Why we blog, and A Taste of Summer

I took this at The Enjoy Centre this morning, on our way in to brunch with an unlikely but wonderful little group of friends we meet with once a month. It’s the most enormous greenhouse I’ve ever been in, gorgeous, and permits Edmontonians little tastes of summer and virtual patio-dining long before summer actually arrives here in Alberta.

I took it because my eyes are hungry for beauty at this time of year. We’re well into spring, by the calendar, but the ice has been off the lake for just a week or so, and the trees are mostly still bare.

Over my Reuben, one of my friends, Millie, suggested my blog functions kind of like a journal for me. She’s right, though of course there’s much I’d put into a journal but not publish. But it got me thinking about why I—why any of us—blog.

Bloggers blog for all kinds of reasons, from what I can see—reasons that range from therapeutic ones, to growing their business, to a generous sharing of ideas and information, to just being addicted to the keyboard. Many of us write just for the sake of writing.

I do write as therapy; Millie’s quite right. I’m in need of all things therapeutic at this post-cancer, menopausal (not-quite-ready-to-work-tons-but-often-lonely-and-not-quite-ready-to-retire) point in my life. I write to organize and clarify my thoughts and feelings, to share with others what I’ve learned or experienced or discovered, to talk to others who may have  had similar thoughts or experiences or points of view, and because I miss the community of readers I had when I was writing a health column a couple of years ago. Those conversations honed my thinking, and expanded it, and gratified me in many ways, and one of my goals is to rebuild a little of that community.

I also write because I’m one of those with itchy fingers; I just need to write. I sometimes write because I need a break from what I’m doing, and have nobody in the next office or cubicle to exchange a hello with. I often write to finish unfinished conversations too, hence the tagline of the site. (I almost always have afterthoughts in the wake of social interactions, and it’s a nice way to tidy up the loose ends.)

So there it is. I’m one of hundreds of thousands out there doing it. I follow bloggers who offer me the kind of information I’m after, fresh insights, and—maybe most important to me—those who offer me their humanity. And, for right now at least, I’m enjoying adding my own little melody to the vast and fascinating symphony of sound out there.

It’s not for everyone of course—some people don’t like to write, most are far too busy with more concretely productive ventures, and many are too private for it. But I’ve found amazing connections through writing in the past—met wonderful people, some of whom have become wonderful friends.

Why do you blog, or not? Chime in, please, it’ll be fun.

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10 thoughts on “Why we blog, and A Taste of Summer

  1. I started blogging becuase I love to write, and I thought it was about time someone saw my writing for a change. Selfish? Maybe a little…
    Great post! 🙂

    • Not selfish at all. I think we have more to give when we love what we’re giving. When I was in the hospital last year, I played a little game with the nurses–tried to guess whether they liked nursing or not, and then asked. I had it right every time. Those who were doing it because they loved it were the best.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      • “I think we have more to give when we love what we’re giving.” That’s amazing! You’ve put words to an idea I’ve been trying to express for so long. 🙂

  2. Great post, Connie. When I started blogging I thought that I wanted to write informational content that might be helpful to other people. After writing a few pieces, I had no desire to continue…that type of content wasn’t right for me, and that helped me realize something that has been really important to my blogging adventure. No matter what I’m writing, there has to be some part of it that’s just for me, or else I won’t sustain it and it won’t be inspired. Obviously I want to consider my audience and write things for them…deliver value, so to speak. But when I focus exclusively on readers without first asking myself, “what do I want to write?” the value does down the tubes. I have to start by asking myself what would I enjoy writing, what would be fun or inspiring to me. Then I can produce inspired content. I guess that’s a lot like your nurses example…if you like what you’re doing, you’ll do a better job. It’s such a simple idea, but it’s easy to ignore when I feel like my writing should meet certain standards or deliver some value.

    If you start with things that naturally evoke passion and enthusiasm, the value follows and the standards tend to take care of themselves. Now one of the main reasons I blog is for the interactions with other bloggers. I love the little community of writers with which I get to read and chat. Another reason is for clarity. One thing I’ve realized over the years is that many times when people are talking, they are saying things that they themselves need to hear. Writing a blog is much the same for me. A lot of times I end up publishing things that I hope other people enjoy, only to realize later that I was writing things that I needed myself to hear. Even typing in this comment box, I feel like I’m almost typing it as a reminder to myself…”hey! write things you enjoy. The rest will take care of itself.”

    I have come to really enjoy blogging though. The only reason I “don’t blog” is when I don’t create the time and space for it in my life, which has happened for the entire month of April. I also think those breaks can lead to periods of greater productivity though…the time off has made me more eager to write, and I can’t wait to sit down and crank out a few pieces.

    • Thanks Jacob; I’m glad to see you’re back! You’ve reminded me of yet another reason I’ve enjoyed writing in the past, and another topic (one of many) I want to broach again one of these days (Hippocrates’ Shadow). …sometimes I read things that really energize me one way or another, but produce a look of “what’s your point, and who cares?”, or, worse, a look of utter incredulity that says “right, I’m going to take you’re word for that,” on my friends’ faces, and what I’m looking for when I write are others who do care, whether they agree or not, and who can engage in informed and civil discussion on the topic.

      I’ll look forward to seeing a little more activity on your site again. 🙂

  3. It’s a delight to know that our conversation over “your Reuben” continued for you. The hibiscus–you captured it’s openness and that spurred my own thinking. I work at “openness” in my life. Having been a “chameleon” growing up–people pleaser in order to be accepted, I have worked at being my own person and in the process irritated some of my family. Working from the background of people pleaser, this made it doubly difficult to hold my ground.

    This came from that experience-

    I am taut-weary
    of choosing
    the right words
    to be understood
    and not hurt
    those i love.

    I crave to relax
    in their acceptance
    of who I am.

    As the years passed, I’ve gained the respect of my family and that is a gift.

    I enjoy reading what you write. You express yourself so well.

    • Thanks Millie! For sharing this lovely poem (I understand the weariness you speak of completely), and for reading my ramblings, and for sharing your lovely and patient self with us.

  4. Pingback: Here’s to you Jack—for the health of it | Grow Mercy

  5. Great post! I always have afterthoughts! A blog about those is a great idea! I have been having so mmuch fun using my blog as a semi-creatiive outlet and a great way to stretch my mind. And I am loving being exposed to all the creative bloggers out there like you!

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