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09 June 2009

The thing about blogging.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with Grief and he asked, "so is blogging an honest form of self-expression, or is it just another form of narcissism?"

My answer? Probably a little bit of both.

Blogging, to me, is like...a social diary. Mostly, I just write about ridiculous crap that I can share with random strangers on the internets. But sometimes, sometimes, I can write something true and personal. It's amazing how people I barely know will come and share their own experiences. Or just tell me that I'm not crazy or alone. And if someone else comes across my blog, and that person is going through the same thing, maybe he or she won't feel so alone.

Yes, I like to think I'm entertaining. Yes, it makes me feel good to think that people I don't know read my blog and enjoy it. Yes, I like the attention or whatever.

But that's not why I blog. I love to write. My blog was kind of a challenge for myself. To see if I could produce something worth reading. Regularly. Some posts are certainly better than others. But I try to bring something new to the table every weekday, may it suck or not. (Seriously, sorry about the sucky posts, guys.)

I'm kind of proud of my little blog. (Narcissism alert!)

Putting my personal stuff out there doesn't really freak me out. My mom asked me a few weeks ago, "But aren't you worried about what people will think of you?" And you know? I'm really not. This is me, for better or worse. This blog is who I am. And if you know me, you know that's true. Why would I be worried about what people will think of me if I'm just being myself? If someone chooses not to like me because of things they've read on my blog...well, I'm okay with that.

Blogging can be a lot of work, though. If you want people to read your blog, you have to read their blogs. So you read and comment and read and comment and write and read and comment and comment and write. It takes time. I can see how easy it would be for it to feel like a chore. And once it does, once it's no longer fun, what's the point? That can only mean one thing...

Blog Break.

And with bloggers sort of...dropping like flies right now, I was just wondering. If you have a blog, what does it mean to you? If you don't have a blog, why not?

16 comments:

repliderium.com said...

I have a blog because my head would explode if I didn't write. I get a kick out of someone really liking what I've put down and though it can be a shit ton of work sometimes, so far it's totally worth it to me.
I also don't give a shit what people think of me, so that helps....
;)

Jay Ferris said...

A lot of it for me is also based on a need to write, and the challenge of doing it well.

I must disagree, however, with one of your final paragraphs here. You don't necessarily have to read ther people's work to get your own in the spotlight. It works, but is ultimately not that sustainable, so if you want any kind of long term readership you've got to remember these three little words: content is king.

Nina said...

Hi! I am a new reader to your blog. At the moment I have two blogs.
One is informative--for my family that I don't get to see because we are scattered all over the world.
The second is my personal blog where I am able to release some of emotions/thoughts for friends to read about/keep informed.
I am about to start a third. But, I am not going to tell anyone that it is mine... I just want to have somewhere where I can say what I want, when I want, about who I want. And I won't have to worry about getting yelled at by family members bc I curse (I am 23 by the way), offending friends because I talk about how they drive me crazy, etc etc.

Mia said...

Hey - I am another new reader! I came across your blog through Zero.

I have a blog because I love writing. I love the satisfaction that a post - well and truly representative, descriptive or evocative of the point I'm trying to make - gives me.
I like seeing that people actually take a stand (be it similar or opposing my own) and bother to write what they think in response to my entries. And sometimes I just like amusing myself, no matter how much work/thought has to go into an entry.

Anonymous said...

I, being the true artiste that I am, do not have a blog, preferring instead to expose my deepest thoughts within the confines of the blogs of others. This has caused me endless scorn and derision from these bloggers who, being the artistocrats that they are, do not realize the parasitic genius that I have honored them with. It's as if they are the Church, and I am Galileo, and, as we all know, nobody expects the spanish inquisition!

Antelope said...

My blog is completely narcissistic. I like it when people think I'm funny, and in real life my husband is what we call a "rare laugher." He pretty much only laughs if I fart or fall down, and otherwise he says "that's funny," which is pretty much the same as having a blog.

standingonthebrink said...

Hey Mia!! And Shine, and everyone else (Mia and I read one another's blogs so it's weird to find each other out in the big wide world...) I don't know how I got here but I'm a relatively new reader too. I blog because I have friends who do, and I enjoyed reading their blogs, and they suggested I tried it, and I thought, hey, wait, I can do that. I used to have two blogs - one about the stuff that happens to me and the silly things I think and my opinions, I rant and rave about the BNP (British Nationalist Party, for all you Americans etc), I recount silly stories about myself and my life and my flatmates, (me falling in the pond, me throwing up in a fishpond, on my flatmate, and so on, the frustrations of setting up group holidays, blah blah blah) I muse, and I love it. My reader figures are going up and up at the minute and I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing differently other than posting about ten times as much as usual becuase I@m trying to avoid revision for as long as possible.

