Why I blog

The “why I blog” meme, which Emily tagged me for, is a good subject to take up tonight because I’ve been feeling uninspired by the blog lately, and I’m hoping that by writing about blogging I can get some inspiration and enthusiasm back. I’m as excited as ever to read everybody else’s posts, but often these days when I sit down to write my own, I find that I have no energy for it. I’m sure this is a passing phase, probably caused by my illness, and I’ll get back into it sooner or later.

But this brings me to one reason I blog, not the most important one, definitely, but a reason nonetheless: I like the discipline of it. I like it that I have a pattern of writing 5 or 6 times a week that I’ve kept up for over a year now, and that I do it even when I don’t particularly feel like it. I like it that people are out there who read me and would notice if I stopped and would wonder what happened to me. And I also like it that when I don’t feel like blogging but I sit down to do it anyway, almost always as I write I start to enjoy myself and by the end of the post, I’ve got more energy than I had when I started. Right now, as a matter of fact, I’m feeling better than I was when I started my first paragraph. Riding my bike works this way too; I’m often reluctant to start, but once I get going, I’m happy I did.

There are also book-related reasons I blog, many of which Litlove described in her own response to the meme. I blog because I want a record of the thoughts in my head and my responses to the books I read. I blog because I want to be a part of the book-blogging community I’ve found. I blog because I want to offer other people my book suggestions just as I get suggestions from so many of them. I want to be a better reader and I hope to become so by writing regularly about what I read. I want to take part in book groups, which get me reading things I wouldn’t otherwise.

There’s another reason I blog, which isn’t so high-minded as the previous ones: I like the attention. I’m thrilled when people read my posts, subscribe to my blog feed, leave comments, link to me, pick up on ideas I’ve written about. In person, I’m not an attention-seeker; in fact, I’ll go out of my way to avoid drawing attention to myself. I’m not a particularly good talker, and I’m dreadful at getting people’s attention in large groups. I talk as a teacher, yes, and lots of people pay attention to me in the classroom, but — and maybe this is why I like teaching — they pay me attention automatically, without my having to work for it. Even as a teacher, though, I tend to deflect attention from myself, trying to get students to discuss and debate, for example, or having them work in groups.

So, all that to say, blogging is a way I can get people to pay attention to me without me having to talk. It’s a wonderful thing, I think, that almost everything that goes on online is written (I will almost certainly never do a podcast). I like having the time to think about things before I post or comment or add something to a discussion board. Discussions happen quickly online, but I still have enough time to ponder and reflect.

Okay — much better now! I’m ready to soldier on.

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Memes

13 responses to “Why I blog

  1. That pretty much covers it for me too! The added bonus for me is that my brain is scattered (due to CFS) but with writing I can take my time and get my thoughts straight. Anyone who met me would be surprised that I can write anything intelligent about books.

  2. redwriter42

    I get blogging lulls as well, but I blog for all the same reasons that you do…and yes, I love the attention too. Funny, but I’m a runner, rather than a biker, and a teacher as well. I’ll be checking out your blog for book reading ideas. The blogging keeps my writing muscles flexed, but I’ve let my reading muscles wither. Seems the only thing that captivates me these days are books on athletics or biographies. Fiction, for some reason, just puts me to sleep anymore. I’ll look to your blog for good fiction ideas and dig myself out of that cycle.

  3. I enjoyed your blogging answers Dorothy, many of them are very much like mine. I know exactly what you mean about having time to ponder and reflect before commenting, I don’t think on my feet very well, something I always wished I could do, but it doesn’t much matter when it comes to blogging which pleases me no end.

  4. I would definitely miss you if you stopped blogging, Dorothy, so I’m glad to hear you’re not going anywhere. Our blogs were born on the same day, after all. Like you and Dewey, I work my thoughts out through writing and that’s why blogging is such a satisfying experience for me.

  5. Very good points – it’s funny isn’t it that once you’ve been blogging for a while you start thinking that if you stopped blogging there might be people wondering where you’d gone. People you’ve never met but are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas – which makes it all worthwhile in the first place.

  6. What thoughtful answers, Dorothy! I know exactly what you mean about being pleased at plugging away on the blog. Even when I’m not at my best, I still feel compelled to haul the laptop onto my knees and post a little something, and this writing plodder inside me is a very welcome figure! I like to think that something in me keeps on going, regardless. Know what you mean also about this being a good way for a fundamentally shy person to get attention!

  7. I would also miss you if you suddenly stopped posting. My answers would be very similar to yours I think. I am not a very outgoing person and prefer quiet and solitude, but blogging is a way of connecting to the world (as trite as that sounds). I think part of the reason I don’t tell anyone I know locally about my blog as they would be quite surprised to know I even had one. It is also so nice to be around bookish people online as not so many people that I am around normally care about books at all. And lately I have gone up and down about what to post and whether to take a day off. I have been feeling very uninspired lately–but it seems to come and go in phases.

  8. Hmmm…now why didn’t this meme work for me as far as soldiering on in the midst of a blogging lull goes?

  9. honestly, you had better not stop posting without warning. I am currently freakishly concerned about bloglily as thought I KNOW her and I couldn’t take two of you. And I agree with all of your reasons for blogging – wonderful meme!

  10. Yes, we would miss you if you didn’t write and we do delight in the product of your discipline and creativity. You do motivate us to look at life a little more closely. Thanks.

  11. Sylvia — a very important advantage writing brings then! Redwriter42, thanks for stopping by! I hope you find the blog useful and can get back into fiction. Thank you, Stefanie — you really do understand about writing and speaking, don’t you! Charlotte, it’s like our blogs are twins, born on the same day! Well, not twins, because they don’t have the same mother, but … close. Stephen — definitely, those readers out there make it a completely different experience and make it worth while. Litlove, Yes, that’s it, and I’ve this same sort of satisfaction in my academic writing as well — the satisfaction of producing at least a few words every day. Danielle, thank you! I know exactly what you mean about fluctuating feelings about blogging — it DOES come and go in phases, so I’m trying to wait this one out. Emily — hmmm … maybe you should try another meme? :) Courtney — I’m worried about Bloglily too. We all should designate somebody (spouse or friend) who could post news if every anything happened … Lilalia, thank you! What a nice comment :)

  12. What you said. Most of my answers for this one would be much the same. I think that perhaps a lot of us litbloggers are introverts; our brains work differently and so it’s much easier to write out something than to think on our toes and blurt something out. I find I am able to express what I’m thinking about a book, or anything really, much better after I’ve thought about it and written and rewritten a response.

    And I’m feeling a bit of an inspiration lag in my posts as well! Maybe it’s that summer vacation effect…

  13. LK

    I am so glad you are out there blogging, no matter what the reason!

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