While I'm new at this whole blogging thing, I think it's safe to say that "Why Blog?" is a perennial question amongst bloggers. And I include the variations on this, such as: "Why am I blogging about this?" Or better yet, "Why am I blogging about this?" Who am I to be writing things down and throwing them out there for everyone, or no one, to see? It's a hot question in the blogosphere lately. Hugh MacLeod points to a staggeringly long entry on Frank Paynter's blog that asks "Why Do We Blog? I think the sheer number and fervor of the entries answers the question more eloquently than any of the excellent essays themselves: we blog, most of us who do, because it plugs us in, to the community, to the questions, to ourselves. (I'm putting aside those who blog exclusively for the bucks; neither the question nor the answer is of much interest in that case.)
Evelyn Rodriguez weighs in on the Why Blog? question this morning with an interesting spin on the issue: what I'd call the "Morning Pages" motivation:
I was thinking that blogging could be an excellent practice for someone in "transition" figuring out and wondering what they would like to do next in their lives. Your writing will lead you into what's next for you if you just focus on one day's post at a time. The pattern between your posts will reveal what your voice whispers but is too shy to shout. And your surroundings and other writers and readers that stumble across your path will inform you as well. Writers become keen observers - about the world about them and the world within. Pay attention to what tugs at you and write about that.
For the uninitiated, one of the chief tools of Julia Cameron's watershed book on personal transformation, The Artist's Way, is Morning Pages, basically, daily journaling within very specific parameters designed to empty the mind of clutter and provide a peaceful, open space for growth and change.
What's marvelous about Morning Pages, aside from the inner peace they give to type-A whack-jobs like me who suck at sitting meditation, is the reverse map they provide. In looking back over where you've been , you tend not only to see more clearly where you are but also where it is you are headed. Pretty nifty, that.
Of course, there's also the huge bonus-extra of getting better at writing and thinking and listening. As I mentioned in my recent post about morphing from copywriter to actor, change is mostly born of lots and lots of boring-ass, repetitive work: what I call logging the miles.
Interesting side-note: while I picked up The Artist's Way on a lark, it wound up getting me to dump advertising completely and become an actress. At 33. In Hollywood. Which, for those of you who aren't intimately acquainted with the way things work here in hyper-youth-oriented LaLa, is completely fucking insane. But it turned out to be not only the perfectly perfect thing for me to do, spiritually speaking, but also a good financial move. Go figure.
But I'd have done it for free (and did, for the first few years) because of the joy it gave me.
Just like blogging.