The most interesting and successful of my blog posts are ones I wrote for myself. I wrote them because they clarified thoughts that I had or judgments that I had reserved but never finely expressed. Not every one of the essays of such kind has been fantastically successful, but many have.
I wrote about Facebook in a passion one hour and posted it to let off some steam. It became fantastically viral. Why? Does it matter why? Why do I try to replicate that?
In fact, whenever I try to copy elements of that explicitly I fail. Rather, there is something about the emotion I had in that topic that was conveyed in the essay. Emotions can be hard to fake.
But I get praise for some of my posts, the impassioned ones I write for myself. The praise externalizes a reward for writing. I seek out more external rewards like a rat in a cage. But it never genuinely comes. I demotivate, stop writing for months.
Spontaneously, I graze the lever of internal gratification with a piece for me, with an audience of one. I feel complete. But the emotion impacts others, and praise rolls out.
It's as if I finally figure out how to run the hampster wheel out of the pure joy of running, but every time I do a treat rolls down the chute. Perhaps this is the nature of success. The treats must be resisted, but this is very difficult when you are hungry. I always fail. Success always leads me to fail.
Even now, I feel as though I write this for someone else.