Friday, February 21, 2014

What I Want From My Readers

What do I want from my readers? What kind of readership would I like? First of all, I am not looking to be proved “right.” What would that mean to me? My mind is too restless to settle on any opinion for very long. I don’t want to feel responsible for the confusion of would-be followers when I change my mind about something. I would rather be known for starting conversations and being an impetus to thoughts than for having a large number of followers.

With a blog there are really two things contained within the concept “reader.” The first is the classic understanding of reader. It does not need elaboration. Someone who simply reads something, in this case a blog. The second is something that the internet and technology make possible: to comment, post objections, and criticisms of postings for the author and other readers to read and respond to. There are then two separate audiences: readers and commenters.

The ideal reader I have already described. The ideal commenter would be someone who has gone to college. He (or she) would be a thoughtful Christian, meaning someone articulate and able to argue intelligently for her beliefs. The ideal commenter would not be working from a script providing standardized talking points. Someone with whom fruitful discussions would be possible.

The primary purpose is not to garner readers and commenters. That would be nice, but only to the extent that they would lead to more and better thinking. The primary purpose of this blog is self-therapeutic. It is about overcoming my depression and assorted mental illnesses. In some respects I will be exhibitionist and in others quite shy. Part of the shyness is certainly due to unexamined experiences and personality traits, but sometimes such things cannot be examined until they have found their way into words and externalized. I often don’t know what I am thinking until I find the words. When I do those words are hardly hard and fast opinions. They are tentative, first glimmerings of something to come later. Sometimes posts will seem like so much narcissistic rambling. Self-knowledge is another important purpose of this blog. It is not inconceivable that others might find my thoughts and reflections useful.

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