Posted by: scintillatingspeck | May 25, 2008

What is blogging for?

I have been contemplating what purpose blogging serves for me since I started this blog not long ago.  Why, exactly, am I blogging?

For starters, I have a lot of thoughts clamoring for expression.  I used to be a keeper of journals, years ago, and it was somewhat satisfying to have that outlet, but I think I always craved for my words to be read by someone other than me.  Now, it is quite a leap to go from private paper journal to public digital blog.  Not only are my words read by others, but I am making a conscious choice to allow anyone with a web browser to access my words.  I’m mesmerized by the ability of a blog to feel relatively intimate and yet still be accessible to millions.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that millions will show up!  Still, the idea that hundreds of people might eventually read my blog is pretty amazing to me.

Along with this exposure come a number of potent feelings.  One feeling I struggle with is shame.  I am usually afraid that I’m going to make some horrible mistakes and people will judge me harshly and say mean things and humiliate me.  Without going into all my baggage around this, it’s clear to me that confronting my resulting perfectionism head-on is helpful.  So blogging serves a therapeutic purpose for me.  It’s a useful exercise in learning to own my own voice, mistakes and all.

Some people have asked me recently if this blog has a theme.  As of right now, the only theme it has is “things I feel moved to write about.”  I’ve decided in advance that if a theme develops, fine, but I will not impose one from the beginning.  I will allow the blog to evolve.  I will find out what the primary topics are.  And if no theme develops, that’s okay too.  So another purpose the blog is serving is for me to practice patience and observation.

I am hoping that at least some of the things I write will have resonance for others as well.  It would mean a great deal to me to have an impact on others through my words.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a communitarian, and part of what that means is that I strongly believe in the power of human community to support people and the larger community of life.  Oh, it sounds so vague and impossible to explain.  In a nutshell, I’ve learned through my personal experience that without a strong, mutually supportive community, I don’t function very well.  Community can happen in many ways, and certainly online as well as in “real” life (although each has its pros and cons), so blogging is a way to bolster community and encourage dialogue.

I’m not sure I’m satisfied with this abstract contemplation about blogging.  But in the spirit of reducing self-censorship, I think I’ll go ahead and post this.  Maybe I’ll have more thoughts about this as I continue blogging.

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Responses

  1. why have i not been reading your blog yet!?! you are now in my rss aggregator 🙂 you can see my random thoughts blog linked to my name here, i think.

    i’m enjoying your recommendations on websites about peak oil and sustainability… i just found Casaubon’s Book on my own this week and have been intrigued.

    a parenting blog you may be interested in is http://hedra.typepad.com/hands_full_of_rocks/ – a prolific writer and a humane person.

  2. Rosemary, thanks for all of your recommendations as well. Glad you’re reading my blog. You’re in my RSS aggregator too! Does this mean we’ve achieved a new level of friendship? 🙂

  3. […] the most famous medium of which is the ubiquitous blog and its many variations (journalistic, contemplative, artistic, literary, and whatever else the heart desires), but also e-zines and online forums, […]

  4. […] the most famous medium of which is the ubiquitous blog and its many variations (journalistic, contemplative, artistic, literary, and whatever else the heart desires), but also e-zines and online forums, as […]


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