Earlier this week, Dr. Tanya, over at Salted Caramel, posed a question in her Blogging Insights series that got me thinking about what it is that makes bloggers tick.
In my post in response to Dr. Tanya’s post, I wrote that I am curious about what purpose blogging achieves or fulfills. What internal needs does blogging meet? What part does it play in their daily lives? How important is it to them? If they weren’t blogging, how else would they spend their time? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being blogging is their entire reason for being, and one being that, meh, they have nothing better to do, how does blogging rate?
As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?
~ copy/paste from Fandango’s Provocative Question post.
I’ve written about this topic ad nauseam but I’ll do it again and I’ll not just speak for me but I’ll hypothesize for others also. I have no idea how blogging started…I could Google it but I’m not that curious. What I thought when I first heard of ‘blogging’ was that it was an independent (of magazines, newspapers) column by a writer and I don’t remember how I happened upon WordPress but I was leery to even start the process of initiating my own blog. I’m a reader and I love quality writing (which I can’t even explain what I mean by that) or writing that just ‘sucks’ me into another world and when I am ‘involved’ in a good book I always think that I wish I could do the same, write like that. I’ve ‘written’ for as long as I can remember – not a lot but little stories here and there over the decades. I like to write out my thoughts because it helps me declutter, see another perspective and also make decisions. I have tried to keep a journal so many times that I’ve finally given up; I don’t care to keep volumes of my thoughts on paper nor do I reread what I’ve written. My writing is really more of an exercise; some people have a partner or best friend to hash things out with but I’ve always leaned toward a loner lifestyle and my friends have ALWAYS been unavailable (in one way or another but mostly geography) so I’ve used writing as communication ‘outside’ my head. I started (a different blog) years ago just writing down my thoughts just as I do now. I have not ‘grown’ in any discernible way, I’ve not limited my writing to a theme nor have I attempted to increase my visibility (although participating in challenges does do that) or ‘readers’/followers. I’m come to the conclusion that what I do, my ‘writing’, is online-journaling but with the connection of a community or tribe who sometimes give me feedback. I think one reason I like the community of blogging is the same reason many people, not all, blog for themselves – it’s a connection, an expression of ourselves (beliefs, thoughts, whatever) that is usually anonymous and, therefore, liberating. We can say exactly what we want staying within our comfort zone and we have no fear (physical) of reprisals from readers; people can comment whatever they want and we can chose to publish/respond or not. I’ve read many times, “This is my blog and I’ll say what ever I want. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.” I think we live in a very noisy, messy world where people no longer actively listen, people are apathetic, people want to express themselves but not necessarily ‘hear’ what other people have to say, most of us do not have an open, sincere, unconditional connection with another human being where we can be vulnerable, different, and faulty but still have that someone who will always support us, listen to us and be there no matter what year after year. So we write our hearts out and expose them figuratively to the whole world and maybe someone will respond and say that they feel the same way or they like how or what we write and maybe we will create a ‘friendship’ out of people we don’t know and will never meet but we have the superficial idea that this means something – and it does for as long as it does but…if I stopped writing today…no one is going to call me and find out how I’m doing. Some of us maintain this lifeline because it feeds a part of us and our lives with that something that we are not getting in our ‘real world’. Others, I know, enjoy the writing, expressing and the connection is entertainment or fun but they have a meaningful and intimate life/family/partner so the blog is a hobby, a creative outlet. I can get lost somedays writing like participating in the A2Z challenge; I found the daily writing was using up a lot of my time and I decided that I’d continue but at my own pace and that was a liberating moment; I decided that I’d complete the challenge but I don’t have to follow rules set by someone else. I write when I feel like it or when I need to but I don’t want or allow the blog to take over my time. I’d say my blog rates as a #4: it has it’s place but it isn’t, nor can I allow it to be a routine. I’ve even considered not blogging but I thought, why give it up? it doesn’t have to be black or white, all or nothing.