not doing this for your satisfaction.” I think that’s true to a certain extent; we don’t blog entirely for the benefit of others but clearly our potential readership must have some role to play in motivating us. If it didn’t, why wouldn’t all these blogs merely exist as text files on our harddrives? It would be easier to maintain and certainly less likely to cause trouble in our personal and professional lives than airing all our opinions on the world-wide forum of the internet for all to see and hear.
So no, we don’t do this for anyone else’s satisfaction. We do it for our own satisfaction but a lot of that derives directly from our readership. Every single person who blogs has to admit to themselves that they WANT to be read and appreciated by someone somewhere. To a large extent, I think we blog just for that potential alone. Just for that remote and tiny chance that someone from the remotest corner of the world will notice us by absolute random chance and say, “Wow, I agree with that. You’re great.”
This is not to say that we’re all freakish attention hogs. I’ll admit shamelessly that I am. I’m sure that everyone I actually know and talk to in real life is long tired of hearing quotes and references from my blog and my endless litany of blog self-promotion. But, like many bloggers, my blog is actually more ME than I am. As a real person, I’m introverted to the point of tedium and wouldn’t be noticed in a crowd of 10,000 clones of Gary Coleman.
In my blog persona though, I’m erudite, thought provoking and will ramble on for hours about anything and everything. My outward physical persona is who I really am. My blog is who I want to be, how I want people to see me, what I would make of myself if I had a single wish or an unlimited budget on one of those personal makeover shows.
Perhaps I don’t speak for the majority of bloggers, but for me, this is an exercise in self realization. My blog exists outside me to house all my varied wants, hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations without the bounds of reality. Every time I push the ‘Publish’ button, a half dozen lonely mariners on the sea of the internet are randomly directed through my dream and quickly leave for other shores. It’s my hope though, that some few will see the jeweled crabs scuttling on the beaches and listen to the soothing waves long enough to think this a place worth coming back to. Until that time, my halcyon home will be mine alone, a respite from the hustle-bustle of cold, hard reality.