After I posted a comment on this post by Uma, I got to thinking about this whole issue again. Writing in the mass media is very much an audience-oriented affair. Maybe not in the sense that a writer reviews each and every piece for likeability, but yes, every publication does have its tone and standards of what and how it will publish, partly atleast based on what readers like. Plus in the age of focus-group-driven everything, the “did they like what they saw” question is inescapable.
On-line writing by very virtue of its immediacy, to me, does mean some kind of relationship with viewers. Not in the sense of I-will-write-to-maximize-views (though it is still gratifying to have people reading you) but surely the immediacy of feedback can strengthen or affect writing in some way?
What I think about is my non-blog, non-work related writing, my fiction work that has never been published anywhere, and I don’t know if it will ever be. I can’t recall where, but I read something recently about most Indian writers writing predominantly for the benefit of literary agents in London. It may sound naïve, but honestly, I found that somewhat bizarre.
Its not that the lure of money isn’t there. The dollar is always tempting, a big green piece of paper taking over the world, its expansionist tendencies only being countered and rivaled by that other biggie, the Euro. Or maybe it will be the Yuan in the future?
For me, writing is truly the expression of my self. By that, I mean it is one of the things I genuinely do for myself. I am not a writer who can spill out five thousand words in a jiffy. It’s not an easy thing to do. Writing is tough work for me. But at the end of something well done, I feel satisfied that I have there something on that piece of paper which didn’t exist before. Something worthwhile that has come up from the spaces of my mind. I have a few readers whom I send out my work to. I like it when they find something meaningful in what I have written. I like it even better when what I have written is so good that it makes them go back to and think about the work. I suppose its not really possible to separate the too, but more and more, I want to create afresh, work that causes reflection on itself and reflects less and less of me.