A friend asked me the other day why I blog. In the age of crazed social media options, instant access to news, fashion, TV shows, friends you lost track of 10 years ago, people who you may want to lose track of but who have tracked you down, etc. it does seems a little self gratifying to think that people would want to read what I write. Still, I do it.
I mentioned the other day that I miss writing, you know, the kind of academic writing I did in college & graduate school. Slow meticulous writing that started & stopped in the midst of research & rationalizing, weighing words & phrases in order to evoke the exactly what I meant to get across. This writing, however, is different than academic writing. Not that blogging doesn't require some amount of editing, thinking & capturing of thoughts, but it's more immediate & segmented. And, I'm learning, it's a heck of a lot more interactive. We're starting to get more traffic & comments here, which I enjoy. I feel like a whole world is opening up to me.
I came across this article on The Atlantic online that I thought captured the essence of that thought. My favorite part of the article said, "There is, after all, something simply irreplaceable about reading a piece of writing at length on paper, in a chair or on a couch or in bed. To use an obvious analogy, jazz entered our civilization much later than composed, formal music. But it hasn’t replaced it; and no jazz musician would ever claim that it could. Jazz merely demands a different way of playing and listening, just as blogging requires a different mode of writing and reading. Jazz and blogging are intimate, improvisational, and individual—but also inherently collective. And the audience talks over both. The reason they talk while listening, and comment or link while reading, is that they understand that this is a kind of music that needs to be engaged rather than merely absorbed. To listen to jazz as one would listen to an aria is to miss the point. Reading at a monitor, at a desk, or on an iPhone provokes a querulous, impatient, distracted attitude, a demand for instant, usable information, that is simply not conducive to opening a novel or a favorite magazine on the couch. Reading on paper evokes a more relaxed and meditative response. The message dictates the medium. And each medium has its place—as long as one is not mistaken for the other"
So, five reasons why I blog. Not necessarily the top five, but just five of many:
- to create a narrative: a living memory of our lives to share with others & for my kids to look back on when they're growing up. and for me to look back on when I'm old & can't remember anything.
- to use my brain at a higher level than a two year old: i love my girls, but participating in conversation with others keeps from checking into the local mental ward.
- i'm slightly obsessive: i admit that this blog was just a little side project until i started noticing all the cool kid's blogs so i had to ramp it up some.
- i like learning new things: my inner geek just shines when i figure out how to make something happen on here or when i get to show someone else how to do something at all "techie."
- it's an ego boost: i don't know if i'll ever meet most of the people who read this blog, because people I never, ever would have known - for better or for worse - now stop by & say hi. in reference to #2, it is sometimes a little isolating to be at home with the kiddos. even with playdates & gym classes & trips to the park, conversations with other adults can be few & far between. getting to "know" people who might be sharing the same experiences as i am & who can give advice or a simple hooray for the little things boosts the ego. and, really, who couldn't use an ego boost on occasion?