Why I Blog
We talked about some of the obvious topics such as the irony of holding a class for blogging – it is unruly, unfinished and unpolished to it’s core, so the idea of holding a class on it is almost silly. But it was a very important class for reflection on why I blog. Why do I crawl up on my soap box of 0’s and 1’s and dither on about running, my day, my thoughts and my life?
1. Because blogging reflects the way that I think. I have never been an “author” type. I have always had a hard time reaching the word count in essays while my friends had a hard time editing it down. I love for my words to be tight and short (in print at least), rather than sprawling and long winded. It is the same reason that poetry makes me excited; each word should count. But in my mind, blogging is bad poetry. It is short, opinionated pieces on nothing and sometimes everything. A scattering of ideas and thoughts. I love that someone invented a rule where you can “publish” somethings that are not perfect and that you can grow an audience who read it and encourage you to keep writing.
2. Because of the people: I think a lot about you guys. I really do. Sometimes I even think of you individually if I know you read this blog. I get stage fright because sometimes I try to write for you all individually and I have so many unique friends and readers that I lose my voice in the process. That sometimes happens here even though I try very hard not to let it. One thing that Kerry said in the seminar is to ignore what they all say and forget about your audience. Keep writing as if no one is there and suddenly it is your voice again. Recently I was at a party with Jesse and one of his old high school friends came up to me and started talking to me like she knew me. Suddenly she stopped and apologized “Sorry! You don’t know me…I read your blog so I feel like I know you already.” My first thought whenever that happens is one of embarrassment. A blog carries a deep stigma and it also is a bit narcissistic, I mean, I am assuming you all want to hear about ME because that is all I know well. So I am always surprised when people enjoy it.
Beyond that, I have met some amazingly cool people online. There seemed to be a wave of engagements this fall on the blogs of people I didn’t know, but I told their stories to my family as if it happened to a close friend. Like Jenna’s fairy tale proposal (boys..take note – this guy got it RIGHT!), or Melissa’s engagement which completely surprised me, and Devon’s exotic proposal.
The point is, I feel connected to people because I read their thoughts and peak into their lives. And I am lucky to read about people who I feel are just like me.
3. Because I have ALWAYS done it: I may as well be the hipster of blogging – I did it WAAY before it was cool. In fact, my first blog reads much like a very sad personal diary mixed with facebook, lamenting the cruelty of my teenage world and riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, followed up with a shout out of deep love and devotion to my boy friend and ending with a few kisses and whatever punk album I was listening to that week. My header is Jessicaland for crying out loud. I have had approximately 6 blogs since that point, trying out all of the blogging platforms from tumblr to blogger and finally settling into WordPress in utter exhaustion. I have put some seriously wretched stuff into the internets, but the act of doing it has made me a better blogger and I am slowly learning how to do it better – if there is such a thing for the practice of throwing unedited thoughts to complete strangers on a daily basis.
4. Because it is the coolest way to tell a life story: Think about it. You are telling your story BACKWARDS. It has no ending because you have flipped the beginning to the end and keep adding to the front making it the most complex and vibrant of stories. This is blogging and this is why I love it.
I believe it is time to wrap up, considering I am a self confessed “short winded” person in print.
Have a great week and keep blogging!