Of course you knew that, regular readers, but you see I’m doing a ‘Blogging 101’ course through the kind people at WordPress, my blog hosts. I want to try and improve my blogging, and my first assignment is to re-do my introductory blog, to re-visit and re-answer the basic question:
“who I am and why I’m here”
When I first did this at the very beginning of my blog back in 2012, which can be found here, I made up all sorts of excuses about how random and unpredictable my blog would be. But I was right! It is random, sporadic, unpredictable. My blogs are like London buses, nothing for days and suddenly two come along at once.
So why do I blog? Because I love the edginess of blogging. I could write in a diary or journal, and in fact I used to do that but I found it too easy to become sloppy. I often wrote in shorthand and used bullet points and abbreviations. I scribbled in my already shoddy handwriting. I didn’t have to explain or justify things and it all felt rather staid and loose. Worst of all I wrote about the same things – about how I was feeling, about my likes and dislikes but always in a very insular way, and even I got bored.
With a blog you can at least pretend you have an audience, you can imagine critical eyes being cast over your writing and that demands a certain level of effort. Being accused of being boring is quite an insult for me, and so with a public blog I am forced to try and say something original, something new, something funny or interesting, or at the very least thought provoking.
An analogy would be working from home versus going into an office. When I work from home I can wear a scruffy t-shirt and jeans, I might wash my face but may not shower, I may not brush my teeth until mid-morning. When I go into the office I always wear pants, I will always wash, always brush my teeth, wear sensible shoes and clean clothes and generally make more of an effort. To me that’s writing a diary/journal versus blogging – one can live a pantless, scruffy, unshaven existence but it’s not very nourishing.
Blogging therefore challenges me more than writing a private journal ever would, and from challenge emanates a degree of personal growth. It enforces a level of discipline on the undisciplined me. Often I get the urge to blog long before I have a subject, and in such situations I just write from a blank page and am constantly amazed at how stuff just appears. It’s not always great, but is forever unexpected.
Sometimes I just have a spark of an idea, and I use the blog to work and expand that idea further. Often I might not have a strong opinion or even a conclusion to my thought, and sometimes through the act of blogging I may even change my original point of view – I thought I believed A but in fact through blogging realise I believed in B, and I love that sense of personal discovery.
I also get a kick out of any blog interaction as few and far between as they may be. Comments from people who have taken the time to read my blog never cease to cheer my wearisome soul. People lead busy lives and there’s a stack of stuff to read and do, and so if through my blog I can solicit a comment, it means I have stirred something in someone else, somehow moved some electrons somewhere else in the universe, and that’s a lovely thought which makes me feel alive, makes me feel connected.
And yes, I have an ego too. I may never be famous, but through my blog may I never be forgotten. Please, not that.
6 thoughts on “My name is Andy and I’m a blogger …”
My blog makes me feel like a writer, even on those days when I don’t manage to do any “real” writing. I think we have similar intentions with our WordPress blogs… See you on the blogging101 assignments!
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I like reading your blogs – whatever I think about the subject the bottom line is a degree of envy! – I wish I could write as well x
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I bet you can Susie? Try it …
at least you can pretend you have an audience! haha – yes – that about sums it up. nice piece as always mate!
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I like the idea of exploring the difference between a Journal and Blog.
My journal is a diary, a record of events and people I have met. I spend time picking the right bit of stationary for my journal, particularly as it is part of my job and is there with me around on expedition. I dug one out this morning to find out what I had to eat on Monday 16th July 2012 in Kenya, it was important to me at the time. A lovely leather, hand- crafted journal book was a present from my daughter from Venice. I save that for family holiday stories.
A blog is much more crafted. Time is spent on collecting events, stories, thoughts, ideas, pictures, maps. It’s spell checked and proof read usually many times until I get it reasonable. I even run 3 blogs covering different aspects of my life. Much more disciplined and a very different part of my life.
This reply is getting so profound I think I’ll cut and paste into my own blog.
Reblogged this on My Cardboard Castle.