Why I Blog
Last week, I wrote about some of the Hurdles in Blogging. As I was thinking all of that through, I ended with the thought to remember why you started blogging in the first place - so that motivation can keep you going when you hit a rough patch.
A fellow blogger Diane suggested that keeping a written list of reasons why you blog nearby can serve as a reminder in a real, concrete way when you hit those hurdles. What a great idea! I had never thought of doing that.
So today, I am making the list. Here's mine:
1. I blog because I love to write. For some people, it is not the writing that attracts them to blogging, but it is the message they share, the stories they want to tell, their history that they want to chronicle. But, it's not really about the art of writing. That is fine; there is no right or wrong reason to blog. But for me, I love writing. I love words, I love experimenting with them, I love revising and trying to come up with the perfect way to express what I see inside my head. I love figurative language, I love toying with vocabulary, I love manipulating sentence structure. I love constructing just the right words and tone to achieve the effect I'm looking for.
When I got my first real taste of writing in 10th grade, I felt like I found my sweet spot. I had played sports, and I was pretty good. I had played the piano, and I was good (not great) at that, too. But I didn't love them. When I was introduced to writing, there was something inside me that came alive in a totally different way than anything else. I could write and write and write and get more energized the longer I did it. It didn't leave me tired and drained, even when I had been writing for hours. It was like the release of ideas as I put them to paper was a shot of adrenaline instead.
That is not to say that I do this in every one of my posts, but I love the challenge of it. And I want to be a better writer. I had stayed away from writing for such a long time that blogging, for me, is at least an entry-level way for me to get back to it. And I knew that I would never get better if I didn't start writing something. Blogging is my something.
2. I blog because it helps me process my life and my thoughts. I have always been a big journal-er. I have volumes of journals I've written over the years - all the way back to 6th grade. But blogging for me is a little different than journaling. In journaling, I am getting my thoughts and ideas and feelings out there, but I don't always bring them around to a conclusion, a bottom line. Because I know blogging is public, it forces me to think the experience through: So what am I learning? What is the bottom line? How should I come away from this situation? And because there is an audience, it forces me to be positive.
Sometimes when I am journaling, it can end up being woe-is-me, poor me, whah, whah, whah. And there is a time and place for that. But I don't think it is ever healthy to stop there. Knowing that there is an audience out there, it pushes me to see the silver lining in whatever tough situation I am in. And that really does help me in the real-time, real-life situations.
3. I don't want to forget. I think for a lot of us, our blogs are something of a personal history, an account of our lives in both big and small events. I love that I have my blog to look back on. That box of journals I talked about? I never look at them. I'm serious. I rarely go back and re-read them. Maybe if I am trying to remember details of a specific past experience or recall something I felt like God spoke to me - but other than that? Collecting dust. That doesn't stop me from journaling, but I don't ever go back to them. My blog, on the other hand, is sort of fun for me to re-read. Maybe because the writing is more polished, more organized, more accessible? I don't know. But I find that I really like going back to re-read my blogs - and I like being reminded of things that I had forgotten. I like that I have a real-time account of some of those important events in my life.