A lovely young woman in my Twin Cities Friends Meeting is putting together an article for our monthly newsletter on the bloggers in our Quaker community, and sent some questions for us to ponder and reply to. I found myself writing a bit more than she really asked for (which was an answer to at least one of her questions), so thought I'd post the whole thing here. Why DO I blog?
- When did you start blogging & why did you start blogging?
I started blogging a little over a year ago, with a blog that was so well hidden that nobody ever found it. A couple of months later, I started a new one, and later merged in the entries from the first one.
My purpose was two-fold: to get writing again, and (with the first blog) to reflect on my spiritual process/discoveries/concerns. The second blog was less focused in topic, so includes descriptions of what’s going on in my life, with my family, etc. I also bought a small camera so I could take pictures on the fly and post them, as that seemed to be an attractive feature of blogs I liked.
- How often do you post & what keeps you blogging?
I post at least every month, sometimes closer to every week – usually not any oftener than that. I keep posting because it satisfies that initial urge to express what’s important in my experience. Increasingly, I also feel myself to be in dialogue with others, as I get readers who comment on my posts. (I also do a fair amount of commenting on the blogs that I particularly like, when I have time.)
- What is it you like about blogging?
It’s becoming a community. Actually, it’s two communities for me, as I have a group of Quaker blogs I follow and comment on, and a group of “other” blogs – many interested in some of the same life-issues and political issues as my Quaker bloggers.
- How has blogging affected your life?
I feel guilty when I get too busy to blog, partly because I want to be a participating part of the blogging community, and partly because I miss out on that reflection and expression that are important to me.
- What is your advice for people who are thinking about blogging?
What I told myself as I plunged in: don’t think, just write. Don’t stop to wonder who will read it, what they will think of you, whether you are worthy, etc. etc. – just write. Take pictures or find them on the Web, if that makes it more fun, but don’t feel you have to. Dress up your blog or not – it doesn’t matter. It’s also really a plus if you take time to read others’ blogs and respond to those that speak to you, as it increases the likelihood that you will have interested readers responding to your ideas.
And don’t start measuring your worth by the number of comments you get, or anything – there may be readers who don’t have time to comment, but are really appreciating your writing. In the final analysis, though, you are Writing in the Light – finding words to connect, share, celebrate what is important to you, and may be life-giving (or at least thought-provoking) for others.
Well, what you see is what you get. I'm at a point in life where it's not worth the energy to try to maintain illusions - for others or for myself. It looks like some of the some-day-I-will-accomplish-that sorts of things may not come to fruition, but I'm still busy doing work that seems useful, enjoying colleagues and friends, and learning how to do new things with computers. I love it when you comment and introduce yourselves!