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.