My other blog is in remission at the moment. It's a blog I started anonymously, although I came clean on On The Brink a few months back, because for years I was depressed and felt I had something genuinely new to say on the subject. People started finding me on Cloudlife and friends would say, 'I had no idea things got that bad', and actually it helped that people I knew were reading my blog because then they knew what was going on with me, why I was acting oddly, and why they bloody well shouldn't treat me like some kind of glass princess. I didn't set it up just to whine and moan about how shit everything was, I set it up to bitch about my meds, to explain honestly how it feels, to describe the good days and the bad and the way I made it through and in that, I honestly think it's different from other 'depression' blogs out there and I am genuinely, narcissistically proud of my short time writing Cloudlife. Now I'm better, so I stopped posting. Until next time...

My 'main' blog, meanwhile, is just fun, and I love every minute of the read-comment-write cycle and it's allowed me to hear about things I would never have discovered otherwise. So yes, narcissism, self-expression, and in some really sad way, a way to stay in touch with some of my more reclusive and annoying friends (naming no names whatsoever)...!!

Phronk said...

I think you said it pretty well, and I blog for many of the same reasons.

Is there really much a difference between self expression and narcissism anyway? Is expression just high quality narcissism? I dunno.

A lot of it is the same urge that, when you think of a great idea (or what seems like one at the time), or come across something fun, you want to tell a friend about it. With blogging, it's a larger pool of friends (and strangers) to tell it to. It could be called narcissism but I think it's really just called being human.

LiLu said...

I have a blog, and it means way more than it should to me... because, if you haven't noticed, I like to SHARE. I like to share, and talk it out, and interact, and discuss. I like to know what others think, what they're up to. I like the idea of being in touch with an enormous network of people, of SUPPORTIVE and honest people. I just freaking love everything about it.

PorkStar said...

I share the same reasons as you do for blogging. However, I started blogging mostly to get distracted from some personal situations and it ended up being somewhat entertaining. I love to write and fondle the English language which is a lot of fun to do. I also have a private blog which details more personal issues that have been affecting me for the past year. That might as well be the narcissistic blog.

Organic Meatbag said...

Hi there! I am a first time reader, and i was just discussing this with another blogger... sometimes, your blogging brain, as inquisitive and entertaining as it is, just needs a break...I put it this way: Sometimes my brain says "Fuck You" and disappears for a few days...then he comes back, we make up (but no make-up sex...I'm not weird or anything), and then we make beautiful blogging music once again...
Time apart from your blogging brain is good...keeps things fresh...

Mary said...

When I was a kid I had a habit of starting journals. I would write faithfully for a few weeks or months and then something else would steal my attention. When I was finished with whatever that was I would look for my journal and it would have vanished. So, I would start a new one. Writing a blog helps me to keep journaling without losing it and having to start over.

It's only been a few months for me, but I like having a place to put down my ideas.

Jeff said...

if i don't write things down, they stay stuck in my head, and then i might get an aneurysm. i've had my blog change tone though; in the beginning it was more personal and work-related mind dump, and now i try to be somewhat more entertaining as readership has grown.

Losing It said...

I'm late on this, but I blog because I have so much hate and rage in me that if I don't let it flow freely SOMEPLACE, my eyes, ears and brain will bleed and melt and I will die. Simple as that. Plus, I love the fact that I get to make new Internet friends like you!

shine said...

repliderium.com: I'm right there with you.

JayFerris: Just burst my little bubble, why don't you? Geez! Besides, you just blog to get the ladies.

Nina: There are certainly advantages to anonymity. Sometimes I wish I had more of it.

Mia: I amuse myself all the time. Probably more than I amuse anyone else.

Anon: Buddhism. Study it.

Antelope: I'll have to record the laughing I do and send it to you, then. Because one day I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard.

standingonthebrink: At the very least, if your friends read, it's a good way to not have to tell the story 20 times!

Phronk: I'll go with you on that one. Because I think humans are narcissists, almost by their very nature.

LiLu: And share you do my little love bug. And we love you for it!

PorkStar: I love to fondle the English language, too!

Organic Meatbag: Welcome! And yeah, sometimes breaks are good.

Mary: I like the permanence of the blog. I also like that it's out there...and anyone can read it and I have very little control over who does and who doesn't.

Jeff: Aneurysms are NEVER good.

Losing it: You can be as late as you want. I love your snarky rants. Yay for internet friends!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I blog cause I am alone and my cat can't talk..yet. I am so pitifully needy that I require other people to tell me that octopus in the oceans or in aquariums freak the shit out of them as much as they do me. I like to hear the sound of my own writing in my head and because the judge said that ONE more fire and I am going away for good. Love...Cal