It seems like every toddler's favorite question is "Why?" When I babysit small children I often feel like I am being interrogated. Why are you here? Because Mommy and Daddy are going out for a little bit. Why are they going out? I think they are going to dinner. Why? I guess they are hungry. Why? Don't you get hungry before dinner? Mommy and Daddy do too. Why? Because our tummies are empty. Oh, ok.
And just like that the questions end. You can never be sure of what answer will be the one that just seems to explain everything to that small child, but when you find it, all is right and they are perfectly content with the fact that Mommy and Daddy are going out to dinner because they are hungry and their tummies are empty.
Lately I have been thinking about why I blog. Could I not just as easily write in a journal or a never-ending word document that I keep private? Yes. I could. But when I read on someone's blog the other day that she blogs "simply because she enjoys it" I thought to myself, "Hey, I think that is exactly why I do it too."
Blogs, good blogs, offer both the author and the reader something unique that no "Dear Diary..." ever could. For the author, there is some type of adrenaline rush from posting something on the vast abyss of the internet. Original thoughts, belonging solely to the author, lying in wait to be read by anyone who happens to stumble upon the web page. There is a sense of hope that the author's words will resonate with just one other person, anywhere on the earth, and evoke the same emotions the author felt while writing.
For myself as a blog reader, the fact that a person's writing or pictures can make me feel as if I know them personally is amazing. Some might argue that good books are capable of this type of transcendence too. The difference though, is that blogs can be followed and read in "real time." I can follow someone's blog from beginning to most-recent-post, as opposed to the end that inevitably comes with every good book.
It also helps that anyone can create a blog, no publishing house required.
Writing and reading, posting and commenting, creates an interaction, a relationship if you will, between reader and author. It just stuns me that a blog, as impersonal as it could be, can lead to such an intimate connection with another human being. A human being one may never actually know in person, but someone you can still laugh with, cry with, get angry with, or empathize with as if you were close friends.
A good blog, is an honest blog. And I think that can be difficult for people to create. It is hard to set aside a fear of judgment and stop worrying about what people will think of what you write. This is something I find very difficult, but I want to try harder to overcome this fear. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
I have read countless blogs but there are only two that I make a point of following and reading regularly: "Don't Waste Your Cancer" and "Enjoying the Small Things. These blogs are some of the most honest blogs I have found and that is what's kept me reading. I have followed the first blog since the end of August, just a few weeks after the first post was ever published. The second blog I found more recently but whenever I have a few extra minutes of time, I sit and read a post or two, trying to get caught up. You should check them out - who knows, they might inspire you to start your own blog, or journal, or eternal word document of original thought. It offers quite a release once you actually get in the swing of it and let yourself go.
Why do I blog? I simply enjoy the freedom it rewards me with.
P.S. - Notice those neat links, my blog skills improved exponentially once I figured out how to put those bad boys in there!