Why Your Post Belongs to Your Readers
Every time I write a post, it’s like I am writing a letter. I am folding it into an envelope — most likely comprised of recycled paper fused together from old letters — and mailing it off to the world. Once that letter reaches the hands of whoever is reading it, it becomes theirs. I might be the one who wrote it, I might be the one getting credit for it. But ultimately, the life of that letter is now physically in their hands. They are free to do with it whatever they choose. They can rip it up, frame it, toss it aside, or fold it up and place it in a drawer. They can like it, hate it, shrug and murmur a soft ‘meh’ once they finish reading — or skimming — through. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I can write them other letters, followup ones explaining my process and motivation for writing that letter. I can call them up and explain what I intended it to mean. But at the end of the day, it means whatever they want it to mean.
As soon as your post reaches the eyes of your readers, it becomes theirs.
People often ask me how I write these posts. Where do I get my ideas from? How do I write? What’s my process?
And you know what? I have no idea. Because honestly, it doesn’t feel like I’m the one writing them. When I sit down to write a blog post, it just flows out of me. It’s like from one point to the next, the words inside my head are already on the page. My only job after that is to tweak and edit them. The process moves from subconscious to conscious. I don’t plan the words ahead of time. When people ask me what I plan to write about tomorrow, I never know. Ideas stemming from reflections, conversations, interactions, and observations pile up in stacks somewhere at the base of my brain until it gets to a point where they are screaming to get out. So I let them out onto a blank page with my eyes closed. Then I open them again to tweak the result until I’ve finally got something that looks presentable.
That being said, I’m not here to wax eloquent about what it’s like to be a writer. Every writer has their own process, and anyone who writes posts for the internet has already ‘made’ it just by having their words seen and adopted by so many people. This post isn’t about how to write things for the internet. It’s about owning up to…