Tuesday, June 29, 2010

But the idea that somebody might choose not to publish—or might choose to publish in a small circulation magazine rather than a large circulation one—can look downright bizarre in the age of the blog and the tweet. The space between the writer and the reader is evaporating.

Jed Perl, Alone with Words

I think Perl might see this differently if he had a blog. The ratio of posts to drafts no doubt varies dramatically from blogger to blogger - but after all, the simple fact that all blogs offer the facility of a drafts folder implies that bloggers may not choose to publish everything they write.

I think my ratio of drafts to posts is about 9:1; it's embarrassing, in a way, because the word count would probably add up to a couple of books, but I think it's a way of thinking things through before bringing them into a book.

Most bloggers have access to some kind of analytics, so they know how many readers they have - for the vast majority, surely, well below that of a small circulation magazine. And if you don't want to feel as though you're addressing any audience at all, it's easy enough to have a blog where no one ever goes. (You could make it private, but you don't actually have to.) My other blog isn't a secret, but I haven't linked to it on my website and nobody else ever links to it either. I put things there that I may want to find later; if something is in a language other than English I'd feel I should translate if I put it here, but since it's for my own reference I put it there.

I recognise the thing Perl talks about, the difference between writing for yourself and writing for others - having the other blog actually helps to clarify that difference, which I do think an important one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have all those analytics things blocked out of habit. I like to observe without being observed (but I'm not a real stalker, don't worry).

On your blog there seems to be:


Four fewer sites for my browser to connect to is how I look at it. I suppose it is interesting to see the stats, and you so seem to be interested in statistics. The ratio of readers to comments could be an intriguing dynamic.