Saturday, December 01, 2012
I do this for...reasons...
I made it through NaBloPoMo successfully last month, blogging on all 30 days in the month, in part due to a wonderful group of bloggers over on the LSG board on Ravelry. Their support and the accountability that came from belonging to the group, which was started by Isobel De Brujah, was a big help in keeping me on task at a time when I had just promised myself that I was going to start blogging daily rather than just on Sunday (for Music Sunday) and Monday (for Movie Monday) and whenever else the spirit hit me.
The group of us over there was given a challenge to post about why we do this...why we blog in the first place. I've been thinking about that for several days, since the challenge was issued, and these are the conclusions I've come up with.
First of all, I blog because I love to write.
No, really. I can hear some of you laughing nervously out there. Loving to write is not really a thing in US culture. In fact a lot of people go to great lengths to avoid writing, ever. But I really love the process. Yes, it can be difficult. Yes, it is something that is best done in solitude. And, yes, people look at me strangely sometimes when I say that I love to write. Still, I find the process, from thinking about what I might write about, to the actual writing, to the proofreading and editing process afterward, and sometimes even the process of going through two or three or more drafts before a piece of writing is ready to be seen by others, to be fulfilling and exhilarating and fun. I love the idea of making something brand new.
Also, I have to write.
Can't get around it. I've been writing down stuff I think about since I was, oh, I don't know, six or seven years old. It's something I need to do, I've found. If I don't write for awhile, I find myself getting twitchy. It's like some people have to paint, or have to make music, or have to go out and climb a mountain or play a sport. I don't know why writing is a part of my set of needs, but it is. The thing is, blogging is a way to use my need to write that seems more constructive than just scribbling things down somewhere and just forgetting about the fact that I've written them down.
I won't lie. One of the reasons I blog is to get my writing out in front of the public.
I am a writer. Not currently making any money at it, but I have in the past and I hope to do so again in the future. Blogging is a way for me to keep in touch with my potential audience, and to keep in touch with the things you all are interested in, or not interested in, as the case may be. This is why I like getting comments on my posts. It lets me know what you all are thinking about the things I'm thinking about.
Blogging also helps me practice my craft.
Just about every writer will tell you, you aren't really a writer unless you write every day. Every writer has to learn the discipline of applying their butt to their chair and their fingers to their keyboard (or to that pen and paper) every single day. You see, the thing is, the way to learn to write is to write. That's all. Just write. And that's what blogging is. Just sitting down and writing.
I've always wanted to be a columnist.
I started reading newspapers along about the same time I started writing things down. And, always, one of the best things about the newspapers, for me, has always been the daily or weekly columns. Seeing what one writer has to say about stuff, and seeing how his or her opinions stay the same or change over time, is interesting to me. So is the opportunity to see how a particular columnist views the world around him or her at any particular point in time. Blogging lets me do the same sort of thing that columnists do.
Writing my way through an issue often helps me figure out exactly how I feel about that issue.
This is a process that can take one paragraph, or can take pages and pages of writing over a period of time. Blogging is a very public way for me to do that, but I don't think that's a bad thing at all. In fact, blogging is a very good way to keep me honest about that process and about how I feel about issues of public import. There's no fudging about what one thinks and about what one previously thought when the evidence is right there, out in public for everyone to see.
Just a thought, but maybe we should require all political candidates and politicians to blog daily on their thoughts about the issues before them.
But, I digress. Although that could be a subject for another day, couldn't it?
I also blog because the world often horrifies me or amuses me.
By getting how I feel about those things out there and seeing comments about my take on them, I can get read on whether it's just me, or if other people feel the same way I do about them. If you, as readers, don't feel the same way I do about a subject or issue, your comments on what I have written let me know exactly why you feel the way you do about those things.
Anyway. I blog for a lot of reasons. These might not even be all the reasons I blog, since my reasons for doing anything can change from day to day. These are the constant reasons, though. And, the most important ones.