It’s been close to two years since I began writing. At first, I thought it was going to be simply a way to “be creative.” (I don’t knit, paint, sculpt, or weld.) It has turned into much more than that.
With seven manuscripts on my bookshelf, “backstage passes” to contribute to two online journals, and this blog, I think I’ve crossed over from “creative hobby” to something else. (Side note: Earlier this week, the number of views to this blog crossed the 14,000 mark. That, to me, is spectacular after 143 posts.)
I think I am a writer.
(There. I said it.)
Not so much because of the words on the page/screen but more so because people comment on having read the words themselves. Being seen by my community (both near and far) as a “writer” brings me right out of my early morning, quiet, creative space and to an audience.
Which is daunting.
Once my words are shared, they are forever gone from me. Unlike with the spoken word, if you say something that the listener takes “the wrong way,” you have the benefit of raised eyebrows and a shake of the head; you have the chance to correct or explain further. With words on a page/screen, the writer is removed from observing the reaction her words have elicited.
Even were I to (falsely) presume that each word is taken exactly how I intended it to be, the sentiment/thought/opinion run the risk of being forever attributed to me, which I suppose is either a blessing or a curse directly related to the perspective of each individual reader.
I read some advice right before I started writing: Imagine your are speaking to one person when you write. This was advice specific to the writing of a novel, i.e., envision your words being told to a one-person audience. I think the theory behind this is rooted in ensuring “consistency of voice.”
Imagine this scenario in your own life: You tell the story about your frustrating afternoon at the RMV to your pre-teen versus to your friends over a Friday night adult beverage. Same story, different audience.
“Know your audience” is sage advice. I’ve decided to follow this advice with respect to this blog. The audience who reads here has fallen into a solid trend: You don’t visit this blog very much on Saturdays and Sundays.
I’ve asked myself, “Why?” Here’s what I came up with: you have other activities to keep you busy; you read during your regular work week–maybe even while at your workplace.
Weekends are different for you.
And in light of that, my weekends are going to be different from now on: I’m going to treat my blog writing not as a creative hobby but rather as a job.
And after today, I’ve decided that I don’t work weekends.
(There. I said it.)
I’m going to stop feeling obligated to produce something new for publication here on the weekends. No more punching the clock; no new blog posts on Saturdays and Sundays.
I know my blog audience. You take the weekends off. Following your lead, I will as well.
Happy weekend. See you back on Monday . . .