Five Reasons Why I Blog

I was tagged for this by that lovable rogue, Archie, and as ever, had to think about it for a day or two as at first my mind was full of wonder that anyone would not want to blog. Still, here goes:

1. I started blogging just to see if I could do it. Academic writing is such a particular discipline that you can’t really relate it to ordinary writing (and certainly not writing for entertainment), and I wanted to know whether or not I had it in me to cross the divide. I wanted so badly to be a fiction writer when I was younger but I gave it up because intellectual writing seemed to suit me so much better. The blog was – is still – a tentative step towards middle ground.

2. I have a head full of bits and pieces of wonderful novels and fascinating ideas and I wanted a storehouse for them. Somewhere I could lay them out and have a look at them, and share them with others. I missed my discussions with students and the excitement that comes with thinking through the joys and sorrows of the human condition and making something aesthetic and intellectually satisfying out of them. That’s worked out better here than I could ever have hoped.

3. The feedback you leave is immensely important to me. I love other blogger’s comments and what I write is only half-finished until you have all come and had your say. I can’t get over the quality of the comments people leave – every one has something witty or warm or insightful or intriguing in it. It’s thanks to you that this site has become more than one woman’s private obsession with modern literature, has become in fact a twenty-first century literary salon where everyone is welcomed and valued.

4. I had no idea when I first began this that I would make so many good friends. It’s certainly become one of the reasons now that I blog; I’d miss you all too much if I stopped. It’s amazing how close you can feel to people you’ve only met in virtual reality, but then when I stop and think about it, I often feel more like me here than in any earthly domain, so perhaps it’s not so unreasonable after all.

5. I love the whole sense of community that unites the book bloggers (and the bloggers who also write about books). I find it really soothing to do my little rounds of blogging friends and finding out what everyone’s reading, doing and thinking. I’m completely reliant on the blogosphere now for book reviews and the discovery of new authors, and I love it when someone else’s post sparks off an idea for one of mine. And I do have a soft spot for the tagging and the memes.

And so on that note I actually am going to tag some people for this, apologies if this has moved so swiftly you have been tagged already. I choose: Dewey, Gentle Reader, Eoin, Stefanie and Ann.

19 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why I Blog

  1. Lovable rogue? I am honoured. It is interesting that we both see blogging as a form of training and practise as well as a communication tool. And fun! I know when I was away on my last trip and out of touch with my blogging friends I was bereft. In the short visits I was able to make to the ‘net, I would print out your posts so that I had something to think about even if I couldn’t comment.

  2. I agree with all your points. I would miss my blog-pals if I stopped. (This embarrassing to admit but I sometimes dream about other bloggers, so real have they become.) Your salon is a place I love to visit and my life would be much less interesting without it. So pleased you decided to try it out.

  3. I hate to be unoriginal (who am I kidding, unoriginal is my middle name!) but I have to agree with Charlotte. Blogging seems to be scoffed at a whole lot but for those of us who actually do it and read blogs regularly, it has opened up a whole world. I am sorry I do not comment more on your blog but I must tell you that I really enjoy reading it. It is like I am an intellectual student, sitting in the quad with friends discussing Literature. It is how I would like to spend a lot of my time.

  4. Thank you! I haven’t been picked for this yet, and it’s one of the few memes I’m actually interested in.

    What you said about finding it soothing to make the rounds of your blogging friends is still something I’m working towards. When I first started, I put nearly 200 blogs into my google reader. I just threw in anyone I thought I might ever like to visit again. Of course I can’t keep up with that, and what ends up happening in reality is that every morning when I moderate comments, I open the blogs of the commenters in new tabs. So instead of choosing who I read, I have that choice made for me. I do intend to keep visiting everyone who comments, but I want to whittle my google reader collection down to blogs that I know I want to visit regularly, whether they comment or not. What I’ve done so far is make a folder for people I already know fit into that category (you went into that folder immediately!) as I work my way gradually through the other blogs, deciding whether to keep them there or not. I’m always asking other people how they organize their blog reading! One person said she has google reader and bloglines. Google reader is where she keeps everyone she might ever want to visit again, and bloglines is where she keeps her little circle of people she really cares about. I think that’s a pretty good idea.

  5. Oh Archie, that is so sweet! The first thing I do when I get back from a journey is rush to the computer and catch up on my blog friends. What would I do without your quizzes and jokes to keep me entertained? Charlotte – so very pleased you stopped by and we got to know one another! Do you really dream of bloggers? How wonderful! There’s a blog post waiting to be written…. Kate – I’m always thrilled whenever you can drop by! I love to think of the blog as a quad of leafy sunshine where we all hang out discussing books. No wonder people think the virtual world is a dangerous fantasy of perfection! Stefanie – I’m so glad you’ll do the meme! I really wanted to know what you would put. Dew – you went straight onto the ‘must-read’ list too! I think that’s a very smart move to have two feed readers and organise blog reading in that way. Trying to get around everyone is a perpetual problem and I only wish I had more time to comment. There’s barely a post goes by that I don’t WANT to say something about – it’s just the time to do it!

  6. This is a fun meme, and I’ll have to do it soon, as Emily has tagged me. Many of the things you write about I have experienced too — especially feeling that fellow bloggers have become friends and that I depend on other bloggers for book recommendations.

  7. Pingback: Why I blog « Of Books and Bicycles

  8. Pingback: Why I Blog Meme « So Many Books

  9. This is timely, Litlove as having just begun to crawl out of the other side of a really bad bout of illness I have been thinking about what I give time and energy to as opposed to what I waste time and energy on. I need to think through why I blog and this will make me do it. Thank you.

  10. Does it surprise you that I blog for many of the same reasons you do? (Although I didn’t mention them when I did this meme, too focused on the ego boost thing.) And I’m so happy to be a part of your salon. One day, I will write the post on my desire to belong to a salon and my discovering through blogging that I do, which has been bugging me to write it. Now I’ve had a little more inspiration, it’s doing more than just bugging! So expect it soon.

  11. Thanks for tagging me, and thanks for your thoughtful answers to the questions. You blog for many of the same reasons I do. Now I’ll have to think about it and come up with something creative to say, too!

  12. Dorothy – I would have tagged you, only Emily got there first! Polaris – love having you in it! Ann – my poor friend! I am so sorry to hear that you have been laid low. You know you have my every sympathy. Enjoy the meme and think about everything that brings you pleasure and relaxation. Emily – not surprised at all! And I can’t wait to read your post on the salon. I can imagine that you will do it beautifullt. LK- thank you so much! I couldn’t do it without your support. Gentle reader – I’ll look forward to your version of this very much. I’ll bet when you start to think about it, you’ll come up with all kinds of reasons.

  13. It does take time to comment, yes, and you know what make it harder? Those letters you have to type in to prove you’re not spam. I set my blog so that I have to approve comments before they’re posted so that people can choose to take the time to type in their email and url or just their names. Or leave anonymous comments, though that rarely happens. I figure the easier I make commenting, the more comments will happen!

  14. Pingback: 5 reasons why I blog « Eoin Purcell’s Blog

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  16. Pingback: why to Blog « Adisuns's Blog

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