Why Do I Do It?

I called my friend Paul this afternoon. We spoke for a while and then, he asked me why? Why do I write this blog?

Damn. Good question. I’m not sure why.

As has been pointed out by other friends, most blogs are boring. And, even as a blogger, I don’t read other blogs.

A story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine said the average blog was written by someone my daughter’s age, who quickly lost interest. A 53 year old blogger is beyond unusual.

When I try and intellectualize the blog, I realize I like getting my point across. At the same time, I’m frustrated that I have to stifle myself. There’s a lot about my family and workplace and politics, that I don’t write. I am jealous of those unencumbered by the necessary obligations of gainful employment.

Boy, would I like to write about politics right now.

I attempt to post something here every day. I haven’t been 100% successful, but I’m close. There are times when I’ve written, but really didn’t have much (or anything to say). The discipline of writing every day is a good thing. So, I force myself.

I now know a little too much about my own writing. It is very difficult to write a lot without developing a distinctive style. Style sounds like a good thing in the abstract, until you understand there’s a predictability in distinctive style. There are catch phrases and techniques that I overuse – even though I try not to. I’d like to be different every day. But, by definition, I am me every day.

I take great pleasure in revising and rewriting my prose. This might be the greatest gift of modern computing – the easy ability to revisit what you’ve just written.

I remember the first time I saw a word processor, “Electric Pencil” for the TRS-80 Model I. It was installed on a computer with no printer, but I still sat in slack jawed amazement as the first word wrapped to the next line. It only took a few seconds to understood the power that was being unleashed.

More than once, since I’ve been blogging, someone has suggested I write a book. Here I’m doing paragraphs at a time. A book is pages and pages and pages. And, the more you write, the more organizational skills (not a strong point for me) come into play.

For the time being, it’s fun to write and then be read by the few hundred of you who pass by here every day. Considering how I dreaded writing as a student, it is remarkable that, today, I find writing so satisfying

2 thoughts on “Why Do I Do It?”

  1. I’ve been blogging for six years (though as you say, my earlier years were a case of ‘losing interest regularly’) and I have seen this type of post a million times. In fact, I’ve written this post on more than one occasion, it’s something which seems to come to all bloggers in their blogging lifetimes.

    I’ve found reading other’s blogs is easier when I find styles I’m comfortable with. For me it’s a lack of angst and a lack of inappropriateness, but these are also what I look for in my own blog entries, and after all these years I can admit to having found a happy medium between telling my readers nothing (something you say you worry about, or at least you don’t like being stifled) and telling far too much for my own good. The balance is so good now that I am proud to advertise my site to any who may want to read it, even in the real world.

    I can say that you should trust me when I say that you shouldn’t be jealous of those of us who aren’t stifled due to our employment or lifestyle. For a number of years I did write what I pleased, and these are the years which I stripped from my blog in their entirety. Being unencumbered is merely a steady path towards your own embarrassment, when all is said and done, and I’m not the first to realise that their blog will cause them nothing but trouble.

    I also admit that there are probably exceptions to this rule 🙂

  2. Pseudonym, anyone? Once you begin to write publicly, and then have to begin to censor yourself, therein begins the frustration. With a pen-name, you could spew vitriol on any topic and nobody would know it was you.

    Alternatively, you could post on a private bit of your blog site, and let the password out to only those you know agree with your particular views on any one topic.

    But please, don’t stop writing! I’m only one of the the bunch who stop by here almost daily, and I truly enjoy reading what you have to offer.

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