Sunday, November 28, 2010

PLEASING THE READER

"Throes of Creation" by Leonid Pasternak

Do you blog about whatever interests you, do you write from the gut? Or do you write about what you think will appeal to the most readers?
I’ve tried both and most satisfying, of course, is the writing from the gut that appeals to lots of readers. 

 
The best part about writing from rage, despair or joy, is that you don’t have to do any research. And you don’t care what anyone else thinks about it or whether they click or comment on it. You just vent raw, voluptuous spleen. It may not be great literature and it may not please everybody, it may please nobody, but it makes you feel purged and liberated.
 

I can’t figure out what triggers interest or indifference. I’ve tried to reproduce  a popular post in a similar style but without success. I’ve also written what I thought was fresh, gutsy stuff that really pleased me but seemed to please nobody else. Sometimes I write something I feel is so limp and lifeless I’m afraid to post it but I do and it gets surprisingly enthusiastic reactions.
 

I just don’t know what readers will like, so I write what I like. Better writing from me would probably please more readers than my writing on popular topics. This said, blog-writing has been an enormous help with my book. It’s exercised my writing chops, my thinking and my writing discipline. 

I think if I’d aimed to please readers, or branded myself on a single subject, I would never have got the writing experience I have. The interest of readers and their thoughtful comments are a bonus, rather than a goal. 
*  
WRITING, BLOGGING, BOOKS, BRANDING

4 comments:

The Good Wifehold said...

Yes, interesting summation of blogging as a writer. I like you have tried different things. It's an experiment for me too and I'm discovering all sorts of unexpected surprises on the journey. People can be amazingly supportive. I have a long road but so far am enjoying it. Good luck with the novel I'm polishing 2nd draft - it's a marathon.
TGW
PS - love Paris and cartoons!

Nora Lumiere said...

Thank you for following my blog.
Blogging and Tweeting certainly do make writing less solitary.
Polishing is my favorite part of novel-writing, after creating the characters.
Happy polishing and vive Paris.

John L said...

I keep meaning to leave a comment, but then get distracted... This is an interesting dilemma, between writing what you love but also wanting to get more readers. I think it's impossible to know what will catch on with readers, either with books or blogs. Some people have a skill for this or that kind of writing, but often it is formulaic and not from the heart. I do think blogging helps build writing skills and find your voice.

Nora Lumiere said...

The problem is solved for me.
Since I don't know how to attract readers, I just blunder on, writing whatever I feel like.
I know I should be branding myself, writing about one subject in generic prose so as to impress a passing publisher but, frankly, I find that idea terribly boring.
Quite a few bits of this blog have found their way into my book and vice versa, so this blog will give any passing publisher a fair idea of the book, even though it's not, strictly speaking, a brand.
I agree, many branded blogs are very one-dimensional and lacking in passion.