It seems that there are at least as many reasons for blogging as there are bloggers. So why did I choose to start blogging? And why do I continue blogging? It obviously isn't for fame or fortune.
I started blogging for a very mundane and prosaic reason - I needed to regain my writing skills. In order to understand what I mean, some background is in order. I am the author of more than 150 published articles, papers, nomographs, and a weekly newspaper column. Note that I say am, but that writing was mostly more than 10 years ago. In the past, writing was a natural and easy process for me. I could sit down and my thoughts would flow onto the screen or paper without a thought of the mechanics of the process. When I started to write again recently, I was rusty and it was like pulling teeth to get anything out of my head. What should have been a ten minute task became a two day ordeal. The joy of writing was lost to the struggles within.
I am not what I call a passionate writer. I don't feel that I have something eating its way out of my brain that *has* to be published and read. I am not even sure what I want to write about until I sit down and do it. All I know is that I want the mechanics of writing to get out of the way so I can engage my mind in the joy of creation and expression.
Like any skill, writing depends on practice and hard work. As my friend the writer says, you have to work at it every day. I know he puts in the requisite hours every day. At the Super Bowl party, he and I had a chance to chat a bit about it. He reads this blog and sometimes comments to me about it. (Yet another of the people who comment in real life and not here.) He also said he had thought from time to time about blogging, but that after the long hours of writing he did each day, he feared he would have a difficult time writing still more for a blog; it would become just another task. (He had a point. If I ever feel that this is a task rather than a joy, it will cease.) The issue here is that practice really does make perfect (or at least ease).
Back in October/November, I made an agreement with myself to write something every day. I promised myself that I would publish daily, no matter what the state of that day's writing. I also told myself that I would prepare and write any day's assignment on that day, preferably within 45 minutes of posting it. That way it could not become a long agonizing process. I also made the explicit decision to only give my writing a quick once over in lieu of real proof reading. I wanted to be able to write again, not edit. I have generally followed that plan. You, my dear readers, have had to suffer the occasional misspelling and typo, even the rare sentence fragment. For that, I apologize.
The point of this whole meandering mess? The process is working. It has become easier for me to pick a topic and just write about it. Some of my normal wit (and sarcasm) has started to peek through as the mechanics have moved aside. It has improved enough that some readers have noticed. Even L has noted that my writing is getting much better. And that makes me happy. But what makes me the happiest is that it is becoming a transparent process, free and flowing. Now all I have to do is work on my tendency to wordiness and ...
So why do you blog? Are you on a mission? Are you honing a skill? Do you have something eating its way out of your brain? Are you a Martian?