Writing on the internet is something I’ve been doing since 1995. I bought my first domain name in 1996, and have been blogging since before the term was coined in late 1997. That doesn’t mean that I’m particularly good at it. I have walked away, started over, and shifted the focus of what I write about. I always come back to it, though. It’s clear that I love blogging, but I’ve rarely taking the time to stop and think about why I love blogging.
Blogging Allows Me to Express Myself
This part is obvious. I have things to say, and sometimes I want to share those things. This is what drives most people to social media. I’m far too gratuitously verbose for the limitations. A blog post allows me to dive into a topic, expressing the pros and cons, and providing some supporting documentation in the form of links as necessary. I feel like there is a great opportunity to be understood on a blog, as opposed to merely being seen on social media.
Blogging Helps Me to Gather My Thoughts
In order to be understood, I need to have a firm handle on what point I’m actually trying to make. Blogging helps me to do that. I need to put my thoughts into some sort of coherent order. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your own brilliance in 280 characters, but when you need to fill at least 300 words you begin to find gaps in your own logic. I have frequently killed blog posts when, about three paragraphs in, I realized I had no idea what I was talking about. Most of the time, though, I have a cleared understanding of my opinions, how I reached certain conclusions, and can articulate myself far better.
Blogging Warms Me Up for Other Writing
Before I dive into my current work in progress, I tend to write a blog post. It puts me in the proper frame of mind to write. My arthritic fingers get to loosen up, and hopefully get all of the typos out of their system. Because this blog isn’t monetized, or maintained for any commercial purposes, it’s a safe way to make the transition into work mode. When I’m stuck on the WIP, I switch to writing blog post to keep the momentum going. It’s better than playing a game or reading a book. Still writing! Then I usually go back to the manuscript with fresh eyes, because my brain got to think about something else for a few minutes.
Blogging Lets Me Connect with People
Some of my oldest friends are people that I have met through my blogs. They began by leaving comments, which turned into conversations, and in turn those became relationships. It hasn’t happened in a while, mostly because blogs gave way to social media. Social media itself has changed a lot. While I’d love for this blog to turn into a community. I have ideas on how that could happen, although I’m not holding my breath. I’m just happy that there are people who read it. They get something out of it, and occasionally leave me feedback on it.
Sometimes I Hate Blogging
At the top of this post I said that I’ve been doing this off and on for over 20 years. Everything I just rote accounts for the “on” part. Tomorrow I’ll follow up with the other side of the coin. Come back and find out why I sometimes hate blogging and walk away from it.