So What Do You Do About the Audience?

To have a blog is to have some portion of your brain assigned to monitoring your audience.

Like all writers, Jake’s got a subjective view of this (to have a blog is to have some portion of his brain assigned to monitoring an audience), but I understand the tension he’s talking about, between creating for the sake of creating and creating with the knowledge that people are watching. I try extremely hard not to worry about the latter category, but ultimately I fail. That push and pull—I don’t care what you think! But let’s talk about it in public!—is mildly infuriating, as much of my humanity tends to be.

I’m interested in the interaction and back/forth of civil online discourse, though I don’t want to make things with the sole intention of people responding to them. Trying to maintain imagined expectations to people who don’t have a vested interest in your creative process is a horrible master to serve. But the draw of community, however roughly assembled or tenuously held together, is still strong and, I believe, good. 

I want to create from a place where I know the difference between monitoring (fretting about, obsessing over) an audience and simply being aware of an audience. It would be myopic to ignore the audience; clearly I have comments and people engaging from time to time, but I’m not built to be obsessive and monitor an audience or filter my work based on that. I want to spend my discipline and focus elsewhere which hopefully ends up serving my audience better.