I am often asked two questions:
- Why do I blog?
- How and where do I find the inspiration for my blog posts?
A year ago I would have answered that I blog because I want to build a network and get my name out there on the world wide web. It was a way to build a readership and to connect with potential readers. It seemed to be the thing to do as a new writer. It was what more experienced writers advised me to do.
Six months ago I would have answered that it was to connect with other writers and other bloggers. Share and learn in experiences.
Now my answer is still both of the above but I also blog for my own benefit now. Yes I blog to connect with readers. Yes I blog to connect with other writers and bloggers. But more than ever I find that I am blogging for myself. As for the inspiration part of the question: I blog about the topics closest to my own writing, being either quandaries or difficulties I am facing and moments of epiphanies.
When I blog, it is like first having a conversation with myself trying to work things out and then I invite in others to the conversation and hear their points of view. I also blog to create inspiration for myself. We all have those moments and those days when for whatever reason, we battle to drag ourselves to the computer to finish that next scene or untangle a plot element. Sometimes we just need a break from the current WIP. That is when I blog. Blogging still means I am writing. It is a way of “getting back on that horse” inspirationally and creatively speaking. The most important part of committing to writing is doing the actual writing: inspiration can be a fickle mistress and can come and go as the wind direction changes. It is in these times of inspirational lows that I like to blog. It keeps the thoughts churning and strangely enough blogging usually unlocks a hidden kernel of inspiration which leads me hand in hand back to my WIP.
Of course it could be argued that there are other forms of writing like journalling. I still journal. I also write Morning Pages, inspired by Julia Cameron‘s The Artist’s Way. But because blogging is in a public arena, one si held to a higher standard of writing. So blogging can be a teacher for your other forms of writing.
Blogging is also a reward system in of itself. When you write a post that connects in some way with at least one person and they are kind enough to comment, there is an automatic uplifting encouragement for the Blogger. One favour: If you do read a blog post that you connect with, comment on it. Let the blogger in question know that their post made you think or feel or just made you smile. It is also a great way to build online friendships and connections with like-minded individuals.
Blogging can also be a challenge tool. You can challenge your own beliefs, practices or thoughts by posting about different topics. Don’t limit yourself to just one rule of topic. Expand your horizons. Do research by reading other blogs. You may be surprised by what you learn from other bloggers and what you may be able to share and thus teach someone else. I have found the most useful resources through reading someone else’s blog. Blogging can be great research.
Words are powerful tools. They can be wielded for both good and bad. When we publicise our thoughts and share our experiences we cannot but help to touch another person either through informing them, inspiring them or finding points of empathy. It is up to us how we choose to wield this powerful tool. These are the questions we should be asking ourselves before we voice our thoughts whether it be in blogging or whether be in our own works…
- Will we turn it into a positive or a negative?
- Will we use our words to inform or hide?
- Will we use our words to entertain or insulate?
- Will we use our words to inspire or alienate?
- Will we use our words to create or destroy?
So why do you blog? If you don’t, why do you read/follow blogs?
Blog responsibly knowing that what you write will be read and remarked on by other writers and readers. Be honest but remember to stand by what you blog. Even if it feels like nobody is reading your posts, people are. It is in the eye of the public. Your posts will be judged. But learn from each post, each comment whether the commentator agrees or disagrees. Reply to your comments and do the courteous thing by linking back to others’ posts. In this way you become part of building a community.
Now: I blog for myself as well as connecting with readers and writers. I blog to understand my own thought processes when they have entangled me in a web of chaos. I blog to create inspiration for myself when inspiration seems veiled in the fogs of moods and emotions. I blog to inform and entertain. I blog to learn and share about the craft of writing. I blog to share my epiphanies and my Eureka moments. There is one rule I follow through on every time and that is to be transparent in honesty and truth. For me, a writer without truth is a fraud and a con-artist. For me words are art. Art is about finding the truth in life. Art is about creating simplicity from the complexity that is Life. For me, to be a writer is to be a seeker of truth.
What is writing for you? Why do you write at all?
The better question is: Why not?
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13 thoughts on “Why Blog?”
hey, great article. Thank you so much for including my page in your link list. Much appreciated 🙂
Oh, and I still journal as well. These days I just keep it to myself..
Have a great day!
Hi Darlene 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet a fellow journaler. Love journalling. I learn so much about the whys of why I do things sometimes. It really is a cathartic and free therapy, isn’t it?
You are so right about the free therapy! I often feel much better after journaling. Sometimes I even go back and re-read them much later and laugh at myself 🙂
Have a great night…
What an appropriate post for me to read right now. I’ve been so focussed on cranking out my WIP I’ve neglected my little corner of WordPress. Thanks Kim for reminding me that blogging need not be a chore, just that thing you do becuase other writers swear by it. Your blog is an inspiration kiddo…xx Tee
Hey Tee 🙂 Ah thanks for those kind words. Glad the blog inspires you. High Praise indeed.
Very good post, Kim!
“What is writing for you?”
Writing is creating a form of sharing my insides, my internal self.
“Why do you write at all?”
I feel I must write–to bring what insights I gain on Life to others…
“A form of sharing my insides” -Love this definition Alexander. Glad you enjoyed my post. Writing is I believe the most intimate of all the arts. We let other people into that most intimate of places, our minds. It is truly a sharing of our insides. Thanks for visiting and commenting my friend.
Thanks for including one of my posts in your ‘Related Articles’ section. It’s always nice to know when something you’ve written has affected someone, even in a small way.
I read with interest your ‘Why Blog?’ post. You made a number of good points, each of which could be a post in its own right for just about all of us.
With all the writing we writers do, why take on even more in the form of a blog? Is it meaningful, or are we just gluttons for punishment?
Long before blogging became popular, and even before computers went mainstream, I often wrote my way through a problem, be it personal or related to the current writing project. I can’t tell you how many times a solution presented itself, or that bit of inspiration surfaced because I wrote about it.
I have printed your post and will refer to it for inspiration on topics for my blog.
Thanks again for the mention!
Julie (A Place for Writers)
Wow! Great praise. I am humbled and honoured. I love your site btw. Yes, I know what you mean. Writing has always been a cathartic experience for me, it has saved my sanity at times and patched me together at other times. Blogging is just another form of writing but as I stated in the post it is public. I enjoyed your post that I linked back to. Thanks for sharing it originally. Nothing like a bit of blog-lovin’. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I enjoyed your post very much, & it helped me discover some other reasons why I am writing a blog. And- I appreciate the challenge to venture into other topics. I agree that being truthful is important, and one of the reasons I have enjoyed writing in this way is to firm up my teaching beliefs-why I do what I do. I also am liking the idea of recording my ideas/memories/words in a more permanent way. Thanks for your thought-filled ideas!
Hi Linda. Thank you for your comments. I am glad the post prodded you into challenging yourself in blogging by blogging about different topics. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on this post. Nice to “meet” you.