A sense of audience: this is an idea that I have been considering this week. The children are doing a family class, Dynamic Revision, with Bravewriter and have each done a short series of freewrites followed by a brief discussion of set questions. One of question was whether they had a sense of audience: a feeling of who they were writing to and if they imagined someone reading their work. The responses were interesting, my youngest hoping that her published book would be read, but lacking confidence that her freewrites are good enough; my middle son imagining "rather old people" reading his work and my eldest appartently not thinking of it at all. I could certainly see how, especially with the younger two, the idea of an audience would help them see the reason to revise their raw writing and hopefully inspire them as they do so.
All this left me thinking about my own sense of audience. As I write this blog, I can picture a few of the people who I know are reading it. Others, who tell me that they read (and even comment occasionally) I can see less clearly. For me, it is always the potential criticsism that I hear and it can be debilitating. It is the same when I paint: I freeze if I think someone is coming close and I only show my family those pictures I am pleased with, finding it hard to share the experiments and the ones that didn't work.
How do I find the line between confidence in my actions, in my writing, in my art, in my life, and arrogance and unwillingness to listen to wise advice?
In discussing freewriting with my eldest, he said "Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self." (Cyril Connolly) I love blogging but I have lost my sense of what it is for, and who it is for. I don't blog for my audience, though I'm pleased to have one, I blog for myself. I am glad that people read it, although I can count on my fingers the number of people that I am certain do so regularly, but I sense that I have begun to write for this, very limited, public audience. I want to explore my own thinking, to record my chidlren's education and childhood, to reflect on the things that catch my interest and I think it would be good for me to try and get back to writing for my self. I hope you continue to read but, if you don't, that's ok with me. I've spent a lot of time and effort beginning to find myself and I intend to hold on to all I've found.