It’s funny, I never thought much about why I blog because to me it’s like breathing – it’s something I do naturally, and have ever since I discovered writing. When I was twelve I wrote long, journalistic letters (yes, handwritten. On paper. With stamps and everything) to my best friend, when I was fifteen I posted to BBSes (with dial-up modems – technology marching on!), when I was twenty I switched to emails and mailing lists. Even when I went off to Southeast Asia, I managed to write a blog (in mailing list form) for the six months I was traveling. Even when I was traveling in rural Laos, where electricity is only on for four hours a day, I managed to post to my proto-blog. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when blog technology appeared on the horizon, that I switched to formal blogging. And here I am.
So why blog?
I think there are a lot of reasons to blog, and I’ll go through my own reasons in a bit. Meanwhile, here are the most obvious ones I can see:
- Keeping friends up to date, and being social with each other via comments. When I think “Livejournal”, this is what I think of. Status messages in Facebook do this too.
- Presenting information. Lots of weavers, like Alice Schlein, post informative blogs with tips and thoughts for other weavers.
- Therapy – a personal journal to help work through things that are going on around you.
- History – keeping records of what one has done (for example, if not for my blog, I’d never know that I purchased my Leclerc Diana in July of last year).
- to enjoy the process of writing
Those are the main reasons I can think of.
For myself, I’ve been through the gamut of blogging. I shudder at the intimate bits and pieces of my life that I’ve left on various mailing lists over the years in the process of journaling via mailing lists. (I suppose I could have written a private, personal journal, but that’s never worked for me: for me the process of writing is a reaching-out, a communication between me and my audience, and writing for myself has always seemed pointless and empty. I know it’s not like that for other people, but it’s always been like that for me.) I’ve written as therapy, I’ve written to keep friends updated on my doings, I’ve written things that I hope people will find informative and useful. But mostly, I blog because I must: it’s like breathing, the urge to write things down.
I’ve always seen blogging as somewhat presumptuous and self-indulgent, honestly, because it all starts in the cheerful egotism that your life is interesting enough to read about. Which it may very well be, but there is a certain presumptuousness about publishing your life (or anything else) in the belief that others will read it. This has never stopped me, but I think about it every once in awhile. 🙂 I do take some comfort in knowing that on any given day about 150 people read my blog, meaning I’m not entirely out of touch with reality.
What I strive for in my blog (and in my overall website) is capturing and sharing the sense of wonder I feel for the universe. It could manifest itself in awe at the complexity of doubleweave, in delight at the rich flavor of a dry-farmed tomato, or in wicked glee over a weekend spent churning out 60 pounds of chocolate. It could manifest itself in a creative blitz, or in an afternoon spent meditating, or a trip through exotic places. It could be a post about philosophy. But in the end, what I want to communicate to my reader is this: the world is a wonderful, fascinating place, full of adventures and beauty – even if you never leave home. If I’ve managed to share that sense of wonder, I’m content.