I’ve meditated over this for several hours now and I began mentally composing something on lunch break, but when I began typing it didn’t quite work. Seemed a bit clunky, felt like I was writing an essay.
I looked away for a few minutes and then deleted the whole thing.
I write to be seen, in a way. I talked about this once before, actually, and it still holds true. Maybe even truer once I place writing in the context of my everyday life.
Here’s a scenelet for you from my work-life: I work in a contact centre. I interact with the same lovely people every day. I think I’ve gained a bit of a reputation there as the office novelist, or the writer. One T.L still asks after my writing, sometimes. It’s kind of a big piece of my identity.
Every time I write, I imagine readers. I imagine someone looking over my shoulder. Asking, “Hey, what are you writing? Can I read it?” and saying yes. When I put pen to paper on my break, I’m conscious of the dozen other people around. Conscious of the fact that if I lay my notepad down, and someone were to ruffle through, they’d find pages of writing. (Mostly in English)
My job colours it too; I imagine my boss coming across my blog – or further down the line, spying a novel with my name. I ask myself, would I be happy for Boss or Team Leader to read this? Would it be appropriate according to the Code of Conduct?
I don’t imagine someone observing me as I type, though it’s probably happened once or twice and I get very self-conscious. Having an audience as I write makes me more susceptible to typos, to silly errors and silent curses because I feel awkward.
I think it’s best to say my imaginary witness to my writing is everyone. My boss; the consultant at the agency who employs me; the guy at the dairy. You, who maybe clicked on this through a prompt. Maybe you did a Google search and came here, or found it on Twitter. Every day I consider things being shared, emailed, linked on Reddit/Tumblr/Your Social Media Here.
(I’m just going to stop imagining now)