Blogging: How & Why

A lot of bloggers seem to feel there’s a blogging slump going on – maybe because it’s summer, people are on vacation, it’s too nice to be inside in front of the computer. Whatever the reason, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs bemoaning blogger’s block, blogger ennui, blogger boredom. On the other hand I’ve also been reading a lot of kick-ass blogs (more about that later).

So, I thought it might be interesting to think about the reasons we took up blogging in the first place, why we keep doing it and how we keep motivated. (And maybe, just maybe, in the process we’ll become re-inspired?)

Me, I started blogging because I thought it would be a good way to get rid of organize all the stupid stuff that rolls around in my head. It helps keep me sort of sane.

Some people find blogging therapeutic in deeper ways and tell the blog stuff they feel they can’t tell anyone else.  Or ask for advice about issues in their lives that can’t be discussed with people too close to them.

I don’t delve into a lot of personal stuff on my blog. Mainly because my personal life is pretty boring. Blogging is still theraputic for me in other ways. For one thing, it’s good to write something fun regularly to offset all the stupid stuff I have to write.

Way at the top of the list has to be the connections I make with a bunch of strangers all over the universe the earth North America (and maybe one or two other places). I love finding new blogs to read and having people read my stuff. I especially love other people’s comments and starting a bit of a dialogue with them.

The dialogue is important to me which is why I always comment on the comments. That way the post becomes more of a conversation than just me dumping some stuff on a page and people agreeing or not agreeing with it.

And, I learn a hell of a lot of stuff from other bloggers. Everything from where to get a good burger to how to jump start your digestive system to why not to wax your chocha before an important date.

Blogging gives a new dimension to almost everything in day-to-day life. It’s not a huge thing, but whatever I read or do or hear or experience always now has a tiny, almost unconscious element of “I wonder if I could blog about this?”

I’ve met people through blogging. And, as interesting as reading people’s blogs is, meeting the bloggers in real life is even more interesting. Meeting fellow bloggers adds a whole new twist to your own blogging.

In the same vein, some people I’ve known in real life from before I started blogging, read my blog, but don’t blog themselves.  In some ways that’s a bit restrictive because you can’t blog about them even when they do something insanely bloggable. In other ways, though, it’s also fun because you get to talk to them about blogs and blogging in ways that you can’t with other bloggers.

What keeps me motivated to keep blogging is me. If it got to be a chore or too much work or boring, I’d stop. I did stop for a few months at the beginning of the year because I had a lot of other stuff going on and I just didn’t have the time or energy left over to blog. But I missed it and came crawling back.

There are times when I can’t think of anything to blog about, so I just go about my business and wait for something to spark and idea. Or I read other blogs or go through newspapers or magazines or just going for a long walk. Somewhere along the line an idea is usually pops up. Not always a good one, but something.  And if not, I just don’t blog that day.

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23 responses to “Blogging: How & Why

  1. i think your blog is great – i wish i could remember how i stumbled upon it. what i really like about it is the forum after the post – i’m not sure that i read any others where the blogger addresses each comment. it’s a nice touch.

  2. oh yeah, i started a blog for family and friends who are far away from us, so they could read about the girls. it’s sort of moved from that, i guess, i dunno, it’s sort of a mixed bag. but i like it and i make myself laugh a lot.

  3. Funny, I was just contemplating doing a post about blogging… This one is so great I’m rethinking that…

    And the waxing your chocha just before an important date thing? Good to know, though I haven’t had an important date in years and years…

  4. Great post. I started reading blogs last spring, because I wanted to know what was happening in Ottawa. To be honest, I also had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to start one myself. I didn’t think anyone would read it, but oh man did I ever get excited when I saw that 10 people had read my blog other than me clicking back on the main page.

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I hope you never stop. I’ve found out that you can learn alot from others.

    🙂

  5. Sigh – as you know, I often question the reasons we blog. But at the end of the day, you’re right, do it if you want to and don’t if you don’t. Take breaks if you need ’em, but never make it work. Unless, that’s what you’re paid to do.

    I’m so with you on the comments -> coversation bit … nice to feel like you’re engaging one-another. If that wasn’t an aim, wouldn’t you just write it in your diary/journal?

    And yeah, meeting other bloggers in person is fun stuff, for sure! I mean, that’s what I think, at the base of it all, social media is all about for me – creating the connections for in-person interactions. I actually meet up with people after re-connecting via Facebook … the thought of simply friend collecting makes me uncomfortable. There’s actually a person behind this keyboard … believe it or not!!! LOL

  6. Great post and so timely for me too, was thinking about that yesterday. I think it’s good to re-evaluate the reasons why you do things on a regular basis, it helps clear the cobwebs so to speak.

