Why I blog

Once again, Liz at happy sighs has started a great discussion that has my wheels turning. Talented woman, that one. She asked the question ‘why do you blog?”

Why do I blog?

Well I don’t blog for myself. Of course I essentially do – there’s definitely no one paying me or holding a gun to my head – but I know my momentum would fizzle out pretty damn fast if no one read what I write. I do find writing to be therapeutic and there are times in my life when I have reached for it as a way to cope, mostly during my angsty teenage years. Back then, I would scribble bits of poetry in the margins of my notebooks and occasionally keep a diary of the unique dramas of being in high school. I also remember going through a tough phase in grade ten when I realized how shitty the world can be and was moved to arrange those thoughts into an essay. I’m pretty sure it was a little misguided and a lot melodramatic, but I spent a long time on it and was proud of the outcome. And it really was just for me.

I do love that having a blog lets me have that kind of occasional therapy session in words, like this. But my life is simply not sufficiently angst filled at this point for me to require weekly appointments. So no, blogging is not simply about me – if I were writing purely for myself, I would write quarterly in a diary, not a blog.

I also don’t blog because I crave the writing. Don’t get me wrong, I do get a lot out of the process of writing but like a lot of other rewarding things, I find it difficult. Writing forces you to form complete thoughts and commit them to words; there is no flailing of arms or lifting of pleading eyebrows to fill in the blanks when you are not sure of what to say. And if you want anyone to follow your thoughts you have to know clearly what it is you’re trying to say, requiring thought, patience, and deliberation – all activities that I try to limit to my working hours.

But when I find the inspiration to do it, and do it properly, I really enjoy seeing my thoughts neatly laid out in sentences instead of tangled up in synapses, destined only to see the light of day when they are forced out by an influx of alcohol. Still, I will readily admit that I don’t enjoy the act of writing for its own sake enough to continue it in a vacuum. Until I started blogging, I hadn’t written anything ‘for pleasure’ in years.

So why do I blog? I blog to share. And no, unlike what many people assume of personal bloggers, that doesn’t mean I’m self-involved, or think my life is terribly fascinating (quite the opposite), or that I need my choices affirmed by others. It means I want to have a space to be as honest as I can in hopes of connecting with other people who are going through the same thing, or going through things that are different enough to lend me another point of view. I blog because my late twenties has found me far removed from many of my closest friends and missing the kind of conversations that keep me sane and grounded.

When I started, I had the vague goal of connecting with people but I didn’t really know how I would measure my success. It wasn’t about reader numbers – I was too scared to even dare think of that. Of course I wanted some people to read my blog (and I will admit to doing a little happy dance when I see my reader number go up) but as is my friendship philosophy in real life, a few loyal readers outweigh a bunch of randoms any day. So I’ve started to realize that “success” to me means reaching far enough into someone’s brain to get their wheels turning and hopefully start a conversation.

Lately, I feel like I might be getting closer to that goal. I love that I have found a community of intelligent women (and perhaps the occasional man) to navigate this phase of my life with. It has filled a void in my life for rich, honest, funny, and real conversation. So thank you – yes, you – for being here. I obviously would love to have a conversation with each of you, but even seeing your little visit number tells me that something I’ve said somewhere has resonated with you.

And that is why I blog.

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Posted on October 17, 2011, in Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. it’s been fun to “meet” people through blogging/twitter. I’ve totally used my blog as a therapist before, and it’s always nice when the internet talks back to you when you throw something like that out there :)

  2. You’re welcome :)

    I too see blogging as a conversation, rather than a monologue, and I’m very happy to be having this conversation with so many interesting, thoughtful, perceptive people. If only you didn’t all live so damn far away…

  3. Yes, it is about the “community”, about being able to connect with people in similar situations (or completely opposite, because that allows for true discussion). It’s about sharing. And the therapy part is also true, I am a very talkative person and I tend to overthink. It must have been during the first years in university that my best frined (who alas now lives very far away from me) told me to write. To put things down. It helps to connect the dots. And yeah, I also enjoy the process. I am so glad I “found” your blog.

  4. I love this. I blog for many of the same reasons. I love the sharing, the conversation and the feedback.

  5. Agree! I think connecting and broadening the conversation and getting some input on the “me too!” and the “I don’t feel that way but fine” is really outstanding and something we don’t HAVE enough of in daily life.

  6. Thanks, flatterer.

    I think you hit on so much that made me nod my head in agreement.

    Also re: seeing your thoughts laid out in sentences… it’s scientific (or something?) that speaking/writing your thoughts helps you to better form opinions and ideas. Makes sense, right?

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