Tim from the Hillybilly Blogger wrote yesterday about why he blogs, you can read his post HERE. It started me thinking and I foolishly told him that one day I would write a post about why I blog. He challenged me, and that’s a sure fire way to get me to do something.
Why I blog, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
I had a blog before, around 10 years ago. I remained anonymous and it was a place where I could record the thoughts that were rumbling around in my head, in an effort to try and make sense of them. I was going through a difficult time, lots of things had happened at once and my house of cards came crashing down around me. It was a relief when the Doctor diagnosed my chest pains as stress / depression and not a heart attack. That was the start of a mental healing process, part of which included writing on my blog.
It was popular enough, I had comments from people who were going through the same kind of things. I also had comments from others who told me to get a grip on myself. Those were not helpful, and only served to increase my anxiety. Did these people think I liked having depression, did they think it was a choice, because believe me, there are very few people who would choose to travel that path given the option.
I chose not to start on a course of anti depressants, but that, according to the Doctor was the next step. Over the next few months I walked for miles, thought, got angry, but eventually was lucky enough to be able to pull myself out of the pit I had fallen into. Others are not so lucky and still fight their demons on a daily basis, my heart goes out to them.
As my mental state started to shift, my need for the blog lessened, until eventually I made the decision to close it down completely. I wanted to start looking forward, instead of constantly looking back.
Fast forward 10 years and I am in a similar situation. Sustaining a leg injury and the 6 month process of healing took it’s tole on me. Mentally, although not as bad as the time before, I was fragile.
When I first started I had no expectations of what was going to happen. This time I wanted to write to cheer myself up, and if in the process I did that for others also, then that was a bonus. The constant nagging from one of my best friends Paul every 5 minutes didn’t help either, and in fact my very first post was written purely to shut him up and get him off my case. I wasn’t even sure after that if I would write any more.
I’ve told this before in many posts, so my apologies if you are having to read it again, call it old age, it makes me repeat myself.
I used to look at blogs that had a couple of hundred followers and loads of comments and think ‘I wish that was me’. Even though we ‘write for ourselves’, I think we all hope, just a little that we will gain followers and create something that people actually want to read and discuss. We are human after all.
Now that is me, I have followers and people who comment on a regular basis, and blogging has become so much more than I originally thought it could be. I like to think I have not forgotten anyone, there are people who have been with me from day one. I feel sad when someone leaves or takes a break, I feel guilty when I have not spoken to someone for a week and I feel pain when I read what some of my friends are going through.
We start out as bloggers, we write, we strive to amuse, we entertain and for the most part we lay ourselves bare on blank spaces for all the world to plunder. From that first keystroke on that first entry, unbeknown to us, we start a journey. It’s a journey of discovery, not only of all that the world has to offer, but also of ourselves. I know I have changed, as has my writing style, but I hope it is a change for the better.
One day you will write a post and realise that you are there, that you have become the person that you strived to be at the start, with regards to your followers and comments. You will be thankful for all that you have been able to achieve, but you will also realise that it is no longer the most important thing.
When you sit down, cup of coffee in hand and look back, because someone has challenged you as to the reasons why you blog, you will realise it is because you have become part of a family. You will begin to appreciate the love that surrounds you, the support that is offered to you and help you receive. You will realise that it is these people, along with your family and friends who have provided light in the darkness and a reason to smile when you thought there was none.
That is the reason why I blog. I could never have made it through this last year on my own.
What about you?