    I think no matter why the reasons one sits at the keyboard and start typing, what is important is that you enjoy it. I love getting comments, like you it’s similar to having a conversation with someone but like anything, the written word can be tricky sometimes. I’ve developed nice rapport with some people leaving me comments. I’m always curious about people and enjoy meeting them in real life. I’ve met people from various boards I was a member of, some turned out to be very nice, some total disappointment AT the meeting and after a while. Life I guess 🙂

    I also have real life friends who read my blog and it hasn’t proven to be too difficult in my choice of topics. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to get through a few bad chapters of this year without being able to blog about it and to a large extent the support I received from my fellow bloggers.

  7. I think a lot of bloggers make commitments that are hard to keep, such as that they will post every day. They might even say it publicly, in their About section or their profile or someplace.

    That kind of commitment can be good if it is what the blogger needs to stay on top of things and keep their energy up and keep on posting, but it can also be bad if it doesn’t allow them to take a break when they need one.

  8. Meanie – Thanks. I don’t understand bloggers who don’t acknowledge the comments in some way. Do they read them? I always read the comments on other people’s blogs, too, because sometimes that way I find new blogs to read. You make me laugh a lot, too. I like your doctored photos.

    Bandobras – Rest assured, no new XUPs are in the offing.

    Jazz – You might want to talk to Mr. Jazz about that lack of dates thing. Shameful. Really it is. He should do a little wooing once in a while. But I still wouldn’t wax the chocha if I were you.

    A&J – It’s so true, you can ask for advice on almost any topic and get a good variety of useful responses.

    Tania – AND it’s great for meeting people in a new place and learning about the place (like A&J said above), like in your situation. I’ve noticed you’ve hooked up with BC people via your blog. I’m sure that will come in handy.

    UA – Yes, I like your blog for that, too — you always engage in conversations with your commenters. Sometimes the comments section on any blog can be the most interesting part of the post. I know that’s happened a lot on my blog and I’m always reluctant to move on to another post because I want the current conversation to continue.

  9. I find that as a storyteller, I am much more observant about life in general. There is always a story out there. Sometimes it comes at the last moment, but it always comes.

  10. I usually don’t like to answer comments as many times it’s just a statement that doesn’t require feedback…plus I have them on the side under “recent comments” and it looks like I’m filling up the space myself 🙂

    Many times I read an article and start composing a blog post in my mind. However i write early in the morning and usually forget all the “deep insights” unless I write them down the night before.

    By the way, friend read my blog, and every so often I’ll get an email “Becky – put this on your blog” 🙂

  11. I blog for a lot of the same reasons you listed: sharing ideas, having that conversation, organizing/getting rid of my thoughts, but the biggest reason I blog is that I just NEED to write.
    I used to write ALL the time, and write well, but now I guess my blog is my way of saying “even if I’m not writing stories/poems all the time, at least I’m writing something cosistently and putting it out there. This way, when I’m finally ready to do some more serious writing, I’ll still have a lifeline to it and it won’t be something really far away. I’ve started something a little while ago, but it’s still to early to see if it’ll turn into anything real. In the meantime, the blog has just become something I enjoy and a bit of a sanity keeper…
    I love how creative you get with your blog, how you’re seemingly able to just pluck random ideas out of the air and turn them into entire thoughtful posts…

  12. I periodically re-visit this topic in my blog – mostly for me it’s a combination of a creative outlet, a way to keep a journal of my life and thoughts, and a way for friends and family to keep up with what’s going onin my life. But the part I find most gratifying is that I have found an amazingly supportive global community. I have tried a few times to take breaks and just can’t seem to stay away.

  13. Great post and thought provoking subject.

    Expression and influence is the reason i blog.
    Along with going to really cool blogs, that like you , allows you to learn whatever your heart desires and then some.

    It is a medium that allows you to communicate to those who want to read, listen, enjoy, learn and ….the beat goes on yada yada yada …

    It seems to propel me at work and allow me to think in ways I never thought I would. Very beneficial to me!

