Dilly Tante posted on mumsnet this week asking a very thought provoking question. She asked the Mumsnet blogging community, why do you blog?
I was going to answer but never really got around to it. It brought up so many questions about why I blog and I really couldn't be arsed spellcheck-wrangling the reply on my phone. I thought I'd missed the boat but then she created the Why Do You Blog Blog-hop and I couldn't resist putting IQ in her Jumparoo and taking part.
When I started blogging it was 2003 and I had joined LiveJournal, much to the amusement of my ex-boyfriend who poked endless fun at me for it. When using on LJ, I wrote about everything and shamlessly admitted to many wrong-doings, parties and drunken exploits. I didn't really write it for the purpose for anyone to read, just an online diary I suppose. If my mother read it she'd die. When I read back through it I do the same. How daft was I for posting all of that ridiculous stuff? I was young and pretty nieve so I thought that what I was doing was cool and where I lived, quite unusual.
I used LJ for many years all throughout my uni days and poured my heart out about relationships, homesickness and house parties. I didn't have many LJ 'friends', just a few people who I knew in real life and the odd straggler here and there who somehow found their way to my LJ, to read my probably cringeworthy posts. After a few years I stopped blogging. Life caught up with me. I met Andi, bought a house, got married and had real jobs. I didn't have time.
I started using Blogger after a friend said she'd been using it. That was a few years ago now. I started writing about my craft exploits somewhere to show off what I was doing with my free time. When we moved house and found out we were expecting, my blogging evolved with me and my family. I still write about craft stuff but also with cats and babies added to the mix!
It brings me back to Dilly's questions about why you blog, what you get out of it and how you feel about it personally. Here's her questions and my answers...
Why do you blog?
I blog because it gives me something to do. I always think about posts for days before actually writing them down. About 80% of the blog posts I write and still in draft and will never be published. It's somewhere I dump all the things in my head. I like to be able to construct in writing something I've done in real life, be it a craft project, day trip or a conversation with the husband about something in the news.
What do you get from it?
A sense of satisfaction that I've put into readable words something that's been either in my head or happening in real life. I enjoy writing. I enjoy typing. I enjoy putting thoughts to paper. It's great when I get a comment from someone - just proving that someone else has read and understood my gabble is satisfactory.
Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?
To me, writing my thoughts down is important, even if they mean nothing to someone reading them. So I wouldn't consider it trivial.
Why should people be interested in what you write? Do you care if they are not?
I think reading is important for everyone. Reading the thoughts of others has always been interesting to me. I love biographical texts, even if they're written about someone I don't have much interest in, I find them endlessly interesting to read the thoughts of others. I'm not concerned if what I write isn't interesting to anyone else, I think it's why you write, what you write about and how you write it is interesting. I read so many different types of blogs and find them all fascinating. Another human being sharing their thoughts. It's quite magical.
If you blog just for you why do it publicly?
I don't write for an audience but do hope that someone reads it, that's why it's public. A kind of 'show you mine, show me yours' thing I guess. I like the exchange of blogs when someone visits me.
What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?
I'm just another lonely laptop writer adding to the soup that is the internet. Someone, somewhere searched for '9 months pregnant on my birthday' and found my blog. They read the post about what I was doing on my birthday at 9 months pregnant. I don't know who they were, where they were from or if they read any of my other posts. It's the great thing about sharing your thoughts publicly because at one time or another, someone will have the same thoughts as you!
Do you feel defensive about blogging?
I think some people see it as attention seeking, others find it fascinating. I got on the defensive about it when someone made a comment about being a weepy teenager cataloging heartbreaks but that was because I HAD written about those things. I felt a little embarrassed about the information I shared with what could have been thousands of people, so tried to defend the blogging corner. These days I have nothing to be ashamed of and when people talk about blogging I do mention I have a blog. I rarely say how to find it though. Not sure why. I think I like the idea of people finding their own way to it.
So there you are. With a few nursing and nap time breaks writing this post, I've managed to answer all of Dilly's questions. Thanks for such a thought provoking set of questions, Dilly.
Why not join in on Dilly's first blog-hop? I'm off to read some other reactions to the questions!