Do you create just for yourself or do you want an audience too? This was the question on the minds of our writing group when we met this January.
For us, it’s a balancing act. Part of our motivation to write is that we like the act itself. Otherwise, we simply wouldn’t do it. There are plenty of other ways to express ourselves and the road to publication is far too hard. Instead we’re a group of ladies for whom the written language is our best medium of expression.
However, part of our motivation is also that we want to share what we put to paper. Writing is how we convey our ideas, thoughts, and opinions. While we do write for pleasure, we also write because we believe that what we’re saying is worth others listening to. That’s why we think just as much about what we what to write, as we do about word length, writing style, and market needs.
Although we never discussed it, there’s a second question on our minds. Specifically, what size of our audience do we want? Would a letter or a blog meet our needs? The letter wouldn’t, because we want a broader audience than one recipient. The blog might, except it has limitations such as we want to see our work in print and to have an editor to validate our work. Also, a blog may or may not be successful. One might still not really end up with more than just a few family members and friends reading it. No doubt, the ultimate dream of ever aspiring writer is to be published in newspaper, magazine, and/or book format.
The dilemma then that we face is it’s darn hard (unless one self-publishes) to break into publishing world. For that reason, a blog IS a nice step along the alpine path. We also brought up the idea of an open mike for writers. That wouldn’t meet our desire to see our work in print, but it would give an immediate audience reaction. That’s a huge step too! Really, any medium that validates an aspiring author’s voice is a step. For me, having two blogs and being published in local publications has greatly encouraged me as a writer.
After the four of us shared a sample piece of writing, we talked at greater length about the open mike idea. A few venues do locally exist, except the problem is most of the ones we know about are for poets. A friend of mine and I will check out another possibility this weekend. In addition, I’ve emailed our local libraries for their thoughts. I’ll let you know if anything develops!