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On Being an Acquired Taste

I'm informed my blog is an acquired taste. This seems about right to me. It has always been the case that there is one group of people who really hate what I write, and another group of people who like my writing very much. See, here's the deal. My whole life, people have responded that way to me in the flesh. I try to invest a goodly amount of myself in what I write -- I don't always succeed, but that's what I try to do -- so it only makes sense people would respond to my writing in the same manner they respond to me.

I wish I could say I wear all of this as a badge of honor or something. I actually find it kind of annoying that I irritate so many people. But what can you do? I'm bored by writing that doesn't show something of the writer. I've got to see something of his passions. That's pretty much the standard to which I hold the blogs I read (note that there are all sorts of ways for bloggers to invest themselves in their work -- it doesn't necessarily have to involve writing). Personal passions are pretty much, in my opinion, the whole reason for blogging, and for reading blogs. I know others have their own reasons for blogging, but this is mine. There are a lot of very popular blogs I don't read anymore. I can't bear them. They do not meet My Exacting Standards as described above.

To the degree that those who hate my work hate it not because it's bad writing (which it sometimes is... I'm working on making it better), but because they hate what I write, or hate what I think, or -- in short  -- hate me, then I guess I can appreciate that response. It means I got some of me across, no matter how distasteful you might have found it.

So, thank you to those who come here more or less regularly. I deeply appreciate your visits. And I promise I will try to build on and improve what I'm trying to do.

And thank you to those whose blogs I regularly follow. Thank you for investing yourselves in your work. It seems I have acquired a taste for you.


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This is the first time I've read your blog (I came with the crowd from Electrolite) and I wanted to say that I understand. I've recently reached the same conclusion about my own blog and my own writing. You know what? It's liberating. Write what you want. Say what you want. Someone will read it. So what if you don't get the hits that Atrios or Kos do. If you have to sacrifice your voice just to get a broader audience, it's not worth it. Keep up the good work!

It's liberating but it provides a focus too.

The great thing about it is that it's an opportunity to not have to write into The Void. It's an opportunity to work at not only trying to become a better writer, but to work at becoming a better writer about things you care about. If somebody says, "here are some people who will read what you write, if you make your writing worth reading", well, that's a pretty effective spur for me, and it sounds like for you.

It's not good enough to just write what you want; you have to write what you want well. And if you do, there is the promise of some measure of reward. Of course there is reward in writing well for yourself. There is more reward in writing well and having other people read it.

But, yeah, ultimately, if it isn't about what's important to you, even if what's important to you irritates some people, then it's not worth writing about at all. It's been my experience that if that is your approach, there is always somebody out there who "gets it". And when they do "get it"... I've never been able to figure out who gets the most reward, me or those who "get me". Not that it matters. That's just my way of saying that I admire those who "get me" as much as they seem to, well, admire me for having written what they got. That makes me sound like a total egomaniac, I guess, but fortunately that's precisely what I am so there's not much cognitive readjustment I have to do over it.

Love the subtitle/tagline on your blog, by the way. Heh.

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