I have more than once been asked why I blog. Whatever reasons I give are probably lies and guesses, incomplete or over-thought, true today but not tomorrow (or vice versa). Things are rarely simple, life is not black or white, there are usually many reasons for things, and those reasons change. Motivations are rarely truly understood and explanations are made after the fact to try and make sense of things. So don’t believe a word I say.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
— Walt Whitman
I think I blog from insecurity. I’ve always wanted to express myself, to show the world that I exist, to be noticed, to be respected. I want to be different (1).
But why blog at all? There are plenty of other ways to express oneself, to be noticed. And I’ve done many of them: hard rock climbs, long bike rides, books, art. Blogging is just a fairly immediate way to be noticed: it connects random thoughts I have to an expression that someone somewhere might read.
My mind is constantly thinking about things I find interesting, but I often find that an idea which seems beautiful in my head can be almost impossible to pin down when expressing it verbally. It’s easier to explore the idea by writing it down; then I can see if it goes somewhere, or if the beautiful butterfly that had been floating in my head is just a dead husk.
I think everyone wants to be heard, to be appreciated. Many people do this by talking – sometimes through conversation 🤐. I too want to express my ideas but I tend to shy away from conversation. It’s easier to say something on paper where I can ponder and rearrange and add and subtract (I can do this as I studied Math at University 😀). It’s easier for me to write – and edit – and let an idea germinate, than it is to speak it.
I also blog to learn. When an idea is interesting, it often makes me curious. I now want to learn more. Is this idea an isolated idea or is it part of a bigger picture with wider implications? Curiosity comes into the process. While blogging allows me to express my thoughts, it also keeps me curious and interested, wanting to research and learn more.
I rather enjoy having a written record of my ideas and thoughts. I occasionally look back through what I’ve written and marvel at how brilliant I once was. Depressingly, I can also realize that I had far more interesting ideas in the past than I do now.
I like the sense of purpose that blogging provides. I’m not very good at a free-form type of life, and like having the structure that goals provide. Writing a blog makes me think that I’m accomplishing something. And maybe the occasional reader will be influenced or at least mildly entertained by something I write.
However, my writing may be like a tree falling in a forest where no one can hear it, in which case everything I’ve written about wanting to be noticed is delusion. But at least no one will be arguing with my brilliant ideas. Which may be the real reason I blog 😁.
1) A problem with being different or doing things that get you noticed is that it doesn’t always get you liked. When a person is different, it often generates uncomfortable feelings in other people when they realize they are not following their dreams, not doing what their hearts tell them to do.
Links and Other Clicks
I used to have a blog called Endless Curiosity. I stopped blogging there five years ago because I was putting so much time into it. Or that’s the explanation I tell myself now.
I wanted to include Hugh MacLeod’s lovely sheep and wolf drawing so I added Note 1 because it vaguely relates to the drawing. I love MacLeod’s art, although his website has gone very commercial and less edgy. If you want to see samples of his art, Google “hugh macleod art” and click on the Images tab.