“How do you know people read what you write?”

“How do you know people read what you write ?” asked Prasna**  as I sat down to write my blog.I knew instantly that I cannot proceed without answering him.  Nevertheless, I pretended not to hear him. He would not let go.

“Tell me. How do you know people read what you write?”

“Are you referring to my blog and wall posts in my social sites?”

“Yes. And even some of the articles you write in some publications?”

“Why do you ask Prasna? I am curious.”

“Because I know you are obsessed about results.  Stop asking me questions. I want an answer.”

“I know people read my blog, but I have no statistics to prove it.”

“Don’t you know how many people visit your blog?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Don’t you know how much time they spend on your blog?”

“I do.”

You also know who is coming back again. Right?”

“I am not sure but I guess I can find that out.”

“Then why is it difficult for you to know how many people read your blog?”

“Because just visiting my blog does not that mean some one has read what I have written.”

“Why don’t you ask some people you know?”

“Well, I don’t know why but I asked a few people recently.”

“What did they tell you?”

“One of them said that you need not respond outwardly to everything you read. Another said that the response need not be to me. The third said that something I have written might incubate in his mind and he might act on it later.”

“What else?”

“Another friend said that people may not have anything specific to say. Sometimes they may not be able to articulate what they have in mind.”

“Have you had any empirical evidence to show that people read what you write?”

“I have had occasions when I meet some one and he talks about something that I have written. I do get a mail occasionally in response to my blog. People I meet socially talk about my posts in Facebook and LinkedIn, and Twitter sometimes.”

“Is that all?”

“Well something really encouraging happened recently. I had not posted anything on my wall in Facebook for the last 5 days, because I did not have access to my computer. This morning there was a private message for me from a friend which read ‘Everything OK, Sridhar? Havent seen you post for quite some time (5-6 days?) ”

“You therefore believe that people read what you write.”

“I now have reason to believe that people read what I write.”

“Well, I am not entirely happy with your optimism. However, keep at it. May be we will get some substantial evidence to show that people do read what you write.

“Why is this so important, Prasna?”

Because I am keen that you don’t get into the trap of writing for yourself and getting smug about it.  I believe that a performing artist must have an audience, a TV show must have  viewers and a writer must have readers.”

 

Picture by Maria Reyes McDavis available under a Creative Commons Attribution- licensed for commercial use.
**Prasna Rao is an unusual friend. He appears every time I start writing something. He is almost always there when I am writing my blog. He asks questions that are razor sharp and often makes me uncomfortable. He is relentless till I answer his questions in simple, clear terms. You might find that he is most of the times asking questions that you want to. Therefore he is on your side, while he is putting me in the dock. I call him my Uninvited Coach

 

 

Any Thoughts?

Please fill fields marked*. I will not publish your e-mail id anywhere.

2 Responses to ““How do you know people read what you write?””

  1. Absolutely right Sridhar. I have been writing for several years in various newspapers and people usually confuse the publication I write in. They attribute things that you have not written to you . Most of them see your picture and scan the headline. On the other hand in Madras, people actually hold you to what you have written. They say “last year you wrote this in HBL whereas now you are saying this!” I believe in the Bhagawad gita principle “do what you have to do. Dont expect results”. Yet the greatest insight came from an admiring former colleague. Today he is a big guy and yet he said “Not many people have been able to do what you have done. You have left your experiences for posterity by way of your books. I wish more people would do that. So from one Sridhar to the other “Write a book and I will do the PR for it!

    • R Sridhar says:

      Thanks Sridhar. I have been toying with the idea of writing a book for nearly 5 years. The urge to write a completely different kind of business book (whatever that is) is there.

      It is only now I feel that I could be having something substantive to say. I wish I had your drive and will to get down to write the book.

      I am all admiration for you and dear friend Ambi Parameswaran. Everytime I see your book in bookshops I say “Wow!”

Email

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message

Quiz Time

Type the characters from the image
captcha