I was heartened this week when my wife said she was going to start reading my blog, as this brings my total readership up to 1. That may not sound like a lot, but, in percentage terms, it is enormous.
I used to think people had to be conceited to think that others would want to read their random thoughts on a daily basis. Some people work for years to publish finely-honed books of fact or fiction; bloggers spend thirty minutes or an hour a night writing essays and think they deserve an audience. On the other hand, they are partially justified by the fact that they have an audience. How conceited must I be to publish a blog that no one actually reads? Do I think that what I am writing is so valuable that it needs to be available for the public, as though someone is one day going to discover it and realize its value?
Actually, the truth is that I started this particular blog on my own web server, just because I had things I wanted to say and no obvious place to put them. I didn't think I would use it much, but I found I wrote in it compulsively. When I had to take my server offline, I wanted to continue the blog, so I decided to move it to a public server. Even though I write primarily for myself, though, I have to admit that I am interested in having an audience -- not with the aim of making money, but just because I want to share my thoughts. The irony of writing a public blog with almost no audience is never far from my mind.