“Oh, you blog, do you?”
Eyes glaze over, eye contact lost, and an immediate race to change the subject. At time’s it feel like your into clandestine activities that can only be performed secretly in the dead of night. It make me think it’s at the dirty end of the literary spectrum.
Vlogging is seen as super cool, inspirational and aspirational. It can catapult and individual to stardom. Many have millions of followers and become household names and even end up on the BBC’s “Strictly come dancing”.
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can expedite a mass following and help relaunch faded celebrities and enhance and develop others. It can be a platform to express ones opinions and views and a selling tool for books, concerts and merchandise. There’s is an insatiable desire to transport yourself into the virtual stratosphere of social media. A media that we all dabble in, young and old, famous or obscure, rich or poor. It’s one of modern life’s great levellers. Warts and all unfortunately.
So what about blogging. Even this one for example. Is it an, “we’ve moved on from blogging”, or “that’s twee”.
For me, I believe that blogging it’s a more considered medium rather that a “of the moment”, rapid response with limited shelf life. It’s an essay a poem or short story transmitted into the ether perpetuating itself so it can be read wherever and whenever. It can still express an opinion, be a rant and of the moment but with a longer shelf life. An example of this is a blog I wrote in 2018 celebrating the 213th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. A very short blog with an excerpt from one of his poems. I’ve just check my blog statistics and so far in 2021 it’s recorded 4 times more readers than the year I published it.
“But why blog?”
Now that’s a loaded question, simple but loaded. For me I have a technically demanding job, so writing is escapism a creative outlet. That doesn’t explain blogging though.
Writing can be a very insular and private experience. It can catapult your mind into a whole new world, your own bubble, as it were. It’s probably why so many people engage in writing to combat mental health. I even contributed to a book in support of mental health charities where many of the contributors wrote for similar reasons.
It can be a very spiritual and relaxing pastime. It may not alway generate quality literary pieces but it can still convey the writers thoughts, experiences and creative imagination.
So why move from word/text document stored on your device or written on paper to being published on your very own blog? It seems strange when the process of writing can be very personal and private. A whole range of reasons encourages the author down this route. Blogs can be started from a desire to get recognition for what you’ve written or to be able to judge and analyse your work from comments generated. Self adulation and the desire to become a well known blogger can also be a driving force. It can be a route and platform to showcase your work if your trying to get poetry or a novel published. On the other hand blogs are also a way of expressing your views and opinions, rants and reviewing music, books or the arts.
For me it’s almost a creative pressure valve. I’m not a prolific writer with a strict daily routine pumping out daily or even weekly posts. It’s much more sporadic than that for me. I can produce a lot of work in a short period of time and then nothing for weeks or even months. But when I do have my creative splurge I need to post at least one piece. It sometimes makes me wonder why I’m writing if no one actually reads it. So posting selective work adds the “reason why”.
On the other side of the coin reading blogs can be informative and educational, but most of all, well in my case, inspirational and a unique way to get to know what other writers and like minded people are producing.
So if you spend time streaming tv and films or watch YouTube or Facebook videos, just take a break and read some blogs and maybe just maybe you’ll find the desire to wake up your own creativity.