In the beginning I wrote fabergemonkey for myself. Back then I had next to no readers and it was a lovely, anonymous exercise in writing and learning to express myself in such a way as to explore my thoughts and interests whilst not revealing too much. Eventually I gained some readers and followers, and although the interaction was sporadic my writing became a little more aware that it had an audience.
The real change was when people I knew, either in real life or on twitter, became readers, commenters and actively interested in what I thought, felt and wrote, regardless of whether they agreed with what I had written or not. It was a strange transition, and one that left me at times uncomfortable and all too aware of the nuance and interpretation of a post and the impact it had on real world relationships.
In both the latter instances it became harder to write for myself without the influence of that awareness and so my writing tailored itself, subconsciously or not, to the existence of that audience. My writing, in effect, became quantum (using the commonly misunderstood definition of the quantum-observer effect). Writing, once read, leaps away from the writer, no matter how skilled they are at their craft, and becomes the property of the reader and what they bring to the party.
Over time my interest waned and all the topics and conversations I wanted to hold had been covered. And so I parked the blog, metaphorically threw away the keys (although I apparently kept a spare set) and hitch-hiked away to the horizon.
I now find myself back at the beginning of my journey, with a blog stuffed full of memories and explorations, with no audience and the freedom to think and talk about all the stuff that has happened over the last two or three years. Will themes be re-trod? Of course. Time and distance add perspective, age lends a type of wisdom and absence resurrects the desire to write and think and meander once again.
The words come easily when you have something to say, they flow with an unreserved honesty in that absence of an audience. It is, after all, easier to sing in the shower than on the stage.