Who do you write for?

I read an interesting blog post yesterday about the idea of influence on bloggers. Well, specifically “man-fluence” on female bloggers.

The basic gist of the article was that the writer had gone on a date with a man she admired and told him that she wrote a fashion blog in her spare time. On the second date, he mentioned that he had read her blog, which sent her into a panic about whether or not what she had written was impressive enough for him to read.

Now, she tries to write every post as if her dream guy was going to someday read it. (As he very well might. The hubs is one of my most loyal supporters.)

The article came to my attention on Twitter, where someone called the philosophy “totally exhausting, but also depressing and bad for your self-worth.”

After I read the post myself, I have to respectfully disagree.

To be fair, I think the original poster would have gotten a better response if she had left out the fact that she was a female blogger dealing with the influence of a guy she was interested in on her writing. (That particular thesis just screams “Tear me apart, feminists!”) Of course, the blogger also acknowledged that this might happen.

However, the real point she was trying to make (to my understanding) is that you should write to impress — not necessarily to impress anyone in particular.

I try to write something for my blog every single week day. That’s a lot of writing. And I am well aware that sometimes it is not very good writing. Lately, I’ve been trying to ease off a bit, giving myself a day off when I truly have nothing of worth to say. But there are still times when the old compulsion fills me, and I’ll rattle something off just to know I did it.

Is this the best thing I’ve ever written? No. Does it fill a purpose? Sure. But is it impressive? Is it anything I would ever submit as a clip in an application? Is it even something I would promote on Twitter or Facebook? And if not, what is the point of writing it at all?

I think what the blogger was trying to say is that when you are trying to write your best, you are more likely to actually write your best. Accidental genius happens, but editing exists because it doesn’t happen all that often.

Can I tell you a secret? I almost never edit my posts. I rarely even read back over them before posting except to do a quick spot check for spelling and grammatical errors. Which is why, you might notice, there are spelling and grammatical errors from time to time. It’s a tiny bit of laziness I allow myself. My blog is, at times, a mental dump to just get something out of my brain and into words.

But when I write with the knowledge that I will be sending the piece to someone, as I would for a guest post or a published article? Or when I choose to remember the fact that anyone could read what I’ve written (new friends, old enemies, family members, my husband’s ex-girlfriends), usually the writing comes out a little better. A little more focused. A little more purposeful.

There are definitely pros and cons to both styles. Either way, I like to think what I write is honest. It’s honestly me. It’s honestly how I feel at the time.

What about my fellow blogger readers? Do you do a lot of editing to your blog posts? Do you have any particular reader in mind when you hit the publish button?