Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Why I Blog

Shakespearetoblog

Only connect. – E.M. Forster

That’s it. I could have ended this post there, as it would have answered the question in the title. The rest of this post deals with something quite different – why I felt the need to ask ‘why I blog’ in the first place.

It certainly isn’t to help build some sort of a writing career. If it were so, I would have spent my time doing a different kind of writing, or at least, writing a different kind of blog. The blog I have made and continue to make doesn’t help much in that regard. A lot of people I meet here are specifically interested in the art, craft and psychology of writing, but I am hardly as efficient as them. I took myself seriously for a while, even wrote a draft for a book of essays I’ve found myself unable to look at for various reasons, but writing, in general, is not the reason I am here.

It’s not blogging either. I have been doing this for a while now, almost two years. Though my blogging appears confident, I don’t have the statistics to back it up. I blog regularly, but this blog still has a long way to go before it considered one of the ‘moderate-to-big’ ones. In fact, I doubt it has the potential to go anywhere near that sort of a scale, which is why it certainly isn’t the views or likes it notches up that is my main concern. In fact, the more I do it, the more apathetic I become to that sort of feedback. I’ve reasoned countless times, statistics aren’t always the most accurate assessment of the quality of your posts. No matter how many times a day, a week, a month or a year you have numbers staring at your face, it can’t possibly reflect what your blog has qualitatively meant to every single person who has read it.

I miss quite a few bloggers. I’ve always made it a point to follow only a manageable number of blogs. I don’t want to follow someone out of politeness or flattery. I follow them because I want to read them. Because I want to invest in what they have to say. Because I connected with what they built over the course of their blogging. I got to know what they were sharing about their thoughts, their talents, their lives, and I kept coming back because I connected with that. It is superficial and frivolous by all reason, but it was a meaningful connection nevertheless, one you might make with a neighbour or a radio jockey that you have known for sometime. It isn’t official, but it is real.

Therefore, if they stop blogging or delete their blogs, I naturally miss them. I myself went on a hiatus for a while earlier this year. There were various reasons for it, but the more I drifted away, the more I realised how much time and energy I spent behind blogging. I filled that time with other things, and I didn’t want to come back, thinking there isn’t anything different I can do that will make me excited about it. And it’s true. I still haven’t done anything any different. I came back anyway because I felt it was a shame to let all the work I’ve put behind it just sit, gathering dust on the interweb. I decided to go on, because I missed the basic connection that I made through writing my blog, and through responding to other blogs. It has come to be a habit, but in its own way, it is part of the fabric of existence.

The word opinion comes from the Latin ‘opinor’ which means “to think”. I prefaced my blog name, as well as my posts, with an ‘Of’ because that is what the pioneering modern essayists did with the title of their essays. Therefore, my blog name simply means ‘Of Thinking’. In practice, it is much the same, where I open a conversation with you about something I have been thinking. Because it is a blog and not a real-life conversation, I get to say all my thoughts on the matter, and then I wait for you to tell me what you think. I don’t think of my ramblings as a piece of literature, i.e. art, waiting to be critiqued in the comments section. The comments section is for you to say whatever you think, for this to be an exchange of ideas, a conversation in the truest sense. As a blog reader and commenter, I too participate in this back-and-forth game, having conversations on other blogs. And that is the only reason I blog. Only connect.

You don’t have to read or follow this blog if you don’t want to. You don’t have to leave a like or a comment if you don’t want to. It’s not about the numbers for me, and it’s not about building my brand. I also can’t promise doing the same for you. But, I am willing to participate in the game of conversations. Are you?

Why do you blog?

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

14 thoughts on “Of Why I Blog

  1. That closing paragraph sums up my outlook nicely – stats are nice, but I only ‘follow’ the blogs I actually read. So I may lose ‘followers’ by not ‘following’ but that’s ok. I’m more interested in having good discussions – or participating in the game of conversations as you say!

    1. Yes! That’s what really matters, and makes it more fulfilling, isn’t it? It’s exciting to put a post together, but to have people read and respond to it is what makes the experience complete.