    If I think of anymore reasons, I’ll be sure to let you know…

  14. XUP: On the subject of comments, I have to say that it’s this blog specifically the clued me in to the fact that the comment section of a post can often be equally entertaining as the original post itself. And you have a very cool group of regular readers and commenters here. I always especially enjoy what Urban Panther, Urban Animal and Newsguy Bob have to say. Oh! And geewits. OKAY I PRETTY MUCH LOVE ‘EM ALL.

    I am so green to the world of blogging, and it was by reading comments here that I realized how important it is to respond back to my commenters. It just took me a post or two of yours to figure out you always do this and it immediately resonated with me how valuable and lovely that was. I try to always do the same now as well!

  15. I’ve said nearly everything you just said about blogging. I’ve never quit, though. I did take a break in June because I knew what I was doing would be boring to talk about on a regular basis. I’ve noticed that most of the people who get burned out are the ones that feel they need a new post every day. I’ve never felt that, fortunately. I just post when I have something I want to say. I also miss being able to talk about people in my physical life that read my blog, but life happens. Whayyagonnado? I did discover that I am a very visual person and started posting a lot more after I got my digital camera. I guess at heart I’m still the little kid who loves “show and tell.”

  16. UP – Yes, you’ve nailed it. It does make me pay more attention to what’s going on, be more observant.

    Becky – I’ve never gotten an email suggesting things to put on my blog. That would certainly come in handy sometimes.

    Noha – I know what you mean about “needing” to write. It’s the only thing I do that I’m pretty good at so I’d hate to let it get rusty.

    Citizen – Yes, it’s quite something how involved you get with people’s lives and they with yours. I find myself worrying about bloggers who I don’t know beyond their blogs who are having a tough time. And anytime I’ve had a worry myself, they’re all there sharing advice and giving support.

    Hunter – When you say “propel me at work” – do you mean your blog is related to and supported by your work?

    LDG – Follow the link associated with that phrase in the post and you’ll find out!

    Lesley – I’m so glad you’ve found this blog so useful and found so many other great blogs to read here.

    Geewits & Robin – It’s a very good point about not putting pressure on yourself to blog every day. I do sort of do that to myself. I don’t like to let the blog get stale and I feel it does after a couple of days of not posting. BUT, I’m on vacation for the next 2 weeks so I may force myself not to post so often. We’ll see.

  17. I usually find that the littlest things can sometimes be a great source of inspiration. Instead of panicking because of writer’s block, just take a good look around you. It’s a crazy world out there…. lot’s of things to write about! Is your belly button really fluted???

  18. I totally agonize over the comment thing. Sometimes I don’t know whether to answer EVERYONE’s comments because how do you know they are going to come back to read it? Also, how do you respond to someone who only says, “Great post!” I wish I had WordPress, so that I could email a response to people’s comments when I do want to comment. And now I’ve probably established myself as a person who does not often comment and so everyone knows not to bother to check that box that sends them email every time someone else comments. The funny thing is, I do check that box on other people’s blogs so that I can see the conversation on a blog post I’ve read, but I read so many dang blogs it’s hard to keep up! I’m going to have to quit my job just so I can spend all day reading everyone’s comments on everyone’s blog!

    But enough about me, I came over here because I cracked up on a comment YOU wrote on someone else’s blog. Something about aliens and eating only 5 things.

    Margaret

  19. i truly think its summer that is keeping people away from the blogs. its busy and fun and sometimes we just dont have time.

    i know i personally aim for every 2 days. sometimes youll get 2 in a week. just cause i get busy with the girl child or the prince charming.

    either way tho i eventually get to updating even if its a short blurb and some pictures.

    i think your blog kicks ass. 🙂

  20. I currently write about blogging too. Many years ago there was some whining going around in blogaria about people who blogged about blogging, so I created a category called “we blog and we talk about it” for my posts. A lot of them, too. It generated some amazing discussion and enriched the whole thing.

    I’m just coming back from a long hiatus and I’m posting once, maybe twice a week. The people who are really interested in what I have to say will be there. If someone stops reading because of that, they probably didn’t matter all that much in the first place.

    I blog today for the same reasons I did 5 or 6 years ago. “organize all the stupid stuff that rolls around in my head” – Your words are spot on for me, although I’m always digging deep ’cause that’s the place that is really messy. 😉 The interaction is what makes it worth writing publicly, of course. I’ve learned so incredibly much and met so many amazing, inspiring people. I’ve made friends, too. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. To me, it makes life richer. But the day I stop writing for myself, I’ll quit.

    (PS: “insanely bloggable” is such a fabulous way to put some things. I might have to steal (borrow!?) the sentence every now and then! 😉