Why I 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.