Monday, May 21, 2012

The A-List: Reasons to Blog

One of my oldest internet friends, Jillsmo, went through a recent crisis. (Note: when I say 'oldest', I am referencing the time that I've known her, not her actual age.  She actually does not remember back before electricity like I do)  You remember Jillsmo, right?  If I say her name one more time, she'll appear, right, Jillsmo?

Anyway, she got bummed out on blogging, and she thought about quitting. Which would be stupid of her, and might have made me consider flying to California despite my fear that it would immediately slide off into the ocean.  Jillsmo is consistently funny, she got some pretty sharp insight into people, and she is someone who is willing to DO instead of only talking about doing.  I admire that in a person.  She actually got another of our friends, Cactuspants, to start a blog, something he wasn't too keen about, but it is funny.   

But I started thinking about why someone might blog.  A lot of non-bloggers think that blogging is like writing a diary.  It is not, fortunately.  Because most diaries, unless you are Xaviera Hollander, can be pretty darn boring.  Some people get into blogging because they want someone to listen to them.  Some people get into blogging to make money.  Most people get into blogging because they have something to say about something.   Travel enthusiasts, like my friend Red, blog about the places they go and the wonderful things they see on their journeys.   Car enthusiasts blog about cars, and engines, and gaskets, and something called 'headers'.  Pet lovers blog about cats, and dogs, and the occasional snake. 

Moms blog about...their children.  We can't help it--once those helpless little creatures are born, they become the center of our universe, and we do tend to go on about them.  Everything they do is absolutely fascinating to us.   Samuel Pepys, we are not.  I would venture to call it a form of narcissism, since our children are genetically part of ourselves, but I would probably get yelled at by some of the bigger and badder mommy blogs.

I began blogging as a way to write about my kid, but I also wanted to be able to write about other topics as well, hence the name of my blog.  If I think about it, I have other reasons as well, and here they are.  Ta-da!

1.  Chattiness   I've noticed that when I have spent a significant amount of time with Zane, I become excessively chatty when I encounter adults. Any adult.  Woe to the poor Jehovah's Witnesses who show up to talk; they never get a word in edgewise.   I find myself blathering on and on, and I know that I'm blathering, but at least I am speaking in complete sentences.  Parents don't often get to say complete sentences!  Blogging allows me to get some of that verbosity out of my system, so I don't bore anyone completely to death.
2.  Creativity  My job is not very creative.  Writing reports about standard scores and interventions is boring and stale; the standard rule is to keep it simple.  But I like to create.  I like to putter with crocheting, cooking, jewelry making, painting, etc.  I do these things for  fun, to relax, to play.   Blogging is a way for me to play, to express my creative side.  Hence my use of various writing prompts; they are a way to spark my imagination a bit and stretch my brain.  I don't always make it pretty, but I do like to try.

3.  Writing skills  Writing is an extremely important communication skill, but it is a skill that can always use improvement.  One of the best ways to improve writing is to...wait for it...write.  Practice.  I know that there are tons of people who think that they can't write, but it is often just that they don't ever pick up a pen or sit at the computer and type anything other than emails. What you write down doesn't have to be War and Peace, and nobody else ever has to see it. Yes, at the beginning writing is difficult, but the more you write, the better you write. 

4.  Peeps  For awhile after my son was born, my world seemed to shrink.  I had coworkers to talk to, and my husband.  I needed to find other people to bond with, people with whom I could share stories, swap recipes, gripes, and tall tales.  Through blogging I have found some wonderful, positive people who make me laugh and cry and yell at my monitor.  I've seen pictures of beautiful children, heard stories of brave kitties, and found some yummy recipes.  I may not get to read every single blog every single day, but I do love my 'peeps'.  ('Peeps' is short for 'people'.  I don't know why someone felt the need to shorten that particular word.  It's kind of silly, isn't it?)

5.  Community  At the end of the day, it is about the sisterhood.  The general community of blog writers is generous with their reading time, generous with their comments, and wonderfully supportive.  The A to Z community, the Write on Edge community, and Mamakat's group have all been very positive and constructive in their comments.  Just to know that they are reading gives me a happy feeling.  They have supported my writing, my creativity(or the lack thereof), and that has made a huge difference to me, especially when I get discouraged about low comments. 

If you have any reasons to add, write them in the comments!


  1. That is a pretty comprehensive list! I am so glad I met you here.

  2. That says it all--to meet people who "get" it, for me that's been the main reason.

  3. Great list and on the money!

  4. I have to say I can relate to your friend. I have been giving some thought as to quitting myself.

    I think the "support" depends on what niche you are in.

    I am becoming increasingly more disillusioned and burned out.

    Your reasons are great ones but sometimes the pettiness and "cattiness" in some areas is more than I can tolerate

    1. Oh, I hope that you don't quit blogging! That would be a shame. I do understand what you mean about 'cattiness'.

  5. As morbid as it is, I started when my grandmother died. She inspired my love of writing, and I thought that if my time to go was tomorrow, I wanted my children to know me. Know how I thought, remember the good and bad stuff, and to know how I felt about things. I wanted it to be my legacy for them.

    And then I found the ability to post-out my writing, so if I did die tomorrow, it would be like I was speaking to them from beyond the grave. Which, once they were past the sad part, they would think was really cool. :)

    1. That is so very cool, and not morbid at all.


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