Dear Fifteen Readers,
You may be wondering where I got that number.
As a blogger, my potential audience is the English-speaking world. That’s roughly two billion people. As an unknown, unpopular blogger, this demographic is brought down to approximately fifteen audience members (that’s you). In my writing class I have eleven classmates, five of which skim my blog regularly, scouting for short and witty posts to comment on (these hopefully eye-catching titles are created just for you). Two (I’m guessing) enthusiastically read my writing with vigor (usually I’d tell you to calm down, but actually I’m super flattered), and four who don’t get far enough down the blog list to reach my name (you know who you are, don’t even pretend to hide your shame), so really it’s seven classmates. Plus one professor, that’s eight readers. Then my parents who read diligently and proudly because I’m their most successful offspring (I’m an only child, it’s okay to laugh) that’s ten. Three friend’s of my mom’s who are forced to read this (hopefully you enjoy your time here), and a couple of my own friends; giving me roughly fifteen readers.
It has been said that a writer’s audience is nonexistent. I however feel that the writer’s (or at least the blogger’s) audience enjoys three states: nonexistence, omnipresence, and happy hour.
When I begin to write initially, I consider my work to belong solely to myself. The word “work” is my simple word for “chicken-scratch and scatterbrained ideas twitching every which way like a snake covered in fire ants.” In order to save space, I shall refer to the latter as my “work.” Maybe later I’ll revise my work and share it with a friend, or post it, or publish it, but it’s entirely possible that I won’t do any of those things. This is my personal definition of a nonexistent audience.
When revising my work, I am thinking about who is going to read it. Whoever that person or group is clouds my imagination, creating the state of omnipresence. They sit on the other side of the room behind soundproof glass and it’s my job to convey my ideas effectively and tape my revisions to the glass for them to read. The problem is, there are lots of other pages taped to the glass for them to read, so not only do I need to convey, I need to entertain. In order to entertain, I should understand and cater to them. Or course, “should” and “will” are very different ideas. The way I see it, when blogging I write for the enjoyment of expanding on my work rather than for my audience because I know myself. My understanding of the audience lives strictly in my mind. As much as I try to understand and infer what they want, I can’t possibly know what they expect from me other than what I’ve written before, which is essentially just me being me.
Then there is the audience state of happy hour. This is a state that only the blogger is able to experience while the audience is unaware. The philosophy of “It’s five o’clock somewhere” in terms of blogging translates to “Well I put it on the internet, someone has to read it somewhere.”