Hobson’s Choice

Today’s Daily Prompt from what I had previously thought of as the good people at WordPress, but am now more inclined to think of as the awkward squad, is:

If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?

I suspect that the balance of responses will, like this one, come down quite heavily in favour of writing rather than reading. Apart from anything else, how would it be possible to elicit a response from somebody who chooses only to read? If everybody read, who would write – and what would there be to read? Again, if I just wanted to read others then why would I have a blog site and be writing this response in the first place? If you have a blog site you must, at the last, choose to write rather than read.

Leaving aside the chop logic, what makes this such an interesting, tricky, question is that it goes, rather uncomfortably, to the fundamental motivation of bloggers. To say I would rather write a blog than read others is not the most obvious incentive for anyone else (i.e. other bloggers) to read mine. However, if we are honest, attention seeking is the real point of writing it (also in the first place). George Orwell, for one, made no bones about putting ‘sheer egoism’ at the top of the list of reasons he wrote.

Fortunately, though, this is just a hypothetical question. As my wife could confirm, whenever offered a choice my clear preference is to go for both. In this case I would greatly prefer to be enriched by reading as well as writing. It’s just that “sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.”

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