A friend and mentor asked me about blogging today. Why do I do it? What do I write about? He's been writing all his life, and is looking for a way to share what he does with the many people who are interested in his wisdom.
I wish I were in his position. For all the years I've known him, he's been sharing thought-provoking bits of philosophy, personal existential reflection, and commentary on current events with his colleagues. He's got a storehouse of ideas and experiences that he could dole out daily for many, many years.
It's only occasionally that I feel like I have something to say through this medium. But then, I didn't start blogging because I had anything to say. If I'm being honest, I started blogging because I wanted to record what my children were doing, and what I thought about it. I knew I wouldn't have the discipline to keep a personal journal -- but maybe if some other people were out there reading and waiting for the next post, I'd be motivated to continue.
My intentions changed when I started blogging daily almost two years ago. I got hooked on the insight about writing -- composing, thinking, constructing, editing -- that blogging every day during NaBloPoMo '06 provided me. If I learned this much about my writing process and my writer's voice from blogging for 30 days, how much would I learn if I kept going?
So my blogging is more about process than content. I do it because writing in this blog teaches me something about myself. I don't do it because I think I'm writing well, or because I think I have a perspective that will enrich other's lives. If I thought that, I doubt I'd continue blogging daily, because I don't write well daily, and it's only on rare occasions that I believe I've gotten at something important or worth saying. I still want to record what's going on with my children as they grow up; I was never good at saving mementos or taking enough pictures or video. But I don't want to write about that every day, either. The only reason to write every day is because writing every day is a worthwhile thing for me to do.
That means it's doubly and triply kind of all of you to stop by. I don't intend to give you anything through this blog; it's not for you, ultimately, nor do I believe there's that much I have to give. So you readers are a gift to me that I have no way to repay.
If you blog ... why do you do it? If you don't ... why not?