I’m an inveterate ponderer…an obsessive analyzer…someone who questions motivations – both others’ and my own. Periodically, I re-examine my desire to blog, wondering if it’s a good use of my time and if it’s worthwhile to continue. My blog isn’t self-supporting, and I pay for the hosting. And yet I still continue to do it. Why?
I think I blog because I like to write. In my corporate days, I focused almost exclusively on non-fiction writing (policies and procedures, training material, legal analyses, investigative reports – riveting content), though I did find ways to insert myself into more creative pursuits, like writing marketing copy. I looked for and found small, informal, ways to feed my need to write.
In retrospect, I have always enjoyed writing – I’d always been the student that rejoiced when an essay assignment, like a book report, was assigned. Oh, happy day – may I write two?? At the risk of being viewed as a pedant, I value and strive for precision in language, both written and spoken. Language is complex, beautiful, and important, and it pains me to see or hear it used carelessly (or misused).
Blogging provides an audience for my writing…ideally, drawing in others of similar interests with a reach that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It also finds those individuals who still enjoy what I feel is becoming a lost art: reading. When I was on Instagram, I wrote very short pieces to accompany the many photos I posted, and often felt like they were unnaturally abbreviated because it wasn’t the right forum for something lengthier. Instagram was about the photos – the writing was incidental (and maybe distracting).
On a blog, I have the freedom to write as much or as little as I choose. And with some topics, I have a lot to say. I’m not representing anyone other than myself, so I don’t have to censor my own work…I can take some risks, like posting poetry, which may alienate readers who aren’t poetry fans (that’s really possible!), or maybe it simply won’t appeal to other readers who are poetry fans because it’s not the kind of poetry they like. That’s ok. Poetry’s going to happen here – it’s not the only topic I’ll blog about, but it’s going to appear periodically. In my blog.
I think what it really comes down to is this: I don’t want to write in a vacuum. If I thought that no one was reading what I wrote, I would stop blogging (but not writing – I’d just do it privately, and might just self-publish something on principle!) because, at best, it wouldn’t be fulfilling…and, at worst, it would be depressing to want to share something that no one else cares to read. When I see something that’s so beautiful, awe-inspiring, or funny, I want to record and share it – and, hopefully, it will be discovered by another individual who will also enjoy it.
Having spent so much of my adult life focused on analytical pursuits, I’m jumping in with both feet, creatively, in an effort to bulk up the right brain. I’ve already begun with knitting (loom and needle), and have taken steps toward developing skills in other crafts. I’ve written poetry for years and have finally posted a few poems, mostly haiku, to the blog. I struggled with the idea of posting poetry because it didn’t fit neatly with the other topics on the blog, but I figured that as people grow, they change, and that readers wouldn’t flee if I strayed from the usual topics.
Art has helped me better understand myself, to find perspective in the tragic, to express my admiration for the wonder and beauty of the natural world. Writing can be very therapeutic and certainly cathartic…and very personal. Sometimes, personal enough that I struggle with posting the content because it may truly only be meaningful to me.
Finally, I want to thank each person who has found this blog and takes the time to read what I post. Just knowing you’re looking at the content is affirming, and it’s a joy to have you comment and maybe even follow the blog. You are the reason the blog continues to exist – you ensure that there’s no vacuum, that my words and photos don’t just go into the “void”. A writer without an audience is an unsatisfying arrangement: I may write just for myself, but I couldn’t possibly have the same perspectives as other readers whose interpretation of the writing is influenced by their own filters and frames of reference – and it’s an amazing and humbling experience to see my work through others’ eyes.