Why Do We Blog ?

Right now I’m working on several posts, and in one in particular I ran across an interesting diversion. So I’m not yet sure where that story will take me. Or you later once I post it. 🙂

I the mean time, I figured I should write a post about why I started blogging. Or just writing in general. I think this one came from a writing prompt a while back and I simply forgot to post my response.

So here goes . . .

Why I Started Blogging?

It’s a great question. 

Back in the days of our undergrad studies, we were all required to write term papers.  Most students disliked this, but I actually enjoyed it.  So much so, I took a technical writing class, which helped me learn about how to focus topics and how to research.  And post-grad, I took a course in how to research government documents.

I would use some of the skills I learned from this coursework marginally as a practicing RN.

But then one day, I read a book that was far from a skillful work.  It was recounting various events in this person’s life and it was very poorly written, or so I thought anyway.  I decided that I could certainly write as good as this guy, and I set off to write my own book.  That book is still in draft form – LOL.  I hope to finish it someday but I realized it would have to be long after I retired to avoid persecution.

You see, working on this project got me writing shorter articles or editorials, and following the advice of “write what you know,” I began writing health care editorials for the local papers.  I then became a columnist for the journal, “Revolution: The Journal of Nurse Empowerment,” and I also conducted and published some original nursing research in the mainstream, peer-reviewed, nursing journals.

While the readers loved my editorials, my employer did not.  

They tried multiple times to fabricate reasons to make me disappear.   But, since they were a state entity, and they were government actors, the Constitution did apply, unlike with private employers.  So, I was able to beat them back legally with First Amendment protections. That experience got me interested in law, and as I say now,

“I got mad and went to law school.” 

In law school, and with my employment thereafter, I would really hone my research and writing skills.  But this was highly technical and formatted writing, and it was writing works for other people. 

It wasn’t my own stuff.  It wasn’t creative. 

And I knew from past experience, some of what I wanted to write about would never get published in the mainstream.  Thus, a blog.  Where I could speak freely and be my own editor.

BTW, as an attorney, I wrote ten and twenty-page legal briefs daily, which gave me a laugh about stressing over ten-page college term papers that we had 16 weeks to write. 😊

My first blog came about when my daughter, who was in the Army, was shipped overseas to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Having inside contacts with her and her fellow soldiers, I learned just how poorly this war was being prosecuted and how badly our troops were being provided for.  So, I blogged in a very hotheaded, unrestrained monologue against the powers-that-be.  A frustrated parent, like so many others, who had a child in the war zone. 

I eventually took down all my posts.

Ten years later, this blog would come back to haunt me with potential future employers.  And when I finally landed my dream job, it was only on the promise that I would not be doing “anymore writing like that.” 

We are free to speak, but there are consequences for doing so.

My exit from the dream job came earlier than planned.  Forced out by internal and external politics, and while I was looking for work, I came across an ad for writers, but the candidate was required to have experience with “WordPress.”  I had never heard of WordPress until this moment, and that’s how I ended up with my current blog.

I’ve shifted focus a bit now, having learned a number of lessons along the way.  I try to write more positively.  Try to creatively share my life experiences.  And occasionally, I kick out something that is more editorial in nature.  A bit stronger commentary.  But I’ve learned to tone it down a bit, as I wish to keep the reader engaged. 

Communication evaporates quickly in a room full of hostility.

I never did find another job.  Age discrimination has played a role in that.  But retirement has been liberating.  I can write without fear of persecution from employers, and writing on my own forum frees me from the editorial constraints of publishers. 

It’s a fun place to be in my life. 😊

In Metta

Writers Challenge: So why do you blog? Please share your experiences.

Feature Photo: I found this image in the Public Domain on the Internet. I could find no other attribution for it. I liked it for a couple of reasons. Of course, it’s cute. But it serves as a reminder to me that I’m in my “run rabbit run” stage of life. If I want to accomplish certain things, or scratch things off of my bucket list, then I better get moving. I ain’t getting any younger. 🙂

38 thoughts on “Why Do We Blog ?”

