Why I blog

This is in response to Geen Geenie’s recent post You! Why do you Blog?

Simply put: I blog because I like to share.

My history has been varied and inconsistent, so I don’t remember exactly when I first started to blog.  I’ve had computers in my life for as long as I can remember because my dad did computer related work. We were handing in printed school projects and playing video games by the mid 80’s, but I didn’t have an online presence, other than email, for a long time.

I got a personal email account in the mid-90’s from a local freenet group, but it was a few years before I started to blog. It started with LiveJournal. I used it to share random stuff and bitch about life. It was poorly written and, because of the bitching, often quite negative. At some point, I had a website, The Lobster Trap. I can’t, for the life of me remember when I started it or who provided the free webspace (it was probably the freenet account). I think it come after LiveJournal and it was mostly used for sharing pictures I’d taken and educating people about marine life, which was a passion of mine.

When I started a library technician program, I started a separate LiveJournal account to make a library related blog that I treated as a project. I updating it regularly, researching interesting topics, being careful to use professional language, etc. It many ways, it was my first public blog. It only lasted a couple of years and fizzled out sometime after the first year of my graduate program. At the time, I’d also been doing regular posts on a student blog for the intellectual freedom student group at grad school. I got tired of trying to find content for both. Then, I got bitter when the student group/blog was taken over by some “cooler” kids without so much as warning or a thank you.

I had migrated to another blog platform by then, and then eventually to WordPress. I still posted things about libraries, but not as much. I purged my LiveJournal accounts (deleting every post and then the accounts) and any other old blogging accounts. I think I even had a moment where I thought that I was done with blogging. Who needed it when you could share things on Facebook?

But, I didn’t just want share links, I wanted to say something. I started to think about long term plans and possibilities. Did I want to blog in a more professional capacity? Maybe I could join the ranks of librarian bloggers or craft bloggers. I could still share some personal things if I had a niche blog, couldn’t I? It wouldn’t be so bad having to research and write each week while still working full time and juggling my hobbies, right?

Wrong. While I do try (at least on occasion) to be semi regular with my blogging, I knew that no amount of internet fame could make me stick to regular, well researched posts. Especially not as I didn’t have a constant thing that interested me enough to blog regularly. My hobbies are varied and sporadic, I lack passion for my day job, my volunteering is mostly seasonal, and I don’t love blogging enough to research and write new things every week. Random thoughts and sharing pictures, yes, but I wasn’t willing to commit to a specific topic or willing to make blogging a job.

I settled with personal blogging and vowed to blog weekly (a vow that I kept breaking and re-asserting and breaking again). Then, I stopped thinking about the blog in comparison with others and started to think more about what I needed and wanted. I reviewed every bloody post in my archives, deleting ones that no longer reflected who I am: anything that reflected an old opinion I was no longer willing or able to defend, anything that I felt was “stupid,” or anything that I felt was just a desperate attempt by my younger self to be the kind of blogger that I wasn’t. I read/wrote about niche blogging and decided to just do my own thing. I read/wrote about blogging success and decided not to follow the rules. Finally, I came to terms with the fact that I would never have a blog that had consistent content or a consistent schedule.

I blog because I want to. I often wish I had a better reason, but it’s that simple. I like to share things and think/write about my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and blogging is a convenient tool.

I blog because I can.

On a side note, I enjoy this kind of post (sharing something about myself while being a part of a conversation of sorts). I used to love the idea of those questionnaires that passed through bloggers like a chain letter, but fond them too simplistic or irrelevant to me. I wanted to justify or discuss every answer I gave, much like I did here. It was a simple question and I didn’t need to write a whole post about it, but I did because I wanted to. 

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4 Responses to Why I blog

  1. Geen Geenie says:

    I love this blog post, and your others on this theme Anne. I think we’ve had a lot of the same thoughts and feeling about blogging over the years and contended with some of its perceived limitations,(your post about ‘niche’ blogging is one of my favourites). Also i read neil’s post and your post about blog success and yes, these categorizations exist to market ourselves and to sell our very souls. And it’s bullcrap. It is not Community, which can be hard to find in real life and increasingly more difficult online. But there is something to be said for being yourself, and doing something purely because you want to. In the hope that we are not shouting in a bucket. And that those like minded others out there will find us.
    I’m hugely glad of you Anne out there in the blogosphere. I see a kindred spirit and it makes me feel less alone on the interwebs. Screw the rules.
    You keep on doing YOU.

    Like

    • You’re right, this is not Community and I often wonder if the people trying desperately to get a lot of attention are trying to find Community. If so, my heart goes out to them, because all they’re really getting is a lot of people who “like” their blog, which isn’t a whole lot more meaningful than clicking the Like button on Facebook.

      And, thank you! I’m glad you appreciate me as I am and also very glad to have found you in this mess we call the internet. I have come to consider you a friend. Not just an online “friend” but an actual friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Geen Geenie says:

      That totally made my day, I think of you as a IRL friend too. (Also thank you for purchasing my book of Flash Fiction! I really hope you like it, I put it in the post today. Sorry for the delay, I only found out about the sale last night- That was such a lovely surprise. You’re my first online customer for the book!) X

      Like

    • I’ve been meaning to buy it for AGES! It looks like a really neat project, and I love having little things like that to read and to be inspired by.

      Also, yay! I’m glad we’re IRL friends.

      Liked by 1 person

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