Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why I Blog

I've not been very bloggy lately; I only posted one short entry here all weekend and nothing in the past couple days. I'd like to catch up now, and to explain something.

Upon starting Unintimidated by Convention last month, I said I was doing it for a class assignment and also for my own reasons, which I will now share with you. I see lots of blogs, many of which focus on a specific theme. This is where mine differs. I am not doing any of the following as I blog:

- riding my bike cross country to raise money/awareness for some rare disease
- trying out new material for later use in my burgeoning stand-up comedy act
- training for a marathon, triathlon, beauty pageant, or chess tournament
- fighting breast cancer, either first-hand or for a friend
- learning the ins and outs of parenthood
- getting advertising income

They say the pen is mightier than the
sword. That would mean a typewriter is
more powerful than a machine gun, and
a personal computer is greater than an
atomic bomb. I am a world superpower!
Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski
The Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset said, "Tell me to what you pay attention, and I’ll tell you who you are." If he could observe me, he'd say I'm a writer. I write all the time. I write at work, at school, at home and on the road, for homework and for fun. I write to pass time when I'm in a boring meeting. I write stuff inside my head almost constantly, and later type up or jot down the parts of it I can recall. I also read, because reading and writing are closely related activities that support each other. I read novels, stories, poems, magazines, blogs, websites, newsletters, jokes, scientific research, movie and book reviews, literary criticism, textbooks, and greeting cards.

Someday, I might get paid to write, maybe enough to make it my primary occupation. For now, I just do it because it's what I am.

So, if writing is such a natural and essential activity for me, why do I need the blog as a medium on which to do it? My answer: Blogging is the best way to encourage others to read my words. Writing in a journal that I keep to myself has its own special attraction. So does writing on a piece of scratch paper that goes immediately into the trash. Or writing a school paper that I know my professor will read, but probably nobody else ever will. All of these and many others are fine in their own right. But when I blog, I know there's at least a potential of reaching many people, both friends and strangers, all over the world. My writing takes on new meaning when I know others might read it. It sounds arrogant, and I think most writing is unavoidably arrogant. The key is to find a personal style or "voice" that is not egotistical, even if the activity tends toward arrogance. For example, I've just typed several paragraphs about myself, including frequent use of words like I, me, and my. With this realization, the writer now chooses to end, but will return soon.


Did you like what you just read? Why not join Unintimidated by Convention? There's no membership fee, you don't have to attend any meetings, and I promise not to send you annual renewal notices. Just click on the right where it says "Join this site" and then type in your stuff that it asks for. Do it now!

1 comment:

  1. Very well put. Succinct, eloquent, and makes your point well.
    I think my reason for blogging is similar to your theme, but not quite as fully formed in my head.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how mine (and yours) develops as we find and refine our voices.

    And nothing wrong with arrogance. We're bloggers, dang nabbit, and that makes us better than all 27 people that still don't have their own bloggers.