Pour Your Heart Out: Why Do You Blog?

image via We Heart It

Do you have a blog?

Yeah, me too.

Do you know why you blog? Do you remember why you started it?

I didn’t.

And then there was that #SummerBlogSocial thing that I only participated in for one post, but I read a lot of other ones.

I was curious. Why do other people choose to blog? When I wrote that post, talking about how I wanted to use it to write more of my fiction, I got a lot of comments congratulating me on having such specific goals for my blog. And then I got a few that made me start thinking. Not about myself, or my own blog, but about all of the other blogs. So I started reading the other posts for the #SummerBlogSocial, especially ones relating to why these people had started blogging in the first place.

A lot of them started it as a chronicle for their life’s journey. I follow a lot of other moms, and they wanted a sort of digital scrapbook of their children. Somewhere to write about their lives, their milestones, their heartaches, their celebrations. Everything wrapped together in a nice little online journal to share with others. Typically started to share with relatives and friends, and then later branching out into the rest of the blogging community.

I had a blog like that. I started a few little websites, trying to give my extended family an easy way to watch T grow. I think I updated it quite often in the beginning, when I was sitting at home with nothing else to do but watch the little baby squirm. And then, Facebook exploded. Almost my entire extended family is on Facebook. I post pictures on there, give little stories about T in my status updates. Facebook became my way of reaching out to those family members that we rarely see. And it still works wonderfully for that purpose. So I quit the baby website.

I wanted a place of my own. I wanted a place to share my writing, to get feedback, and to connect with a community that would help inspire me to try new things. So I started this blog. I wrote a bunch of posts and didn’t tell anybody I knew about it. And then I posted the link to my Facebook page, and a few friends found it. So far, no family has (that I know of. ahem).

I kept posting. And, one day, I got a comment from a girl who was reading my blog. She lives in the U.K.

I was floored. I mean, I was completely aware that my blog was not private in the least, but what had happened? How had she even found my little corner of the internet?

I started a sort-of friendship with this girl, Rachel. I still read her blog and leave her little comments once in a while. I always meant to ask her how she found me, but now it’s been more than a year and perhaps she wouldn’t even remember.

My IRL friend, Brianna, also had a blog. I mean, I kind of got my idea from her in the first place. So I talked to her about it a bit, and I started reading some of the blogs she was following. And then I found more. And more. And more. And soon, my Google Reader was bursting at the seams (you know, if it actually had seams). I would leave the internet for the weekend, return on Monday and – boom – there were several hundred new posts.

It’s gotten a little overwhelming. I hear all this talk about building your community by commenting. So I struggle to come up with comments. For most of the posts I read. It takes time, and sometimes I get bitter because I don’t always have that kind of time. And I don’t really feel like I’m building anything through the commenting. I don’t seen an influx of comments on my own posts. But I do get into a lot of conversations via Twitter. Twitter has really taken the place of the community via commenting. And that’s fine.

I also found a writing community. The Red Dress Club. Through their prompts, and a creative writing class I took with Yuliya, I have started stories that I didn’t even have before. I have the beginnings of a novel. And I have a group of people who comment on the stories that I post (although there does seem to be a little bit lacking in the constructive criticism part. Everyone wants it, everyone asks for it, but rarely do they actually give it.)

I also joined a few other communities. SheWrites. BloggyMoms. BlogHer. The first two scared me off because the members I met were all about promotion. “Come see my blog!” “Follow me and I’ll follow you!” “Enter my giveaway!” I don’t know. It didn’t work for me. I can’t say much about BlogHer yet, but I’ve read quite a few of the articles/blogs posted on there and I like what I see.

I also started hearing about BlogHer: the conference. And as much as I kind of wish I had gotten to go, I know that it really wouldn’t have been for me anyway.

Because there is a whole different side of blogging that I don’t really fit in with.

Because I don’t understand that side of blogging.

There are bloggers who do it, just to blog? They don’t have aspirations of being writers, they just…blog? I really don’t understand it, so I can’t explain it.

And that’s the purpose of all this babbling.

I just want someone to answer my question: Why do you blog?

Actually, I want lots of people to answer my question. I want to understand why you take sessions in public relations. Is your blog just for advertising other people’s products? I see blogging as a writing exercise, so why are there sessions about video in blogging? I know a group of you that post vlogs every week. And I love watching them. But I would never participate (although, never say never), because my blog is about writing. And I can’t figure out vlogging fits in with that.

Please, explain it to me. I really do want to know. Why do you blog? Especially if you don’t consider yourself a writer, or you don’t have aspirations of being a writer.

It’s all for the sake of curiosity. I’m not judging a single person for why they blog. Blogging is a very personal (although also very public) exercise. You do it for your reasons, I do it for mine. I’m not saying one reason is better than the other. I just want to know the other reasons.

You know?

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