Writing, reading, and aging

Though the age of this blog doesn’t show it (refer to my primary blog for a clear timeline), it’s been just over eight years since I started blogging. In that time, I’ve also aged (obviously), from 42-50 (with 51 creeping up really soon). Before that, I wrote many newspaper articles (had a weekly column in a small town newspaper for 13 years), some magazine articles, and a dozen non-fiction, history-themed books… all for print. That span of time ranged from 1987 – 2010 (during which time I aged 23 years… from 22-45). So, as of this year, in all, I’ve been writing, in one format or another, for public consumption, for just under thirty years.

In “my era of writing for print”, it seems I focused more on the delivery of information (without awareness of the “writing self”). Sure, there was a process involved (the research, assembly/”architecting” of material, writing, proofing, writing more, more “architecting”, proofing more, etc., etc.), but I don’t think I gave the overall “writer within the process” serious thought until more recently, and after I started blogging.

Now, I realize, in this very post, I’m writing to a varied audience. Some may have never blogged, and some may have never written for public consumption. Others have written for audience in one format or the other… or for both. In fact, to some who have blogged, I’m sure there are those who haven’t had this writer’s “epiphany” (if it can be called that), but I’m left wondering if others who have gone through both writing for print and writing for the Web have had some sort of “realization” of the “writing self”, similar to that which I have experienced. I suspect the greater part of the “realization” came about in the writer-reader interactions in blogging, which were not as available (and frequent) in writing for print. I also know that, never have I been more aware of the audience than in blogging/writing for the Web.

Though I haven’t looked up the studies on it… yet… I’m intrigued about aging and how it may have had an impact on the way I’ve changed my outlook on writing. I’m also curious if anyone else has experienced a similar path, and become more aware of the “writer in the writing process”. Is it tied to age, years of writing, that transition from writing for print to writing for a blog, or… a combination of any of these?


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