Why Do You Blog?

Please note: This was written for my tumblr – Damaged & Dangerous – before I had a WordPress. But it applies equally to WordPress. I had a previous WordPress blog many Moons ago, which I deleted for reasons explained below.

For every blog which exists, there is a story behind its creation. For some answering this question is easy, for others it is more complicated. The longer you have a blog, the more the answer evolves as the blog evolves, from whatever impulse first inspired you to start a blog, to all the reasons why you keep blogging. There are those who have multiple blogs, perhaps with a different reason for each one.

Self-expression is probably the most obvious answer. Sometimes you just have to get whatever is inside out and release it. To let your wild self out of its cage and let it roam freely all over the pages of a blog. Because it is fun, liberating, empowering, an escape, a sanctuary from the offline world. A way to indulge a passion for something or someone. Perhaps it is the only place where you can truly be yourself, either openly or anonymously. Perhaps it will be seen by someone who can appreciate it, understand it, and connect with it. Perhaps it will help someone who is in a similar situation, or someone will help you. The possibilities are endless.

Someone asked me what prompted me to start writing my blog. I love this question. I had to pause for a long time to think about my reasons.

The cheeky answer would be to say ‘I blog because I can’. Which is true, but it’s just the tip of the answer. Certain questions have many layers of answers. My original impetus for starting this blog was as a challenge to myself.

I had a tumblr before this one. It was my first blog, and I made all the mistakes I could possibly make with it. It was a wonderful learning curve experience, and I loved it dearly, but in the end it had to go. What made me delete it was the fact that I was only expressing one side of my character, and it became a bit static and unbalanced. The other sides of my character took umbrage. I didn’t feel able to change it to incorporate all of me. I tried having more than one blog, but I ended up fragmenting myself, spreading myself too thin until I had nothing left to give or say. I gave up on all forms of online self expression for a while, and thought I would never return, but a couple of friends inspired me to try again.

This time around I’m trying to give expression to all of me in one place. Which is why I linked it to my Twitter, and vice versa, so I wouldn’t be tempted to split myself up. I’m also not holding back, much. Part of me is very secretive and reserved, part of me is blunt, open, and a bit too honest at times. The two sides often fight over what to share and what to keep hidden. Who wins and who loses really just depends on the moment. I also have many other sides which all want to have their say. Sometimes they all talk at once and I can’t focus on any of them. The angry bit wants to have a rant, the loving bit wants to inspire, the philosophical side wants to go off on a tangential thinking trip, the warped humorous trickster wants to have a laugh, the emotional side wants to spill itself everywhere, and so on. The only side I have to control and curb is the dark destroyer, it likes to lay waste to everything I create.

My writing posts are one of the main reasons this blog exists. The image posts, the quotes, and all the other bits and pieces are important to me, but they are easy to do, fun, relaxing, they reflect what I do in the evenings, roaming the internet exploring all the treasures which are there to be found and enjoyed. They express the subtler sides of my nature. I am very visual, I love to read, and I love discovering artists, authors, creations, and indulging my eyes, my senses, my mind, and such. The writing is the challenging part. I keep a lot to myself, revealing my thoughts, emotions, and inner self is strange and unnerving. It takes time to write each post, and I always do them on the day, which can be difficult due to my offline life intruding on my efforts to have peace and quiet to concentrate. My text software is a bit glitchy and likes to delete my work, or autocorrect it until nothing makes any sense, although the results can be very humorous at times. Then there is the secret internal editing police which is always checking up on me, tutting and saying ‘You can’t say that!’. And the impatient side always looking over my shoulder saying ‘Are you still writing! What could you possibly have to say which is taking this long!’. When I said writing was a challenge, perhaps I understated just how much of a challenge it is sometimes, but it can be very satisfying, illuminating, cathartic, and fun too.

Blogging is a fantastic thing to do. It has many benefits. The most rewarding of which for me has been your reactions to my words, and how much you have helped me with your own words, thoughts, and the things which you have shared with me. Thank you from the depths of me to the depths of you. I think that that is perhaps the single most valuable reason for blogging. To discover all the amazing people who exist in this wonderfully crazy world of the blogosphere.

So, Why do you blog?

11 thoughts on “Why Do You Blog?

  1. This is a really interesting piece, and has got me thinking as well. I suppose I do have a fairly simple answer, which is to engage with other people with similar interests, to ‘get myself out there’ as it were… But mostly it’s just great to practise writing – a hobby I’d kind of buried for years, and it’s really freeing!

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    1. Thank you. I completely agree, it is very liberating, and that’s very satisfying! I’ve been reading some of your posts and your words have a fiery spark. I love it! Food for thought and conversation. In fact I had a long chat with an imaginary version of you about your Are Video Games Art? post. 😉

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      1. Wow, thanks! It’s cool to know I come across that way, sometimes I’m not sure that actually saying much at all in my posts.. I’d love to know what the imaginary chat entailed of, it’s got me thinking too – I can feel my own imaginary chat with you starting…!

