Feeling the gaze of my readers
I have started to travel again, not in the same frenetic way as before the pandemic, but I do have several big trips planned for the coming months.
I’m excited about stepping into the world once more, to be with people I haven’t seen for several years. And I’m looking forward to meeting in person those who I’ve only had contact with through Zoom conferences.
But I am worried about interrupting my writing routine. It’s not only the weeks away that restrict my writing but when I’m at home in between trips I feel the pressure to use the time as effectively as possible. That pressure is like an ear-splitting noise that chases any ideas I may have away.
When I told a friend about this dilemma, she asked me what I preferred: to live or to write.
I mumbled something about living in order to write and writing in order to live, but that answer didn’t satisfy her. Or me, for that matter.
I’ve kept on thinking about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the choice between living or writing is the wrong question. For the past fifty-five years I’ve written continuously, jotting down thoughts and impressions in my notebooks in restaurants, on planes and terraces, while waiting for doctor’s appointments and in between errands. The problem is that when I travel I neither have the time nor the peace of mind for the pruning and polishing that my pieces require before I can publish them. Going on these trips could mean I’d have to skip putting new pieces on my blog, and I hate the thought of letting my readers down.
Therefore, the question is really why I feel such a commitment towards my readers that I don’t want to miss even two weeks of posts, while I’m not even sure they’d actually notice.
I see sharing my thoughts as the flip side of my longing to take a peek into the minds of others. But does this solely come from a desire to connect?
Am I writing to be seen, just to feel the gaze of my readers?
If so, what does that say about me?
I’m not sure I want to find out.