I have a question; one that is not meant to be rhetorical. If you’re reading this please respond and answer honestly.
Why do you write?
I ask myself every time I start a new blog post. I asked myself this every time I wrote in my journal for years. I’ve concluded that there are various reasons, depending on the subject. Here are a handful of them:
For Posterity’s Sake
An example of this would be when I’ve had a new baby and I document the birth story. Let’s be real: Very few people care that my water broke at precisely 9:57 pm or that my contractions were only a minute apart on my hour long drive to the hospital, partially on a bumpy dirt road. A scattering of people care that baby A and baby B were 5.3 lbs and 4.3 lbs respectively. Precisely 2 people care that Goldberg Variations was playing on a CD player when Aaron proposed to me.
But these are facts that are very important for me to remember. Mostly so that I can prove I’m right if, in the future, Aaron and I get into a discussion about who was our latest teether. But also so I can be reminded of the incredible joy that I felt during these moments. Or, with other less happy times, that I can remember that “this too shall pass”.
To educate or inform
I’m a very passionate person (a nice way of admitting that sometimes I overreact). When I have an opinion, it is a strong opinion and I feel the need to share it. It would be nice if others shared that point of view. I’d like to think that when I’m writing about a particular informative topic, I’m introducing a new and innovative perspective people have never thought of before. And hopefully they will adopt it as their own.
To accommodate the masses
Especially since starting this new blog where I have a startling number of strangers liking, following, or commenting on what I write, I find myself editing things in an effort to offend the least amount of people. The best blog is the one that the most people can relate to, right? So if I wrote as much religious stuff as I often think about, I may cut my audience in half. And who wants that? If I did, I would be writing in my journal again.
For my own sanity
This was more true when I was writing privately in my journal just before bedtime. I write so honestly at these times; it feels great to get things off my chest. I’ve always been happy to have a place I could go to say things I could never say to an actual person; things I could only say in my most private prayers.
As much as I wish this could be my “sanity blog”, as was originally the goal, I can’t put my insecurities aside enough to not over think almost every sentence.
To Impress Family and Friends
Ohhh there are so many examples of this. This is because almost every post I write, which initially began with one of the aforementioned purposes in mind, eventually turns into a way to get people I know to see me in a certain light. Whether its a happier me, a more clever me, a more courageous or beautiful me, the Me I put on paper (or screen) always needs to reflect the me I want to be.
Regardless of the reason, I do enjoy blogging. I often think I’d enjoy it more if I had 2 thousand followers instead of 60. But then I think Wow, there are 60 people who like reading my writing!
But I am sincerely curious, why do most people blog?