Thursday, October 27, 2005

Writing for an audience

Ben and I were talking the other day about blog formats. He likes to mix sports, pop culture, and politics. I try to do as much humor as I can, but throw in politics, hot babes, and movie reviews as well, plus random stuff. I was told by a lot of people that they like my movie reviews, so that's why I do them.

I love it when Vest writes about his war stories. It really is a shame that the reality is WWII Vets aren't getting any younger, and that a lot of these WWII stories will be lost forever unless people start putting them to print.

I'm barely old enough not to remember the end of the Vietnam War, and I didn't fight in Gulf War I, so all my war stories are second hand. The place where I'll be working is close to Port Chicago, the site of America's worst military accident ever. It's also close to where they stored Little Boy and Fat Man, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. I really enjoy writing historical pieces, but noticed that of all my pieces, those ones have the smallest readership.

I've also found that some of my readers are quite young, so I've cleaned up my mouth and stopped using profanity entirely. I don't want to be the one who teaches your kids bad words. I've also made an effort to cut down on my profanity in everyday life as well, just to do it.

I've tried to write like Jason, but found it's a lot harder to write real life romance than I realized. My efforts have all been crap, so I scrapped them. Seriously, you wouldn't want to read them.

The other problem I'm having is it's been about three weeks since my 3rd Amendment piece in the Bill of Rights series. I'm having writer's block in that area.

Movie reviews and hot babe posts are the easiest for me to write. I barely edit them, and they usually take 10 minutes top.

My question for you is do you write for an audience, or for yourself, or both? And why do you blog in the first place? Cultureshocked asked me this question several months ago. I blog because I love to write, and a nice bonus is I've met some friends. I know three bloggers in person now, and plan to meet a bunch of the Northern California bloggers come spring time when our finances will be resolved and the storms end (our area floods big time, that's why we had the rat problem last year).

Plus, spring will open up more cool stuff for us to do. I'd really like to hit either the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, or Great America and would love to go with a good sized group.

Anyways, why do you blog? And if you have an audience that you write for, who is it? Friends? Family? A geographic area?

20 Comments:

Blogger clothosfate said...

Hmmm, this is a good question. I, like you, blog mostly because I love to write and I have little time left over from school to work on my bigger pieces. If I didn't write SOMETHING I would go insane.

I also like to blog for an audience... at the present my audience tends to be quite small, or at least based upon the comments I get, so I definitly don't blog just for my audience or there would be almost no point.

I like to write about things that interest me, that frustrate me, that I find peculiar and things that I find stimulating. I often write purely for therapy because I find that I can open up parts of my mind when I am writing and that can lead me to possibilities that I did not always see before.

I also just have a serious lust for the written word. I love to create pictures with words and evoke emotions... I guess that is why it is an art. I write because something inside me is driven to do it. It leads and I follow... my grandfather always told me I was a good dancer, even when he was waltzing with me and I had no idea how... dancing is like writing to me... it flows through me.

10/27/2005 7:00 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Hmm...I've been asked why I blog. I blog for different reasons - because it's a good way to vent, to share things that I think are humorous, to interact with other bloggers. I've never been the best "freelance" writer - I'm much better at technical writing, so this blog challenges me to do something different. My audience is whoever wants to read. :-)

10/27/2005 7:24 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

"Movie reviews and hot babe posts are the easiest for me to write. I barely edit them, and they usually take 10 minutes top."... hey i love readin those review and of course those YXES pictures....hawhaw:)

10/27/2005 8:14 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

I write becasue as it says in teh Blog title "Someone should care..." I just say things that I think need to be said and I mix it with recipes, and other interesting things. (I think the recipes get the best response)

10/27/2005 8:19 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

i wanna see J.Foster ...she could be hot you know...and emma thompson*she could be hOt as well*...hawhaw...i think am borin ya!

10/27/2005 8:32 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I blog becuase i like to think that someone out there cares what i think :P

10/27/2005 9:39 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

I blog for moi..thats why its caustic and laced with profanity. I do know that there are people that read my blog regularly and therefore should be used to my point of view and profanity..i do try to temper the profanity sometimes because it will detract from what I am trying to say on my "regular"blog..

On my political blog anything goes..I dont care if another soul reads it. Its a way for me to vent my anger at the system for screwing the citizens of this country.

