I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while, ever since a friend raised the question of my intent here, wondering if I expect input or perhaps don’t enjoy it, whether I’m entertaining you or just perhaps myself. Another friend thinking of starting a blog herself also asked me why I do it, and thinking about all the reasons why was just too fun. So I thought I’d write them out here and see what other bloggers would add.
Earlier this week, Drew turned around at the table where he was doing homework and said, “Hey, Mo-om. Guess what one of my spelling words is this week? WRITER!” You can’t imagine how it thrilled me to know that he had any comprehension at all that I would care about that. He must actually consider me one of those, despite the fact that he’s 7, so he doesn’t exactly browse the blogging community, and there isn’t a single book in Barnes and Noble with my name on it.
And that is the first reason I blog. Because I wanted to write. A good friend said of me when I was in high school that I wrote well but hadn’t yet found my voice. “How the heck do you find that?” I asked my mom. And she said, “You find it in your grocery list. And all kinds of other common things you can write every day. Keep doing them, and eventually you find your voice.” I thought a blog would be even better than a grocery list.
Also, I wanted to write for people. When I was just writing for myself, it was too easy to skip it. I heard on the radio the other day, “We judge ourselves by what we are capable of, but others judge us by what we have already done.” Another thing my mom always said was to “discipline your art”. Too many people out there “should” or “would” or “probably could”, and not enough do. You have to put some work into it if you want to produce anything of worth. I thought having readers would be a good way to make myself keep writing, even when it seemed easier to quit.
Blogging is hugely, hugely, ginormously self-indulgent. I’m well aware of that. The other day Drew was telling John about a girl he likes. The only thing I know of her is that she has freckles. And this is what he said, “I hope I recognize her my whole life.” Having a blog gives me permission to write down things like that. And you kind people read it. Me? Self-indulged.
But my hope, and another reason I keep doing it, is that it will also entertain or move you. That at some point at least someone will say, “I totally get that.” A part of me has this crazy need to find the common denominators in humanity. I want to discover and record the way I feel about things with the delusion that at least some of them will make all of humanity nod its head, “Ah, yes. We totally get it too.” There have to be some things like that. The thrill and the ache of being a parent, the need for love, dreaming big. I keep writing and writing and writing – just hoping something I say will get that big universal nod. Indulge much? Yes, I already told you that. But if I get a nod here and there, then I figure I have given as well as received.
So that’s why I blog. I started it for me. I keep it up for you . . . and me.
How about the rest of you bloggers? Or maybe those of you considering it. What are your thoughts?