Friday, January 16, 2004

Writing and Attention Seeking.

Why do we write? Why do we write and post it online for the world to see? Why, if we aren't a writer or an aspiring writer, do we use the process of written word and then "publish" it online?

Is it attention seeking or connection seeking- or a little of both? Is it because we have thoughts to share and want the possibility of being heard? Is it all vanity? Is a little attention seeking bad? I think we should examine the social norms that are imposed, before we automatically assume that seeking attention in all ways is a bad thing. I am not sure it is, unless it is the completely shallow, look at me, center of attention, never a real connection, sort of thing.

Of course my questions on this were prompted by this post at Older and Growing.

My thoughts have gone all over the place and I have made many attempts to write them down. But nothing comes out concisely enough to satisfy my inner critic (ok to laugh, because I know that I ramble a lot of the time). I keep wondering about the difference between a writer keeping a blog and a dabbler like me keeping a blog... and what about blogging too personal.. and blogging the journey ups and downs and the little revelations--- and their value to others if we don't censure too much of ourselves.

From a psychological perspective, sharing one's thoughts in a public way, even the more personal mundane of thoughts and journey, seems to have useful potential. A need for self expression is satisfied and our comments, thoughts, words and feelings are sent out where they might be heard and possibly understood (for connection and attention). Our need to share information or seek information may also satisfied. It can also give others a chance to see that they are not alone in their human-ness- in all the ups and downs of living life. When they choose to make a comment or blog about something we might have said, it starts a conversation... and then it becomes ripples of connection.

I am still turning all of this over in my head. I must admit that it is flattering that there are a few regular readers of my two blogs. It is attention, and it is nice to know that there are people - most of whom have never left a comment or tracked down the email to talk to me- who found something I said worth returning again, if only for the curiosity factor. At the same time, the concept of "audience" can be intimidating. A speech professor told me that one must always consider one's intended audience.. but that is seldom my first thought when blogging.

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