Uncertainty of Reception
It's fun to be read, and more so, it's better to be debated, to be questioned, to have to defend one's ideas not from dogma but from reason and science.
This sentiment from Mikka gets at a yearning for most writers – to not simply be read but for someone to take what you have written and engage with it in their own writing.
But what if such a connection won't happen? What if we are just writing in a vacuum? Brendan Schlagel best describes this in a post as “uncertainty of reception”:
Uncertainty of reception: will anyone read or care? Will it resonate, or endure in any perceivable way? Barring that, might it even start an interesting conversation?
He develops this into a further developed cadre of questions:
[W]hat things make it hard to have meaningful networked conversations, ones intended to spark dialogue and explore ideas with others? What are the challenges to feeling like you’re part of an identifiable community when you’re writing?
While we can be unsure about the reception of our own writing, let us be more sure of how we receive the writing of others. Before I wrote here I wrote on Wordpress – 300 + posts of navel gazing. No wonder there was no worthwhile response.
But ever since I started writing here I developed a different posture. I started to interact with the posts of others here, engaging in worthwhile discussions about how to meaningfully connect on the web. It felt like a breakthrough. Not only was the quality of writing better but the writing experience as a whole.
It was a valuable lesson – to shift from the uncertainty of reception of my own writing into the certainty of reception of other's writing, to at least attempt to start those interesting questions, to at least question someone else's writing.