  1. Hi there. This is so interesting! I started blogging as part of the journalism program I enrolled in several years ago. I had written for the local paper and wanted proper training. blogging was one element of that training. After college my site lingered in limbo for a few years. I went on to do my bachelor’s degree, partly in communications and partly political science. Then I moved to Alberta where wildfires forced an evacuation of the city where I live. That’s when my blog was resurrected. I had to put all that stress and anxiety somewhere! That was in 2016 and I’m still here. I haven’t done so well with writing the past several months. Partly because I have been putting my efforts into a book I’m writing and partly because this damned pandemic has worn me out!

    I love your writing. I was hooked from the read post I read. WordPress has become a community for me and even though I may never meet the people I interact with here I consider many as friends. I certainly do as far as you are concerned. I am so glad you gave WordPress a try. I look forward to reading your posts – always so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story! I’m sorry about the wildfires but glad you started writing again ! I love your posts too! And glad to hear about your book. You’ll have to let me know when it’s available 😊 I think we’re all pretty worn out with the pandemic, but you stay safe ! I consider us good friends too, and I have more friends now here on WP than I do in-person friends. It’s a great community!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Why do I blog? For 12 years, I wrote a monthly garden column. Many readers said I ‘should write a book.’ When I met a publishing agent, I asked her how to do that. She replied that most publishers want to know ‘how many followers you have on your blog.’ My thought bubble was, “Huh, guess I better start a blog!” And so it happened. The funny thing is, about a year into it, I realized I already WAS published in my own way! My priorities changed from writing informational posts to a more artistic, creative approach using my photographs. Eight years on my blog has changed a lot, both from changes in my life, but also in response to my followers. It is social media after all. 😉

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    1. Wow ! Eight years blogging! That’s wonderful and I like your creative side. Maybe you should still do a book. You sure have a lot of material to work with. Are you able to share some of your work from your gardening column?

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      1. I still have those files, yes, but am not as motivated to post them for some reason. I am sure folks would like them and find them informative. To many of my fellow gardeners, though, it seems it would be preaching to the choir. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I initially started a blog as a way to engage with people, and potentially publishers, in regard to my experience with surviving brain cancer. I organised a solo and unsupported long distance charity hike (400km) to raise money for brain cancer research and used my first blog to post a daily journal entry of the hike (although the entries were all published post-hike as I had took no devices with me). Several years later I consolidated all those posts into a manuscript, which I’ve had professionally edited into book and ebook format. I just have to get my backside into gear to publish it!

    I really wanted to blog to showcase my writing, and I guess I still do, but the appeal of attracting interest in my writing has waned considerably. I wrote a memoir and was certain it would attract the attention of a publisher, and I was advised at many literary events that I would need to have a website to be taken seriously. I have since learned that great writer or not, and website or not, it is not possible to be taken seriously unless you’re already taken seriously; a circular problem, much like the job and experience conundrum: you can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job. An anti-virtuous circle.

    I started another blog with the intention of monetising it, only to find out later that it’s not possible to do that on the free WP platform. I tried three times to set up different hosted blogs, but found it too frustrating and discarded all of them. My second blog is aimed at encouraging people to step outside their comfort zones, although I don’t come at it head-on, rather from a very subtle side angle.

