Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Implied Audience

I wonder how many of us skew our writing to please an implied audience. When I started this blog, it was because too many people I knew read my other one, and I was constantly having to edit out the stuff I didn't want them to know.

So fine. I started another one, completely anonymous, so I could bitch, rant, say whatever the hell it was I wanted to say.

And then something weird happened. I became a part of a small community. Other people read this (certainly more other people than there were reading my other blog). I found myself editing, editing, editing:

"No, I can't say that, no, that's not nice, no, let me try to put it another way."

Honesty seeped away, the way it always does, when there is an implied audience. An implied audience of really nice people you don't want to offend. I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been trying to recapture myself, leave in those nasty bits, so what you have is not a bowlderized version but the real me. Warts and all.

4 comments:

Andy said...

You make an excellent point. And it's so damn true. I wanted to start a blog so that I could blow off steam, say whatever it was I wanted to say, without fear of offending anyone. And if whoever happened across my blog didn't like it, tough--read another blog.

But then I became part of your community, and you became part of mine. And all of a sudden, I wanted to entertain (e.g. make laugh) those of you who read my blog regularly. I learned enough about you that I had a fair guess what would offend and what wouldn't. So I self-edited.

And that's a shame, because I think we're part of a community of bloggers who prize honesty and forthrightness and don't like one another to hold back. Something to consider, I suppose. Again, great post!

Jenn said...

That's funny Andy. I got the feeling you were affected by this too. And you know what? I love your posts best when it's really you coming through.

There is a sensitivity there, that for the most part, you strive to hide.

goldennib said...

Jenn & Andy:

Offend away. I for one find you both fascinating, warts and all.

Vanessa

Jenn said...

Nessa: Thanks. You're a dear. As always.