March 17 2008

Why I Blog

TypingLuis from BlogD left a comment on my three year anniversary post that just set up another post too perfectly for me to pass up the opportunity.

Congratulations! I know exactly what that’s like! To be honest, I hadn’t been keeping track of your progress, so I was taken by surprise when you announced that.

As for me, I’m sweating it out until this August, 138 days from now. That’ll be five years straight without a break… at which time I’m going to not worry if I miss a day here or there.

Part of that is that five years is a round number… more than that, it’d take five more years to reach the next notable landmark… and more than that, I’m just getting tired some days, struggling more and more to find something to say. Not that the exercise of finding that thing isn’t useful–I just think that I’ve had enough useful exercise for a while. That said, the election will probably be more than enough to keep daily blogging up a few months beyond that deadline.

Any thoughts as to how long you intend to keep this up? What’s your purpose, and when will that purpose have been served?

Seeing as reading Luis’ blog is actually what inspired me to try the once-a-day formula, it seems fitting he asks these questions.

Why did I start blogging?

After leaving magazine writing in 1998, it felt odd having no outlet. When blogs first started to appear, it felt like a natural outlet for someone who clearly has far more opinions than he has sense. I made my first blog post on August 24th, 2003, and from there on it was very hit and miss. Some months I was lucky if I even got one post up, and I seriously just considered deleting it and walking away.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have a passion for writing, it was just having to actually take the time to come up with an idea and write it that was the problem. As time progressed, I could feel my writing “skills” slipping, and I knew I had to practice if I ever wanted to be a writer again. At some point in 2004 I came across Luis’ blog and his talking about his once-a-day goal. It seemed like a good idea to me, and an excellent way to work on my writing, so I thought I would give it a try. I started on January 1, 2005, but missed a day in March, resetting my count to the current one.

I am a very “goal orientated” person. If I don’t have a goal/deadline of some kind in front of me, I will put things off endlessly, so this form of blogging keeps me on target. Roy from Q-Taro suggested I go down to a couple times a week, but I know if I allowed myself to do that, I would totally slip out of it, back to those 2003 days of posting once a month.

So if I had to say if I have a goal with this, it was to make sure I could still write, and also prove I could still work with a deadline. With the addition of working professionally again, coming here once a day has been a chore, but after spending a shift writing what others want me to, it’s nice to come here and put down some words that are 100% me again.

When will I stop blogging?

PainLike Luis, there are days where I ponder why I still do this. I’ve obviously proven I can still write (albeit poorly), and the blog helped proved to editors that I could be a good professional blogger (more coming on this soonish), so what purpose does it serve now?

I think it’s mainly an outlet for me. If I was serious about this blog ever making money, I would find some nice niche subject to talk about and flog the heck out of it, but that’s now what I’m about. I find my ranting here to be therapeutic. I am exposed to so much input every day that is almost inevitable that something will annoy me. I can either vent to my friends and family to the point they want to kill me, or I can vent about it here where everyone who sees it is doing so voluntarily.

In short: as long as there are things in this world to piss me off, I’ll probably be here. I don’t think there will ever be a time where I can say that my blogging will have “served its purpose” as my blog and I are one and the same as I see it. If I was dealing with a goal to say, lower the price of wheat, once the price came down, that would have been its purpose. As it stands it is just some place for me to come and talk, and if people should happen to read and enjoy it, all the better.

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