Well, I am finished my NaBloPoMo for another year. I posted all thirty days of this month. It wasn’t always easy, and it wasn’t always pretty, but I did it.
In my blogging group in Rav, the challenge was posted:
… take a moment to think about why you’re blogging, and then share that in your blog.
So, between that and another thread, I have been thinking a lot about why I blog. I’ve been doing this since 2005 or so, so surely there’s a reason, right?
Sometimes, I blog for others. I blog for family and friends who live at a distance or who don’t see us as often as we’d like, and so it can be a means of keeping everyone in the loop about how we’re doing, how things are going, and just the day-to-day goings-on of our life here at The House of Peevish.
Sometimes, the others are people who are going through something similar to what I am. At first, it was infertility treatment, which is an incredibly isolating, exhausting and trying experience. Then, it was adoption, which is also exhausting, and trying, and challenging on a different level. I chose to write about it then because not enough people talk about this stuff. Not enough people share what it’s really like, what’s going on, honestly and without filters — and trust me, you really, really need to know there is somebody else out there going through what you are going through and who understands. Who GETS IT. I needed that when I was going through these things, and I felt it important to offer that to others.
Nowadays, though, I am parenting. There’s nothing terribly exciting about that. I am no groundbreaking, award-winning, insightful Mommy Blogger. This explains why my readership has slowed to a trickle, why my comments are fewer and further between. And that’s fine.
Because that really leads me to the most important reason for me to blog: ME.
As a kid, I was lonely. Although I was in a family, I felt like I had nobody to talk to. Much like my daughter, I was (and still am) the type of person who would talk to anyone who would listen. But I never felt like anyone talked WITH me. I never felt heard.
Once I grew into my late teens, I had a few friends and boyfriends. My closest high school friend moved to Europe. I went away to university on scholarship, leaving friends and boyfriends behind. I became a letter writer. I was still lonely, still without people to talk to, and so I would write these epic letters containing all my thoughts and the minutiae of my day to friends I did have and missed.
And then, I moved to Japan, and an acquaintance — a very insightful one, as it turned out — gave me a journal as a goodbye present. And told me to write.
That’s the one thing I could do. All through school, I was a good writer. I had teachers and profs nudging me along the path to creative writing, journalism, academia — all saying that no matter what, I should write.
I didn’t. I made poor choices and relied on advice that really wasn’t advice at all. I ended up with a useless degree and not many career prospects. But I had a plane ticket to Japan, a job there, and a journal.
And I wrote, almost every day, about everything. I realized that because I had nobody to talk to and no one ever heard me, a journal would serve well enough to express what I was thinking about and seeing and doing. And it became a great way to document my travels, as well.
Since that time, I have just carried on. I wrote in journals for awhile, then when I got my first computer, I journalled there. When the internet became A Thing, and blogs began to be Another Thing, it was just another step.
Except that it wasn’t. When I was writing in journals or on computer, it was just for me. Nobody ever saw what I wrote. I said what I wanted, good, bad and indifferent. But I learned, as everyone does when they venture into writing on Teh Interwebs, that although it feels much like what you’re typing is just between you and the keyboard, in actual fact the entire world can see what you write. Because of life experience, I very quickly learned to put the filters on.
And that leads us to now, and to this blog.
I don’t write a lot of controversial information. I don’t write anything informative. And although it may seem like it sometimes, I don’t generally write about my thoughts and feelings on anything other than a pretty superficial level. I spent years keeping myself to myself, and that is just who I am now.
Plus, I have a family to consider as well. I respect my husband’s privacy. I respect my daughter’s privacy, and along with not posting her photo except protected by password, I also don’t reveal much about her life that could be considered very personal to her. I certainly would never speak negatively about them, or talk about anything that might hurt them. It’s not my right to reveal anything deeply personal about them.
So, really, it’s all about me.
And as my readership can attest, nobody really cares much about that. And that is totally okay.
Because in the end, much like when I was journalling all those years ago, I do it because I like having someplace to express myself. Thoughts. Feelings. Things that are happening. It makes me feel good. It’s like having somebody listening.
And, if I am honest, part of me still hears Sister Barb’s voice in high school, and Richard my journalism prof’s voice, and so many others’ voices, telling me I need to write. I MUST write. That I have talent enough to write. And that people should be able to read what I write.
So, in answer to the question, “why do you blog?” I would answer:
To speak. To be heard. And so that others may listen.