I think it’s important to evaluate and reevaluate why you do what you do. Since I spend a significant amount of time writing online and have for several years, I thought it would be worthwhile to examine why and to share it.
Since I learned how to write, I’ve written. In college, I studied literature and its revered writers. Most lived tortured lives of extreme sacrifice for the sake of their art.
Common themes include failed relationships, loneliness, poverty, mental illness and social rejection. Considering my talent average at best, and my appetite for comfort too great, I didn’t think I should bother writing after graduation.
Instead, I published my first blog post in 2010. A friend designed a site for me to show case the children’s book I’d written, and recommended that I publish updates to keep the site current in Google.
I’ve been blogging ever since, consistently since 2011. Here are the six reasons I could think of:
Sitting down to write those first words is usually hard work. I often write first thing in the morning because otherwise I won’t. Suddenly cleaning my fridge, responding to email, and “real” work become more appealing than wrestling with the blank page.
For a time I thought that writing would not be such hard work if I really loved it, but now I know that every writer faces the resistance and fights herself to get words on the page.
It’s a discipline that can’t help but bleed into other areas of my life. Committing to a regular posting schedule helps me be consistent and intentional with exercise, friendships, and my marriage.
Other times, I’m thinking about something while folding laundry or driving and words start to assemble themselves, as though someone’s typing across my brain. More words appear, but only after I’ve committed those first words to paper. Writing is how I think. Not always, but often.
Why not write in a journal or save my work in a folder on my computer? I could think and commit to a discipline even if no one knew, right? Maybe, but it’s so much easier to give up on something no one else knows about. Enough people know about my blog that someone would eventually ask me about it if I quit.
If I don’t become a better writer, it’s because I’m lazy. No one has enough raw talent to succeed without practice, practice, practice. As Ann Patchett writes in The Getaway Car,
“Why is it that we understand that playing the cello will require work but we relegate writing to the magic of inspiration?”
I love being part of the blogging community. I write a blog, and I read blogs. I enjoy meeting other bloggers on and offline, promoting their work, writing for other sites, and commenting when a post resonates with me.
I believe there are words and insights that I uniquely can offer. God gave us each strengths not for our benefit alone, but to serve others. While I don’t have the raw talent or sacrificial work ethic of some writers, I am willing to keep showing up and trying with honesty and authenticity.
I always write with readers in mind and ask myself if what I’m writing will benefit them in some way. I try to write only what I’d find useful and want to read, although I do write a self indulgent post once in awhile.
Question: If you blog, why? If you don’t, have you ever thought about starting one?
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