As you note, writing seems to very much be a unidirectional communication method. This bears itself out in writing letters too, where the lag time changes the whole nature of the communication. That said, people have been writing letters for years and perhaps those communications end up "more thought out" because of medium.
On the other hand, I find that a lot of times letters are never responded to... This means I have tailored my letter writing towards the "I'm going to write about stuff that I think the recipient will find interesting, but it's got to stand on it's own, all the while allowing for conversational points should they choose to respond"
But writing for an audience is a far different matter as you have to start thinking about who your audience is and what is your goal. Is the goal to inspire discourse? Inspire thought? Provide information? Find out other people's opinions?
I find that picking my audience often effects the information I provide and the thrust of my writing. Hence, it shapes my goals and my content. And maybe sometimes I'm shorting the reader because there's other stuff in my head that COULD be of interest, but which I don't think is applicable. Where does one draw the line? I guess that's where some of the "comments" or feedback you're looking for comes in...
Now when it comes to you, you say:Ultimately what I want is to inspire passionate curiosity in my readers. I need to learn to write in such a way that I leave questions, not answers. Because I sure see a lot of questions out here.
This is wonderful. I wonder, however, how much this type of writing results in feedback from the readers. Or what the lowest common denominator is with regards to getting people to go off and investigate other sources.
Unfortunately with blogs, I feel like it's fairly hard to get people to go the extra step and seek out additional sources...especially if they don't have any context for the topic at hand. Maybe you could go the extra step and provide sources and/or hyperlinks? This would give your readers an easy way to get the next level of information, perhaps giving them some background and/or piquing their interest? A friend of mine has started doing that with his blog on fatherhood
and I know that I've clicked through to many of the sources (although I admit I haven't necessarily read them in-depth, and some of them are just links to cutesy stuff). Links like this
, however, have given me the background that I was interested in and have piqued my interest...
Anyway...just some thoughts...