I wrote something down. It was not much of something really. I was in a chat, discussing my hobby with someone else who shares the same hobby.
Now I must ask myself, was I writing for that person, or was I writing for myself and that person just happened to be the recipient?
I don’t really know. I wrote what I wrote because it pleased me and it was probably cool for the other guy too since he got to chat about his hobby to someone who would understand what he was saying.
I don’t really consider my audience for the most part when I write, especially in a casual setting. The only time I do is when I’m trying to write for a grade. I just felt a bit of guilt typing that. I feel guilty for writing for someone else only when that person holds one of the keys to my future. It feels like I’m a circus performer only allowed to go through one specific routine because that’s how they like it and that is the way it’s supposed to be done.
How can an intensely private act like writing be considered in a public context? Does anyone write live on television or Internet streams? Is that even a thing that people would watch anyway? Assuming they pump it without enough slow motion and sound effects to cover the fact that it would be a show where you watch a guy type words on a keyboard, I still don’t think it would cover up the fact that writing is something that is done in private and very boring to watch unless we were all mind readers.
If Indian dramas can make standing in a room sound exciting with lasers, maybe it can help with making writing look exciting.
But now Simpsons.
Stop asking why there’s a Simpson’s clip here and just follow my twisted analogy. There are times where I feel like the audience I’m supposed to be writing towards is McGarnagle and I’m Billy. Minus the death. (Sorry for the spoilers).
So the point is… I just don’t think about writing for an audience unless I’m graded for it. If I were to be consumed by how I thought everyone would receive my text then I would lose my mind and never get anything done. Oh hell, I’m not even sure I write what’s beneficial to myself. I wouldn’t say every tweet on twitter was of mind bending excellence.
Except this one of course. That just displays my greatness. By greatness, I mean laziness, which in my mind is like the same thing.
Oh damn, where was I?
Elbow wants me to turn off the audience. Great I already did about four hundred words ago. But, Elbow’s article “Closing my Eyes As I Speak: An Argument for Ignoring Audience” advocates the writer to ignore the audience. I suppose the title sort of gave that away.
One of the best ways teachers can help students learn to turn off audience awareness and write in the desert island mode–to turn off the babble of outside voices in the head and listen better to quiet inner voices–is to be a special kind of private audience to them, to be a reader who nurtures by trusting and believing in the writer. (Elbow 65)
I largely agree with Elbow here because I basically do pretend I’m on a desert island without a Wilson. I would prefer to write because I just like to write. Maybe someone finds it funny or enlightening or maybe someone finds it repulsive and offensive. It doesn’t really matter. There’s one thing I take some issue with here though.
“quiet inner voices.”
One of the greatest insecurities a writer has to face isn’t always the outside audience, but inner one.
We have to deal with our inner thoughts that say we suck and what we’re writing isn’t worth writing. One of the most important reasons to avoid thinking about any audience is because the writer has to deal with that inner voice saying how much your writing sucks.
That’s what my voice persists to this day and I’ve kept on writing. It’s an intensely private act that one must overcome in order to write. There is no time or room to consider writing for anyone besides yourself. At least, that is how I see my writing.
Fuck you, inner doubt and fuck trying to write to anyone but yourself. Except grades. Oh please give me a good grade.
A Question to ponder:
Are there times when writing that you have to silence your inner voice?