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QotD: Why do you blog?

June 10, 2008

Submitted by littleduckling.

An old friend who frequently dons his Devil’s Advocate outfit repeated one supposedly “in touch” commentator recently who’d reckoned blogging was for those who wanted friends but had none. It was these same people who rubbed their hands together with glee when the opportunity arose to engage with a virtual friend, but who feared the moment when a real one appeared in front of them.

My friend doesn’t understand. Those who criticise know even less. Blogging is, for me at least, an intensely personal experience. It’s one which taps into all my inner desires and dreams whilst doing battle with my inner critic all at the same time.

Blogging offers me freedom to write whenever I want, about anything I choose without fear of recrimination. My justification is simple. I’m doing it for me.

I don’t have an editor to convince, or a sub-editor to fear. All I have is myself to please. When my fingers rest on the laptop keys I know I’m entirely connected with what’s going on inside me. There isn’t anyone telling me it’s wrong or it doesn’t scan right or “that won’t appeal to the audience”. The moment I load up the posting form I know the blogging process is for me.

That’s not to say I have free reign. I can’t just post expletives all over the page. Where’s the joy in that? I don’t want to embarrass, humiliate or antagonise others or myself, for that matter. Neither do I want to spread lies. Ultimately, I want to be true to myself.

I have my own set of Thoroughly Good standards and guidelines to adhere to, you see. They’re tough guidelines too. Don’t ask me to document them (I had considered it on here but frankly it’s way too much work. Just keep reading. I figure you could tell me what they are someday.) They’re the kind of rules and regulations which can and have kept me awake at night for hours on end. It’s not unheard of for me to power up the computer at three o’clock in the morning – not to post things you understand, more to remove things.

It may be really straightforward to publish and may not involve other people grinding an idea down, but there is still my own sense of responsibility. Sometimes being so responsible to ones self can be the most restrictive thing of all.

By blogging I’m able to remind myself that I can do the thing I love. I may not get paid to create things, but at least I can create things. Where blogging is concerned, the glass is always half full, you see.

Yet there’s an inevitable downside to the whole thing. As my confidence grows so too the desire to reach out to people I don’t know. Little by little, there’s a need that grows inside me. I want people to read this. I want people to enjoy it or appreciate it. I want to hear from people. Yeah, I know it sounds like bollocks, but that’s what blogging is about. Before you know where you are you’re telling the truth like you’re in the therapist’s chair.

I know people laugh. I know people scorn. It’s not proper writing. It’s only proper writing if you’re being paid and if you’re writing for a specific audience in mind. You’ll never succeed as a writer if you can’t write for your audience.

Those people are wrong. Blogging is about writing for an audience you don’t know and, if you’re really lucky, slowly getting to know that audience too. It’s a slow, painful process, but if like me you write it and read it and enjoy it then you’re sure to find the blogging bug difficult to shift.

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