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        1. That’s one of the conundrums of life, seeing ourselves from the outside in rather than from the inside out. How others hear what we say, whether they hear what we hear when we express ourselves. When we speak (or write), do they hear a whisper or do they hear a shout? Do the things which are important to us have the same impact on others. If you think too much about how others view your writing or speech, you could end up convincing yourself not to express yourself. Or you curb your natural energy trying to suit who you think your listener is. And who we are, as we are, is our unique gift to the world, whether the world sees it that way or not. So, I think as long as you enjoy writing what you write, and find your own words interesting, then people will enjoy reading it and find it interesting. I could be delusional, but it works for me 😉

          The imaginary chat… was quite convoluted. A lot of Museums get their funding from collectors, and so some of the decisions they make are influenced by collectors who want to increase the value of their investment in an artist. If you check the board of trustees of a museum, or the top donators, then check which artists they collect, and then check the art promoted by the museum, you often find that there is a certain bias. Critics are also a bit biased in their views, for a multitude of reasons. Some are purists, yet some of the art they consider to be art was once debated in the same way that the worthiness of Video games as art is now being debated. Twas ever thus. As for video games, some of them are very stunning graphically, immersive. They draw you into another world like some paintings do. I played Assassin’s Creed II a while ago, and it was so visually stunning that at times it was very hard to concentrate on game play. They recreated 15th century Florence. I do consider the people who created the visual imagery of the game to be artists. Oh, and a side element of the game was collecting the paintings of the masters of that time.

          Sorry, this is a bit garbled and rather long. I must admit I really enjoyed the conversation your post… and your replies… stimulated. Thank you 😀

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          1. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply so fully to my comments and posts, it really is engaging with readers in this way that I feel is the biggest reward from blogging. Though, as I say, my blogging has come through points of insecurity and self doubt, it has been so freeing, and especially comments like this have really inspired me to keep going. Perhaps even to make my voice louder! I cannot thank you enough for your kind words of encouragement (:

            And a really interesting point about art – I wish I knew/understood more about the economics of the art world as it is definitely such a driving force behind it. I suppose money is also an interesting issue in terms of how we ‘value’ art in general – is it valued by its monetary worth over its power ‘as art’ (whatever that means)? And how does this impact upon our ideas of value in art in a wider sense? Literature, for example? There is something so personal, even intimate about our experiences with art, which makes talking about art in this way an uncomfortable push; what we find to be powerful, valuable, or even in what we consider to be art, is actually subject to so many other ‘currencies’… All intriguing stuff. I haven’t played Assassin’s Creed but I quite like the story behind it. Interestingly, I believe it has been made into a book – there’s a bizarre jump between ‘genres’/media! Once again, thanks for your engagement with my blog, I’ve really enjoyed it (:

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            1. Thank you. It has been an immense pleasure interacting with you. You have a wonderful mind, the urge to discover, uncover, and explore is a powerful force in and of itself. It has the power, when expressed, to inspire the urge to explore in others.

              Perhaps what you see in the subjects which stir your passions is a reflection of your passionate nature, and by exploring those subjects you discover more about yourself, and that is a very exciting personal adventure. Sharing a personal adventure with others (via a blog) is a gift which keeps on giving. That includes sharing the moments of insecurity and self doubt, sometimes those are the richest veins of inner gold. Those moments take us out of our comfort zones and into areas which we perhaps were not aware existed within us. I often equate my life with the gameplay of some computer games. You start off not knowing how to play the game and having to learn how to do so, you move through levels, exploring new territory, and slowly, or quickly, depending on you, your style, you learn, evolve, and progress. Each new level sometimes feels like starting from scratch again, but the knowledge of having progressed and leveled-up carries you through the confusion and insecurity, it doesn’t necessarily allow you to bypass feeling that way, but it does allow you to deal with it creatively.

              Art, I think, is one of those subjects which touches something primal, raw, within people which is why it always draws such heated debate. Yes, there is a very strongly materialistically motivated force behind it, but that is just one slice of the art pie. The business side of art is rather ugly, not always, but often, but there is a necessity for it. Like with everything else. Art, in some ways, is a record of the history and evolution of humans, and the world. We can time travel through art, into the past and the future too. It often expresses a collective consciousness of the time. It shows a zeitgeist. It tells stories. It connects us to our ancestors, and reveals where we might be going. It introduces us to other cultures and countries. And so on into infinity and beyond. The art which appeals to you, reveals something to you about you, and the art which doesn’t appeal to you does the same. Fascinating subject, very worth exploring, especially from a personal angle.

              One of the things I find most intriguing about blogging, and there are many things, is looking back at the early posts, then comparing them to the latest posts. On an art note, on my tumblr I post a lot of art, I use the images I choose to express how I am feeling. Sometimes words just can’t say what an image can. Since I am not an artist, I use the work of others to express the things I can’t say or do. That too I think is an element of art. To find your voice expressed in a way that you perhaps can’t do, not yet anyway.

              Gosh, I have rattled on, sorry… and thank you. You inspire me 🙂

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    1. Thank you. Made me smile 😀 I just channel my thoughts and feelings into my posts, it’s a way of having a conversation with myself and perhaps discovering something I’ve missed. I do tend to ramble, but I love doing that because I am rather quiet in person, all these words accumulate on the inside, and it’s a way of releasing them, setting them free. And sharing them on a blog is great because maybe someone else will relate, or find something they were looking for, or just have a chuckle. I really love some of the things you have said on your blog about writing. And congratulations on being published! That’s so exciting 😀

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    1. Thank you. I’ve been perusing your blog, and I love what you are doing with it. It’s always a bit daunting starting a blog. The technical side can be very fiddly, I must confess I tend to throw myself into things and learn as I go by making mistakes. Blogging is a great adventure of discovery, of self and others. I look forward to seeing how your blog garden grows 🙂

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