I have the abilitiy to tell someone to go to hell so gently and sweetly that they actually look forward to the trip, It comes from years of running an AR Dept for large corporations..but I find that just "cutting to the chase" makes me feel better in the long run. I have made some excellent friends thru my blog and for that I am grateful and content. I will hopefully see most of them on my world tour which will begin in May lol..seriously I am going across country with a beloved friend and our goal is to see most of the blogger buddies we have made during our time online. I will be happy if I can see the likes of you ZS and Liquid Plastic and some of the folks I have come to enjoy that live in Texas.

10/28/2005 3:39 AM  
Blogger Mybrid said...

I blog because CultureShock encouraged me to do it. Now I'm just hooked on habit.

10/28/2005 4:07 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

and that a lot of these WWII stories will be lost forever unless people start putting them to print. AMEN to that. My old high school history teacher taught summer classes, the oral history of vietnam and oral history of wwii. He would get vets in to tell their stories. He got the copilot of the Enola Gay one year. I remember also talking to a survivor of the USS Indianapolis. They won't be around much longer.

Why I blog? I started, honestly, because I was really pissed off at the way the country was going and I used it as a moutpiece to vent my political frustrations. Then random people found my blog and I find myself writing for an audience sometimes, and other times, just putting up random nonsense.

10/28/2005 5:01 AM  
Blogger Raemius said...

I actually write for an audience. Strangely, the blog started as something to talk about poker, but it's now evolved into more of a political discussion soapbox. Not too many people read my blog, but I know the number is growing and will grow steadily. I still use profanity where it's warranted. I've had some good posts, and some bad posts. Looking back, some of my posts were really boring (my bag getting stolen, woo hoo!), and some were downright mean (I roasted this poor overweight woman for taking offense at me calling her diet ignorant, I reread that post and figured it should be deleted). I think a blog has the potential to give the reader tremendous insight into the writer.

10/28/2005 6:52 AM  
Blogger bsoholic said...

I am not sure why I blog. I was talked in to it by a friend and have kept at it for a better part of this year. I write to be funny and a bit of a journal, plus a place to put some pictures at. - yet I am forever questioning whatever it is I attempt to write or post. Oh well - it's fun I suppose at times.

10/28/2005 6:59 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

I had a live journal first. That was mainly for myself but was not as serious as I would have liked. I have friends from a message board that I frequent that had blogs.

I had been going through a rough emotional time since the beginning of this year and decided I wanted something a little more serious. A place where I could write out my thoughts and feelings.

I still do that, and that part of my blog is for me. When I write about my family, it is because something touched me.

I too love the way Jason and Scott write and both really inspired me to share some of my past. So in that respect I was writing for the audience.

I have really been enjoying this blogging thing and have made some good "friends".

I would say my blog is a really big mix of what is happening in my life and things I like to share.

Thanks for the interest.

10/28/2005 7:58 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I blog as therapy and as a means of connecting to people. I'm a stay at home mom so it helps me to feel plugged in.
I also blog for my family.

10/28/2005 8:06 AM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

First, congrats on the new job!

I blog, well, just because. It's a good place to throw out whatever is on my mind at the moment. Which is why sometimes, I don't blog... nothing on the ol' dead noggin.

I feel pretty lucky that people take the time to read it :o)

10/28/2005 9:20 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Clothosfate - I also just have a serious lust for the written word. I love to create pictures with words and evoke emotions... I guess that is why it is an art. I write because something inside me is driven to do it.

I feel the same way about writing.

Notta - so this blog challenges me to do something different.

Your blog is very readable. It's often personal, but you do a good job at expressing what you want to express.

TC - Thanks. I need to see more movies though. I think the last one I saw was Serenity.

By the way, I used to love Jodie Foster. Good idea. I better call dibs on her before the Zombie Lama does.

Exmi - I think the recipes get the best response.

This is actually too bad. Nothing against your recipes, but your political and historical posts are what I go there for. As I've said on your blog, you've taught me much.

Kitty - Welcome. I'll have to check out your blog. :)

Dusty - I look forward to meeting you. You'll beat me to LP though, because I won't be going back to Texas until Christmas of next year. Hopefully I'll catch Leslie there as well, for she's not too far from where my folks live.

Mybrid - I blog because CultureShock encouraged me to do it. Now I'm just hooked on habit.

We need to bring back Cultureshocked. I miss his stuff.

Laura - My old high school history teacher taught summer classes, the oral history of vietnam and oral history of wwii.

