You have endured the poll not changing for more than three weeks. Your patience has been duly noted. Sincerely, I hope this new direction will be a stimulating departure from the distraction. The answers were far different than may have expected.
Yes, it was cheeky and tougher than most M3 poll questions. The ones with only one answer often are. What was the burning question?
If you could only write one more thing, what would it be?
Your honesty was touching. Your answers will spawn three blog posts after this one (which have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual results of the poll).
In typical M3 fashion, the results from online were added to the IRL answers generated from in person interviews and other online forum participation.
The M3 Readers were the bulk of the survey takers. Others included fans, readers, random people on the street (Yes, I do this.) and some of the people I interview. Age range was typical (17-71). Sex, ethnicity and background was mixed. Specifically, some of the participants were not writers in the blogosphere or the real world.
While the M3 Readers answers differed in varying degrees, the largest variance was in the top answer: A Book. When the results were blended, 25% of all participants wanted to write a book, compared to 32% of the M3 Readers.
In a shocking result, the number two answer was a love letter. 9% of those polled thought they had never written a love letter or a successful love letter.
Another nearly 9% of participants wanted to write a screen play. When pushed for a reason, two people gave the same reason:
In a few more years, no one will be reading books. Technology is making books smaller and harder to read, but televisions bigger and easier to watch.”
Sadly, another participant echoed these sentiments with the idea literacy is in such a state of decline, the storytellers will need to resort to visual media to convey any message at all. One other person lamented youth’s use of YouTube as a declining factor.
Nearly 9% of the audience were going to fight the decline of literacy. What did they want to write? A book proposal. In the burgeoning age of self-publishing, many still want to be courted by the Big Six or smaller Indie publishing houses. They are content to write the books, but want others to carry the load of editing, marketing and risk.
A four-way tie for almost 7% of the survey takers each went to a resumé, an epic poem, flash fiction and an answer supplied in the Other box…a love song.
- The resumé writers were all unemployed and felt their skills on paper were hurting their chances of landing the job for which they were qualified.
- The poets were all confident with haiku and limericks, but lacked the confidence to hold audience attention while maintaining a rhyme pattern for more than three stanzas.
- Wannabe flash fictioneers needed to learn to keep it short or preferred the medium to short stories.
- The lyricists were part screen play writers (in their assessment of literacy) and part romantic…mix gently.
4.5% of the votes went to writing a recipe. Many people can cook by feel, a pinch of this and a dash of that, but have no idea how to write the instructions so others can get their results. We saw this happen in I will NOT eat that.
Another Other answer came it with 4.5% of the vote: Erotica. The most common answer to Why? was fear of judgment from friends and family despite knowing they possessed the talent to do it well.
Three answers tied with just over 2% of the vote each: an anthology, a coherent blog post, and another write-in answer, a sermon.
Writers are diverse and creative. Even when faced with a list of choices, they would rather color outside the lines. In the end, what they all have in common is the desire to share their stories, experiences and talents with others. It is a characteristic they try to inspire in others.
If you had not noticed, the poll has changed. If you are unfamiliar with the way polls work around here, or why they exist, take a stroll over to The Office and see the whys and wherefores. Take a moment to click a few bubbles or write in a completely different answer, or both. You may choose your top three, plus an other. Other is optional…not required.
Which of the survey answers have you already written? Would you like to write some of the choices which showed up in the Other box? Do you think blog polls are a waste of time?
If you missed the poll, you can still sound off by clicking. Fill in answers are always welcomed.
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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