    I love writing surreptitiously and get a big kick out of writing about someone I don’t like in a way that points out their flaws, but wouldn’t be libelous. I often draw cartoons that I make into YouTube movies to demonstrate points I’m trying to make, which is a lot of fun. Blogging is also an immortality project, in the same way that having something published in a book or journal is, and there are no gatekeepers (agents or publishers) preventing me from doing this on a blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congrats on surviving brain cancer ! That has to be quite a story. And get that book published! I know what you mean about the circle and being taken seriously. I know it’s tricky, and fun, to write without being libelous 😁 And thanks for sharing your story. I’ll be following your blog now 🙂

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  4. …I too, followed that advice of “write what you know,”. So, as I started writing, I quickly realized I didn’t know shit. Nothing. So what to do? Well, when you don’t know anything…you make shit up! So that’s what I did…I started making shit up focusing on my favorite genre…science fiction. And, whattya know? I got an appreciative audience here on WP! Do I hope to get published one day? I dunno. By the time I finish the story…I’ll probably run out of steam! I vacillate from “this is fun…” to “what a waste of time…” Currently, I’m in a withdrawn meditative stage…and hope to return in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL ! Well I’m glad you’re making shit up George. You’re good at it! Keep at it. Your followers don’t think you’re wasting time. I’m looking forward to your next chapter 😊 And I think fiction can be harder than non-fiction because you’re not just creating characters, you’re also creating worlds 😀

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    2. I know exactly what you mean re: this is fun vs this is a waste of time. That plagues me constantly. It’s a great barrier to finishing stuff. I start picking up steam and then a voice from the deep pipes up, “what’s the point of doing this? It’s a stupid waste of time. No one is ever going to care about this.”

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  5. I enjoyed reading your experience and learning your reasons for blogging. I can share, that I have always loved to write, read, think and understand. Blogging is a way to do all these things. Writing is a way to express what needs to be better understood and in sharing understanding deepens. I like to think it brings perspective for others in the way it does for me when I read others work. It broadens and deepens, or depending the topic, maybe even shifts perspective. And, its just fun.💗

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Harold, whenever I have no time to catch up on those I follow, I always find a golden nugget when I make time to read you! This was a lovely read, over a cuppa, while ‘waking up’… I use the phrase loosely, you understand. Having the freedom to write and as you say, be our own editors too – gives us a perfect platform to project who we are and what we feel and, whilst I believe that not everyone uses it responsibly, or even deserves to be heard (should I have toned that down a bit too?) we can be selective in so many areas in order to hone our cerebral environment. But that’s more about why we read I guess. As to why we blog, for me it’s about many things. Putting out either new ideas about what I know, and in photography that’s getting harder to the point it’s almost impossible, showing off (when I’ve got a few corkers, for example), using an instinctive need to communicate to a wider audience who I accept may or may not be listening or even… interested (with an assumed acceptance!) but also, to create for the sake of creating; to achieve, no matter how small or trivial. Info feel that in blogging, there’s an almost equal amount of a need for reply, connection, affirmation of consolidation of ideas or thoughts on those creative or personal ideas we cherish in ourselves and to know that there will always be an opportunity to consider other angles if you like, when we receive input from those who read us. I love that aspect. The whole transaction.

    Is there anyone who doesn’t have a book in them? Mine’s been in draft for years … and retirement is years off yet. Time is not always one’s best friend but one day… one day. (Isn’t it sad that that to maintain the same order, we have to tone-down and caveat everything nowadays? I agree that freedom of speech comes with consequences when ‘abused’, but dammit – whatever happened to outright honesty and cutting through the bullshit?) Reminds me…

    “You can’t handle the truth!” 🤣 That’s for another day.

    Keep well my friend.
    R.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robert ! You’ve packed a lot in here and I totally agree. “To create for the sake of creating” I think is a need for all of us, and the freedom to do that is wonderful.😊 Someday, we’ll finish those books. And honesty; sometimes I think people really can’t handle that. I think your medium of photography can be more powerful than words, and hits honesty head on in so many ways without uttering a word. Keep up your brilliant work, and glad you enjoyed the post. More to come 😇

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  7. even if it won’t be published in mainstream, commercial – you can still publish it 😉📚 This is the beauty of self-publishing 🙂 we can throw our “original but out of standard” work into the world 🙂 btw, non-fiction is quite popular genre, not everybody is up for fantasy book.

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