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[personal] Following up the blog survey - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-04-20 05:55
Subject: [personal] Following up the blog survey
Security: Public
Tags:personal, politics, polls, publishing, writing
I must confess to being pleasantly surprised at the response to yesterday's reader poll. Some terrific comments there. I wasn't surprised at most of what the poll is telling me, but the "new content" section is useful and I will take note.

No, no Twitterstream will appear. I might start a second blog just as a place to archive it, but that will be for my own benefit if so. And no, no Pajamas Media. I don't really envision syndicating myself to anyone — my daily content is too idiosyncratic to appeal to a wider audience, I'm pretty sure, though I always thought I could do some good stuff with a weekly column somewhere — but even if I did, it would not be Pajamas Media or anything of that ilk. Wrong politics for me. I'd have to wash a lot more often to get the grime off.

As a side note, several people commented on the politics of talking about politics, as it were. The risk being, of course, that one might alienate a section of one's readership. Doubtless I have done so here, in holding strong political views that largely correspond with the American definition of Left. I have a couple of thoughts about that.

First of all, the writer is not the story. My fiction is neither didactic nor political. My worldview certainly infuses it, but that's talking about issues of personal responsibility, for example, not the rubric of American electoral politics. Some people might decide not to investigate my writing, based on their reaction to my politics. Too bad for them. Just like it's too bad for me I won't read Orson Scott Card any more, for essentially same reason.

Second of all, passion is personal. Even passion one disagrees with. And personal can be more interesting. When I first starting blogging as a writer in the early 2000s (not counting my protoblog Web posts from the late 1990s) I was very careful not to be political or cultural. It was very important to me not to be controversial, for fear of offending potential readers. I held that principle for several years, then one day got fed up with something (a school shooting, I think) and cut loose.

My readership doubled in six weeks.

Oooookay, I thought.

Yea, a few of my regulars promptly dropped away. But a lot more showed up, and some of you have stuck around ever since. I looked around at blogs and bloggers I like and admire — John Scalzi with Whatever, matociquala, Making Light. All of them have substantially larger audience footprints than I do. All of them talk about what stirs their passions, most definitely including politics. And it certainly doesn't seem to have hurt careers.

So I took some validation and some courage from that example, and I've let it hang out since. Because, as so many of you have pointed out, this is my blog, and I should say what I want. It's not like you have to read it.

My goal on this blog is to amuse, entertain and educate myself. That so many of you choose to come along for the ride is a source of great pride and pleasure to me. Thank you.

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Bane
User: endiron
Date: 2010-04-20 15:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Being one of the people who clicked the dislike for your political posts:

I picked the one thing on the list I disliked, it seemed like it would be dishonest to not point out I find them less interesting than your other posts. This is not to say I do not support your right to make them. It is your blog after all. I tend to be either radically left or radically right in my issue, so as a rule no one is ever going to agree with me all the time on my politics.

My solution is that I tend to avoid politically divisive topics because it always creates balkanized friend situations. Its sort of like me and Cats. I fucking loathe cats, but I live in Fandom, where every fricking person I know has cats, loves cats, posts pictures of their cats, talks about their cats. So, I just try to avoid that topic because most people don't want to hear what I think about their fuzzy wuzzy little psychopath who shits behind the sofa.

Seeing as I have found my way to your digital door in the last few months and am very much enjoying the honesty, bravery and candor in your posts, you post whatever the hell you feel like, you go Jay!

Bane
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torreybird
User: torreybird
Date: 2010-04-20 17:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Making Light" text links to Scalzi's Whatever.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-04-20 19:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fixed, and thank you.
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jwjohnson
User: jwjohnson
Date: 2010-04-20 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for sharing. Our gain really.
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