Monday, November 24, 2008

on why i blog.

I used to write a lot more. College was a happening time. I had a column for a year in one of the student daily newspapers, and later I wrote reviews and such for a music magazine. I had a purpose, and I had an audience. This doesn't even include the many papers I had to churn out for classes, which were often a source of pride as well. (Best moment: when my hot philosophy TA thought my paper on exploitation was so good that he wanted a copy of it, talk about academic swooning. And yes, I totally went to office hours just to see him.)

And in the past seven years or so, I don't think there's been a time where I haven't had some outlet on the internet for writing. Even this blog has been around for three years or so, though I think it took a year and a half or more to get used to the idea of telling people about it.

Still, I often wonder why it is exactly that I keep up with this thing. When everyone and their mom can have a blog, when adding to the internet pollution sometimes seems at its best, self-indulgent, why continue? I would say that I write this for me, but that can't be entirely true. I write far too self-consciously in this space for it to be purely for me. I am constantly aware of the dangers of blogging, of putting myself out there on the internet for anyone to find, and I think my writing often suffers as a result. I stick with the safe topics like food and crafts. Even with my safe topics, I don't feel as though I've found a niche, and I'm still unsure of who my audience is.

Wow, that's quite enough introspective rambling for now. This is mostly motivated by my friend Sarah, who called and informed that she really enjoys this blogging (mostly) everyday thing, which made me happy and also blew me away because I tend to forget that people read this. So, like...if you read this on a semi-regular basis but never comment or tell me in any other way, I would totally love to know.


asker said...

Love your blog, and this post, but I have one question. Do you think everyone and their mom shouldn't have a blog? I agree that it is somewhat self-indulgant, but blogging centers me, and the way I use it, It has the effect of a diary (less personal, easier to use). It offers no REAL additions to the web, and generally just takes up space, but I'm not sorry for contibuting to the pollution, someday it might be usefull. Its odd cause like you say, its not just for me, I love it when I get a new follower of tumblr, but I try to keep unedited. Don't lose your heart, you definately have your nitch or two. Keep up the good writing. Btw, way to live in St. Paul! I miss it more than anything.

willikat said...

I totally love your blog. Even if you don't get super personal, you definitely have a voice and a focus on your blog. A lot of my real-life peeps read my blog so sometimes I censor, but it's almost always the posts that I don't censor that get the most comments/response. Keep going! We're here, and we're not scary.

e said...

Aw, thanks so much to both of you.

asker - I know what you mean in a way, I love my old online journals to serve as a reference point. But if all of my friends started blogging and updating a LOT, it would be overload. There's already too much. But, I don't want to be elitist about it, as in only certain people should be allowed to have a blog. I dunno, I guess if people want to write, they should. But it also shouldn't be forced, and that's probably a good thing.