A little while back, 20 Something Bloggers’ Twitter account called one of my blog posts provocative. That’s a pretty strong compliment for a writer to get — but what does it really mean?
Google defines provocative with two definitions.
- Causing annoyance, anger, or strong reaction, esp. deliberately
- Arousing sexual desire or interest, esp. deliberately
First and foremost, I learned that apparently a provocative person/story is one that can get you all hot and bothered. I was unaware that definition of the word even existed, though I’m thoroughly amused by its existence and now plan to use it in day-to-day conversation whenever I can fit it in.
More to the point though, a post that’s considered to be provocative is one that makes you have an emotional response to its content. My goal as a writer is not necessarily to make my readers annoyed our angered when they read my posts. If that happens, it happens, though it’s certainly not the end goal.
What I’d rather have happen though is for someone to have to stop and take the time to think about what I’ve written.How does that piece impact them personally? Does what I’ve said change a point of view about a specific topic, or does it reinforce a preconceived notion about said subject matter? Has what I’ve written forced you to take two minutes of your day to consider something you otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about?
When I start writing a given post, there are many times I have nothing more than a general topic in mind. I don’t have an aim, a moral, or an end goal when I figuratively begin putting pen to paper. My goal is not to change the world in one brilliantly written article. While I may be bright, I’m not that level of an orator to be able to do so. What I do endeavor to achieve is to make sure that my thoughts cause at least one person to think deeply on the topic at hand. Ideally, they’ll respond with their reaction, and I’ll be able to interact with that individual in deep (or lighthearted if the subject matter warrants) conversation about whatever I’ve chosen to write about.
To be referred to as provocative as a blogger should not be a descriptor that is misconstrued as someone who writes solely to seek a reaction for reaction’s sake. While I do write for reaction, it would be more accurate to say that I write seeking reaction with interaction. In my mind, without interaction that was provoked by strong thinking, what point is there to blogging?
What type of interaction do you seek out as a blogger? What about as a reader? Sound off in the comments below.