Why Do I Write for No One?

I’ve had this blog for about two years now. Over that period I’ve published over 100 posts, which amounts to over 60,000 words - or 240 pages of a standard novel - a pretty substantial amount of effort. And yet, my readership has never quite grown past 5 people. I advertised a blog post once on Facebook and got multiple tens of readers, but I’ve never repeated the experiment, and for the most part my blog posts garner single-digit readerships. This, of course, raises a question: why do I continue to write this? If I’ll never be widely read on this platform, why do I still use it?

On the one hand, the answer to this question is a purely self-interested, practical one. Writing these blog posts gives me a decent amount of practice writing during weeks when I’m otherwise consumed by reading and analyzing books. They allow me to focus on coming up with an argument and defending it, honing my craft. More than that though, they also give me some time out of a busy week to focus on writing what I want to, thinking about things simply because they interest me. As such, they give me an important break from a press of work that can sometimes be overwhelming. These blog posts, to a certain extent, are for me, for my sanity and my ability.

More than this, though, I write because I believe in the value of ideas to be expressed in and of themselves. Ideas, most of them, have an intrinsic value, and things with an intrinsic value deserve to be shared and known. Whether they’re expressed to a great many people or very few, ideas should be presented to the world. That's how we grow as a species, after all, the continuous contact with new ideas. I flatter myself to think that some of my own ideas are those that deserve expression, and so I take to this blog to express them in the way I'm most capable of.

I guess, then, it doesn’t matter how many people read this blog (although to be clear, I’d prefer a large readership to a small one). What matters is that because of this blog, I’ve become a better, more concise and careful writer, and that ideas that should have their day in the sun get it. One day, if I choose to put my blog out into the public more aggressively, I might become more wide-read. But I’ll only become so if the reasons I write this blog in the first place, to say things that ought to be said and to become a better writer, are successful. That’s the foundation, the purpose, and the end goal of all this. Readership would just be icing on the cake.