I've noticed something ever since I've been tracking viewing of my blog. This may come as less than a news flash to most of you out there who are slightly less clueless than I, but certain headings attract more readers to click on them, if only initially, than do others. If I didn't have parents, or if I had ones who were less "involved" in my daily life and who let me write about whatever I wanted for my semi-public readership of roughly 8.5 hits per blog, my titles could feature topics such as "Kama Sutra and Student/Teacher Interactions" or "Breastfeeding of Children Over the Age of Thirteen," or even "Discreet Non-Coital Sexual Relations in Public Locations Including, But Not Limited to, Places of Worship." On the other hand, my parents are "involved," and chances are that my mere mention of these hypothetical topics upon which I neither have touched nor will touch will result in, at the very least, a lengthy discussion that may or may not result in the loss of at least one privilege and/or the imposition of an undesirable consequence.
What I've really tried to say in entirely too many words is that more people would click on my blog if the headings alluded to topics of a more-or-less erotic nature. If the blogs themselves actually covered the sex-related topics implied by the headings, I'd have even more people actually reading past the first sentence. If I were allowed to or even wanted to write smut, far more people would be interested in reading what I have to write than have any interest under present circumstances. This, as was mentioned earlier, is not exactly one of those "stop the presses" bits of information.
Beyond those areas that fall under the umbrella of of "explicit content," some headings or subjects in general garner more attention, more hits, or more readership in general than do others. If I were to write tonight of Lindsay Lohan's upcoming legal battles, more readers would be attracted to this blog than if I were to write about my own upcoming court case. (For the few of you who care, it's comming, and once it's settled I'll have the freedom to write about it within certain constraints.) Anything I've written about Judge Alex has attracted greater-than average readership. When I discussed Dr. Phil's guest, Jessica Beagley, of hot-sauce-in her-adopted-child's-mouth-as-a-form-of-discipline infamy (What in the world has happened there, by the way? That was supposed to have come to court in March? Does anyone know the outcome?)the same was true. When I referred to the massive size of my boobs in a title (I was being totally sarcastic, by the way) the number of hits was nearly double what it typically is. Almost anytime the LDS church makes it into a heading for one of my blogs, the number of hits jumps, although I auspect these results may be skewed by relatives from my father's side of the family snooping to see if I'm taking cheap shots at all they hold sacred and dear.
So how does one achieve the balance of writing about what readers want to read as opposed to saying what he or she really wants to say? This depends in part on one's reason for writing. If one is writing professionally, unless the writer has attained the stature of, say, Stephen King, one needs to write about what interests the reader. If a person is a newspaper columnist, the newspaper or syndicate has ways of tracking the interest level of an author's column; failure to maintain a certain level of interest among readers will presumably result in unemployment. If a person's writings are for the purpose of academic assignment, the instructor is God, for practical purposes, and thus determines whether the subject matter is sufficient to meet an assigned topic. If one is writing for pure pleasure, one may write about what he or she chooses, keeping in mind that under that present framework, parents and others have access to what is written and may manifest dissatisfaction in ways that negatively impact the writer.
What is my purpose for blogging? It's essentially a school assignment. I'm given few constraints beyond what my parents and teachers impose both for the confidentiality necessary for my well-being and for the decorum otherwise known as censorship that keeps school administrators as uninvolved as I desire for them to remain.
Why do I really do this? I'm presently in the Mountain Daylight Time Zone, where it is roughly 2:00 a.m. Shouldn't I have better things to be doing now, namely sleeping? Am I really sitting in bed with my laptop open because I'm obsessing about my grades when I've already been accepted into and have committed to the university of my choice? The answer is probably no. Something more intrinsic must be compelling me to do this.
If this is what I want to do as even an avocation (I'll probably pursue another career avenue, although it may be one that involves a considerable amount of writing), I'll have to find the happy medium of finding topics that hold both my attention and that of my potential readers. While there's a certain allure in trashing the Kardashians in print on a daily basis, or in making inflammatory comments about things that are sacred to half of my family, doing so would be taking the easy way out. There has to be a nobler cause. What it is I do not yet know.