So the ever entertaining Sheena over at If These Walls Could Talk has issued a challenge to her readers - she wants to know all about our blog motivation: why we blog, what made us start blogging, how we go about the whole blogging process ( that is, if we have one ). Hell, she's even made it a competition of sorts - the " winner " gets treated to a weekend with Sheena sometime in the year 2010. Thats a prize worthe entering for, in my humble opinion. Therefore i have decided to take Miss Gates up on her challenge. Read on, if you will:
It was an online chat buddy who encouraged me to blog. We used to chat for hours on end : long, articulate, funny, often playfully argumentative discussions on topics that none of our " real life " friends cared to talk about. He'd started his own blog on the social networking site that we favoured and, after a few choice comments from me, asked me why i hadnt started mine yet. Why ? Well, why not ? To " web log " had never crossed my mind before, but the more i thought about it, the more sense it made. Truth be told, I have always been an avid writer; when i was a little girl i loved spending time in my room writing stories, reading through baby name books to make a shortlist of monikers for the various characters in my " novels ". This grew and morphed somewhat into a favouritism for poetry, most often written when i was low and/or angry. In my late teens i kept an exercise book full of my poems with me almost all the time and pulled it out whenever i had something i needed to say. But it occured to me that everything in my poems was hidden, cryptic, metaphorical; why wasnt i saying what i really felt? Why wasnt i getting all those thoughts and feelings out, in honest and frank terms that any old person was going to be able to understand ? Why? I didnt know. So i started to keep a journal. Every night i wrote in a notebook the exact thoughts and feelings i was having that day - nothing hidden, nothing left out, no holds barred. It was pure and honest and raw. And it was good.
I dont necessarily mean the writing - whether that was good or not would be entirely up to the reader. And seeing as i was the only person who ever read my journals, i guess we'll never really get an unbiased opinion on that. No, what i meant was that writing itself was good. The putting of thought to pen to paper was cathartic - it didnt matter that nobody else was reading it, just to free all the thoughts from my over-active mind was cleansing in itself. So, when the idea of having my own blog was put to me, a journal which was their for everybody - nay, anybody - to read, i thought it couldnt be anything other than a better version of that first baptism by written word. And it has been.
Blogging has brought me so much more than keeping a " regular ", old school journal. On top of bringing the sweet relief of unbottled emotion, blogging has opened up a whole new world of people and places. Blogging has introduced me not only to new friends, but new ideas, ideas that i would only have come across second or even third-hand without the blogosphere. Its brought me a support network that, despite being made up primarily of people i have never actually met, has been the sunshine on many a rainy day.Blogging has brought me a confidence that i am not the only weirdo in the world - that quiet often the things i thought were uniquely my problems are issues for other people to. It has lead me to see that i am, in fact, not alone. And that, my friends, is comforting.
Blogging may be the only part of my life where i dont follow a process. That is unless you count often incoherent rambling as a process in itself. I write as i think: quickly and often, without editing. That is to say i blog on a topic so quickly that i often dont stop to think what is that i am actually writing and this, in turn, means that very rarely self-censor. It has, on the odd occasion, meant that i have written about things that i probably shouldnt have, or at the very least, written too much detail, made things too personal. This is in opposition to my real life where i am very guarded, so readers of my blog should know that they getting the very core of me every time thy venture onto my page. I have written of battles with personal demons; of core events in my childhood that have shaped my emotional landscape; of sexual encounters, as few and far between as they are; and of regret, loss, pain and hope. These things are not so much about me but often they ARE me - the things i write about ( most often ) are the essence of who i am, and who i'm hoping to be. And they are true.
What else is true is the good that has come from blogging. The best thing that has come of my blogging thus far has been the relationships i've developed. I know its cliched to say " My blog helped me make friends! " but thats the answer to the question. So many of my friends and family question why i blog and just how genuine any relationships developed via the inetrnet are - but, in some cases, the fledgling relationships i have developed with fellow bloggers are the some of the most " real " relationships i have. Friendships developed via my blog ( and blogs the world over ) are based on personality, on brain and soul alone: they arent subjected to how pretty we are, how much money we have or how much power and influence we hold. They are based on a mutual attraction to ideas and attributes, and what could be more real than that? It may be a standardised answer, but the friendships i've made, the people i've come to know and love through nothing more than well written words, is the best thing i could have asked for from this whole blogging gig. Its the standard answer, but its true. And being true is always right.
I guess thats what i've been trying to say : blogging is right. Its the right fit. Its the right way. Its the right, and the real thing. The notion may be over-dramatic, but I've become addicted to this blog, and the others that i read. I'm able to share in the lives of others, and in turn share mine, and if sharing isnt caring, then i dont know what is.....