Writing For A New Audience
[End of the month, State of the Blog for January 2014. List of previous SotB posts.]
Hello Horse Collaborative!
Earlier this month, I posted for the first time on Horse Collaborative [main page, my page, first HC blog post]. Instead of having cross-posts every day, the web editor would like weekly posts, give or take. The plan is to let me know which ones to repost over there. I assume he doesn’t want daily doses of Rodney’s Saga swamping his feed. This works for me. I get to meet a new audience, but still offer value for coming over to my main site.
When we discussed this, my first response was ‘Yipppee! Happy Dance! People want to read my writing!’ My second response was, ‘I wonder how I should write for HC.’ I could feel the blog bending to meet new expectations. Some amount of judgment is inherent in the system. The nice man (waves hi) will be selecting posts. I will wonder why this one and not that one. If I write this way, will more posts get chosen? If I write that way, will everyone at HC hate it? Was this whole thing a mistake? It is over? Should I go eat worms?
Part of this attitude comes from being a pathologic people pleaser. I want everyone, everywhere to think I am wonderful and to remind me so on a regular basis. Part of this, believe it or not, is professional. The writing required for editing a medical paper is different than the writing required for reviewing adult videos. If an editor asks for 1000 words on the history of dressage in the US, she does not want a 2000-word, amusingly-crafted essay on My First Dressage Test. Write to order. It’s what I did.
After 3 & 1/2 years, I have finally – almost – convinced myself that this approach does not work for blogging. To quote myself, “I have come to decide that writing a blog is closer in method to writing fiction. You write the story you have to tell, then you look for an audience.” [Check]
So this is my promise to Horse Collaborative. I will not change for you. I will continue to say what I have to say about my horses. I will attempt to adhere to the manifesto (manifestoes? manifesti?) at which I arrived after my most recent meltdown [Baack]. If our tastes mesh, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay too. We will shake hands, part friends, and wander our merry ways. If the arrangement does not work out, I am a not a terrible writer who should never be trusted near a keyboard ever again, nor is Horse Collaborative a hive of scum and villainy.
That’s the plan.
One thing HC requested was a recap for new readers. A sensible enough request to fulfill without immediately violating the above.
Recap for Content
For pictures & stats, see Cast of Critters.
Rodney was bought to be my mid-life crisis horse for eventing, hunter, jumper, dressage, all of it. After a year of diligent searching, I had found a horse who embodied every virtue for which I was looking. I brought him home, rode him for a month, and stopped. He now canters happily around my backyard. As to how I got myself in this position, I refer you to the rest of the blog. Despite a compost-pile worth of words on the subject, I still do not have a concise explanation.
Mathilda is our retired, geriatric husband horse. At least, she is geriatric in years; in body & spirit, not so much.
With two horses to care for and nothing to ride, I took a saddleseat lesson [Random] and fell down the rabbit hole. Between lessons, showing, and the novelty thereof, much of last year was about the American Saddlebred. This year looks to be similar.
Recap for Format
As a freelance writer, I was on a constant mission to monetize my life. Toward the end of my horse shopping, I offered to chronicle my experiences in a monthly column. When the main subject declined to embrace a competitive career, the column staggered on for a few months and finally cavitated. I continued monthly on my own for reasons that now escape me. I switched to daily for a year as a writing exercise. After that, I continued with the daily posts because I discovered I enjoy yapping about myself. And here we are.
Posts of Interest
Name my horse. Win books. Seriously. New Year, New Contest
Let’s hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, only without the adultery, heartbreak, & Nazis.
Gratuitous Cat Picture