  2. Fabulous thoughts, and yes, I had been wondering where you have been! More to the point though, your post is coming along at a timely period for me. Owing to some other factors, I had a bit of a meltdown this weekend and part of it was feeling under appreciated by people. Not so much bloggers, but feeling very let down by the people I share my posts with on social media. Here I am, pouring my heart out, or sharing memories that bring a smile to the face, or making people laugh and I felt betrayed by a certain segment of people. The fact that they were all so enthusiastic two and a half years ago when I started did not help matters either. Over time I have learned not to be too concerned with hits and comments. It can be discouraging, but so far it has not made me want to stop. In fact I’m writing more than ever, and just started a new segment I hope to turn into a book. Anyway, while having this meltdown my wife asked me the very question your post is about.

    So why do I blog. I do blog for myself. It is cathartic, challenging, fun, happy, sad and over time together with my photographs has become ‘my art’. I never considered that before, and up until recently was afraid that it was pretentious. Which is perhaps what my meltdown was partially about (there were other issues as well). But all of those things I just mention make me genuinely happy to share with others, and I love the reaction I get. It may in fact only be one or two reactions I get, but I treasure them. The ability to make someone feel (whatever emotion) is a wonderful thing. So that is my answer-I blog for myself, but I love to share with people equally. Which is what I love about your posts. Here you just wrote something that on the one hand is deeply personal and honest, yet on the other hand, is so true for so many of us sitting in front of our screens right now. And for which I will always say, thank you for.

    1. Hi Robert, sorry it has taken a while to get back to you. Thank you for sharing. I have to say, I too have felt the lack of consistent back-and-forth bloggerly interaction I’ve come to expect from the handful of bloggers I’ve come to know here. The reason is that most of them have given up blogging, and it does take a while to get over that. For example, what would performers be without an audience? It depends on what scale of an audience you expect for yourself, but if there were none at all, who would you perform to? If you were an actor, people would think you’ve gone mad, talking to yourself! Just because it is possible to write, or take pictures or paint or play an instrument without an audience, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t expect to have one. As long as you love doing it, it wouldn’t matter if there wasn’t always an audience around.

      1. No worries. I think you are right. On the one hand I do of course dream that this could be huge. As in massive and I have spent time trying to figure out how to make that happen. But its been all this time and I have to be real and say that my blog is what it is. And just like that performer who plays to a large crowd one night, and then a half empty venue the next night, you have to get over it because as you say, you love it. It feeds your soul. That is what really matters. Thanks as always for such an awesome post.

  3. Thanks so much for coming back to the blogging world otherwise I never would have you. I’m new and so eager for people to read my work and leave their thoughts. My posts are very personal to me so I really related to your experience of missing the blogs you follow. I’m always looking for personal and meaningful stories and it’s so nice to have a platform to connect with others.

    If you’re ever interested in anything I have to share or say about what I feel in general: https://onlyindreamssite.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you! And good luck on your blogging. It is nice to develop your blogging friendships over time, as you discover blogs and other people discover yours. That is the best part of the experience!

  4. I find your thoughts interesting. My reasoning is similar, but I anticipate all my interactions will flow in one direction. I throw my thoughts out there less with the goal of starting a conversation than inspiring one or simply expressing my point of view. I generally use my twitter account to ask questions in hope of getting an answer. I rarely ask for an opinion from my readers. The radio DJ analogy is a strong one.
    I also follow very few blogs. My marketing background taught me reciprocity in social communities is a reliable way to build a following, and I think it’s actually made me steer away from the practice. As lovely as it would be to make money writing down my thoughts, I’d rather 10 visitors read what I have to say than 100 scroll past. This is my hobby, not my job, and I post irregularly as the mood strikes me.
    In the parlance of the intarwebz: A+ post. Would read again.

    1. Thank you, John! It’s the first time I’ve had my blog graded, so I’m glad it’s an A+!

      Interesting how you look at it from a marketing background and do the opposite of what is expected. I do the same, because I think it wouldn’t always be authentic otherwise. Looking at successful social media personalities, I find that not all are able to maintain that real, relatable connect, and I’d hate to think that my writing here was disingenuous in some way. I would, of course, like to have a larger audience, but not at that price. Thanks again!

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