I would have loved to sit in for this class.

Raemius - That reminds me, I still need to go back and read your economics post.

Yeah, I've angered some people, but funny thing is, every one but one we ended being blog buddies afterwards.

Bsoholic - I enjoy both your blogs. I'm glad you do it, because you're a funny guy. We're seriously going to need all the humor we could get when the zombies come. :p

Jenbeauty - I too love the way Jason and Scott write and both really inspired me to share some of my past.

I would love to be able to write like Jason and Scott. Scott can work contemporary fiction, which I have problems with.

As for live journals, I wonder if blog is killing livejournal.

Sadie - I'm a stay at home mom so it helps me to feel plugged in.

My wife has been a stay at home mother for years. She used to read a book a day. We didn't know about blogs at the time. Now Junior is 11, so she's just started her new career this month.

ZL - I feel pretty lucky that people take the time to read it :o)

For a dead guy, you have a lot of interesting things to say.

10/28/2005 10:05 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I write for my audience, primarily. I view my blog as an editorial. I'm a professional writer and a former political speech writer and enjoy exercising my skills. Plus, I love the interaction I receive. I work from home and own my own business, and have always been more comfortable communicating through the written word than the spoken one.

10/28/2005 11:33 AM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

First of all, I LOVE your history pieces!(But then, I LOVE history!)

I started my blog to hopefully meet other TS parents and share ideas. I also wanted a place to write down our experiences in case it helped someone else. In this respect, I've been hugely successful! I've both helped and been helped by some wonderful people.

I often write to an audience. Several people requested pictures of our home improvement projects and I complied. Plus there's tags and challenges from my blog buddys. A lot of times I'm just blogging to vent frustrations and write. Yes, I think our circle of friends consists of a bunch of frustrated writers.

Blogging has turned into WAY MORE than I ever expected. I've met so many great people. I love getting other's perspectives on life, even when I don't always agree with them.

Don't EVER consider quitting, ZS!! I enjoy your humor, politics, and kindness way too much for you to quit.
Thanks for the good times, pal!

10/28/2005 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Michele said...

I don't have a blog, but am a suckabis, just reading and enjoying everyone's hard work.
I like your blog, Zombie, because it's a mixture of serious, entertaining, educational and thoughtful.
Plus, you know all of us in our area feel you're one of the fam and can't wait to meet you.
I've always loved to read, am a "nervous reader", I read while I brush my teeth, eat, mash my potatoes, if there's a free hand and eye, I'm reading. Often, while reading an article or novel, whatever, I wish I could interact with the author, argue with him, encourage him, thank him, etc. Blogs are a dream-come-true for me, as I get to hop in the writer's head, and know him a bit. Different than a chat-room, (although I've never been in one) because it seems like people who write blogs are more focused on a subject on not just shooting the breeze. They're writing not so much to chat, but to communicate ideas.
Chicago? Really!?! Are you moving there?

10/28/2005 12:14 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I blog because I don't have enough time to put in the energy to write a book and there is a 100% gaurantee that my blog gets published.

What I blog about is a mystery though. I feel like I should go somewhere with it, but besides a few paramaters I set for myself,it's pretty up in the air. I don't have any real insight into anything too important. I guess I'm just doing it to amuse myself.

Who am I writing for? Well me . . .but lately I want to write for Canada. I can't explain why but I really want some Canadians to read my blog.

10/28/2005 3:02 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

G'day ZS,
I originally set my blog up as a sort of 'letters to my son', as have had very little contact with him, and then he made it quite clear that he 'didn't want to know me', so wanted to 'tell him all the things I should have', perversely knowing that he'd never read it anyway. Then noticed that other people were finding, and reading it, so changed the 'tone' of it to make it a bit more 'entertaining' (not that it is), so 'awareness of audience' plays a part. Basically, I don't really care whether anyone reads it as, like most, it's just some sort of 'therapy', so now it's a bit of a hotchpotch.

But that's not what I wanted to say. I don't know how many people have heard of it but have just discovered a facility that Publishes very cheaply. (this is not spam, have no connection with it, nor have used it). Rather than inflict my blog on others will post the link to 'lulu' HERE. Check it out.

Have long been interested in those rare 'personal' stories from military people. Some of the ones from WW2 have been of enormous assistance with some of the research that have been doing (if I can find them). This seems an ideal way to get those accounts for posterity.
Cheers

10/29/2005 4:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home