My blogger/Twitter friend @teachdmac (you can also find her here) challenged me to write about why I blog and how blogging has changed me. Drum roll, please:
Blogging for me has naturally followed journaling. Writing has always been my way to process the events in my life, grappling with the bad and further exploring the good. I’ve kept journals since I was 7, but once I was married and teaching full-time and especially after I’d had kids I kind of let journaling and writing fall by the wayside a bit. I look back and see how much that truly affected me when I did not have that outlet to sort through the emotions I was experiencing. I became angry, irritable, and mean.
When my youngest was around a year old, I started yearning to write again. My husband used part of a bonus he got at work to buy me my very own laptop! I slowly began writing again – and thinking about going back to school for writing. And I began blogging. I started out on xanga, where a lot of my college friends had blogs, then briefly had a blog at blogspot, but finally ended up here on wordpress.
I can honestly say I blog for me. I am constantly running through my next post in my mind, or mentally tucking away an event to write about later. Writing truly helps me deal with things better. (This explains why so many of my “love poems” are about the struggles that come with loving someone – I wrote most of them after a fight with my husband to help me calm down!) I occasionally still write a journaling-type piece on my own that just sits on my computer, but most of it goes on the blog.
So though I say I blog for myself, I still put it up for people to see, so yes, I blog for an audience, too. This is where it gets sticky. Since I am an aspiring writer (oh, and I did go back and get my MFA in Creative Writing, as well as thousands of dollars of school loans), I want to put myself out there, and my blog is a way to do that. In addition, I really like the community and camaraderie that develops in the blogosphere. If I’m being down on myself, I have lots of encouragers. If my kids are particularly trying, I have other moms that empathize. If I find a poem I absolutely love, I (usually) have a few people that relate to that poem, too.
However, I do sometimes feel pressure to have a platform or to write in a particular way to get more readers. I strongly felt this after the one and only time I was “Freshly Pressed” on wordpress. I kept wanting the high numbers of readers and comments from that day. I still sometimes find myself trying to write for a particular audience – like writing a humorous, self-deprecating piece on being a mom, or writing a how-to piece for ELL teachers. I’ve also considered having two blogs – one for the more personal stuff, and one about teaching ELL.
But in the end, this blog is exactly who I am: a weird amalgam of things. A mother and wife, a writer and poet, a lover of books, an ELL teacher, an Orthodox Christian. I don’t really want to separate and segment it all.
Thank you, gentle readers, thank you for taking your time to indulge me, to encourage me, to jump into the conversation. I appreciate it. 🙂
Very interesting blog. Keep writing! I can relate to a lot of what you said here and I am a poet as well. I try to always remember that if just one person is transformed or inspired by your work, then it’s well worth it to keep going. Great post!
This offers wonderful insight into you as a blogger. I can definitely relate to the blog-as-outlet approach! 🙁