My writing is the subject of some of the writing I have already done, as will be obvious to any who have been reading what I post in this space. Some pieces of old wisdom suggest that it should be the case:
- Writers are urged to write what they know, and I probably know more about my writing than anyone else does (I think I’m the only one who has seen every word); and
- Those who teach writing are exhorted to frame the work of writing as a means to learn more, and I write about my writing either to expand upon subjects I have already considered or to try to figure out how I think and feel about things.
It will be no surprise, then, that this is another bit of writing in which I contemplate my own writing. Maybe it will be useful to others. I don’t know.
In any event, one thing that I face every time I sit down to write of my own volition is the worry that what I write will not be the kind of thing anyone wants to read. And there is some substance to such worries; I am able to see the readership statistics for this webspace and others I maintain, and I am not exactly going viral with any of my posts in any of them (again, for those I do for myself; those for which I am paid fare otherwise, which I appreciate). So I am concerned that I am screaming into the void rather than speaking into the ether.
The thing is, the low use numbers do allow me to see that more people look at what I’m doing when I do more (somewhat tautological and common-sensible, I’m sure–but how common is common sense?); I see more views when I put more writing out for others to see. And if I am trying to be seen in my writing–and I have the sense that all writers who write of their own volition do so are in some way trying to be seen–then it is to my benefit to do more writing, even if I am worried that few or none will read it. I can only make the attempt; that is all that is given me to control. How or if it will be received lies outside my power.
I continue to nurture the hope that what I write will be seen, and that, being seen, it may be of some help to some person or other. Whether that comes in the form of helping to flesh out corpora so that scholars in various areas can do the work they do, or in the form of some random reader stumbling across my writings and needing to read exactly the words I have written, I do not presume to forecast–or any other thing. But I do hope, as I perhaps should not, that the fact that I have written something will matter to someone–even though I worry, always, that it will not.