I have the attention span of a gnat with attention deficit disorder. In fact, I'm so badly afflicted by the prediliction it'll be a miracle if I finish this post.
Considering my shortcomings it is a tribute to how good a writer she is therefore that I have stuck with Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin up to page 353, which is where I am right now. I might even finish the book, even though it's 640 pages long. I like Attwood a lot. Most of all I like her fierce intelligence, her belligerence, her intolerance of fools and the vividness and originality of her imagination. When you put it all together she comes out as a formidably good writer. I wish I could write like that.
Her novel is full of insights and brilliant observations but one in particular has given me much pause for thought recently. "The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read".
It's true. And it's one of the problems with blogging. In the old days (two years ago) a writer sat alone in the hermetic fastness of her room and penned her masterpiece, safe in the knowledge that it would be at least two years, if ever, before anyone would get the chance to comment on her innermost written thoughts. This interlude, this time lent distance. Distance inspired bravery. Bravery begat truth.
Blogging isn't like that. Your readers are on the other side of a paper thin wall. responses are immediate. Relationships are forged. Feelings are taken into account. Somewhere the truth gets lost.
Or if not lost at least spun slowly on its axis. We know who our readers are and we know what they want. Worse still, they know who we are. In some cases, better than we do ourself.
Ground down by familiarity and friendship we give them what they want to hear.
Or maybe you're braver than that. Some bloggers are, I know. I'm not sure I am one of them.