Benefits of Blogging

Soooo I’m kind of procrastinating on writing the next part to the story of Esther/Myrtle (it’s really quite amazing the things you can accomplish when you’re procrastinating). But I think it’s a valid and productive form of procrastination so I’m entertaining this writing prompt to see where it goes.

Not too long ago, I was trying to figure out if blogging was really worth my time. I don’t make any money off of it. According to my stats, my readership is quite small. I don’t have a set theme or genre. It’s just whatever. I don’t really offer anything to my readers. It’s literally just me talking about my life (which oddly enough, those personal posts tend to be more popular than my actual story posts). My main impetus to write is from this desire to be understood. It’s not some big political thing. I don’t educate or give advice. Sometimes I give pep talks but I do that often because it’s something I need to hear. The blog is literally about me. And I was thinking about why do I do this? What is the point? Am I the only one who benefits from this? If so, is that enough of a reason to continue?

So I decided to write down some of the reasons I blog and why I think I’ll continue:

  1. It’s therapeutic. I’ve done counselling and I have a journal. Both of those things are helpful but I obviously have a lot to say even after doing all those things. And blogging makes me feel like there is a purpose to the things I go through. I can track my progress. Which I suppose I could do with a journal but I like the medium of blogging more.
  2. Creative accountability. Many people struggle to carve out a schedule to write. Having readers who check-in keeps me accountable and not give up.
  3. Stamina. Writing each week builds the creative muscle and the muscle won’t grow unless you work it. Obviously not every post is going to be great or perfect but blogging forces me to be creative and self-disciplined.
  4. Writing is kind of a compulsion. I’ve heard other artists say this as well. How being creative is almost as necessary as the need to breathe. I don’t know how to describe this to you other than to say that if I don’t write or find a creative outlet, than I think I’ll explode. I suppose I could stick to a journal or find a writer’s group to join but they don’t have the same effect on me. A blog gives me an instant audience and forces me to communicate clearly and with purpose. Something that I don’t feel when I’m journalling. This blog may feel like a journal to you but if you ever read one of my journals you’d see that it doesn’t have the same purpose or focus. And a writer’s group is nice but sometimes I just want to write because I love to write. I don’t want to make it super deep or fancy or literary. I just want to write.
  5. It began as something selfish but has turned into something more. My blogs always started from something inherently selfish. Like, I began Claws by Susan P because I wanted to make a memoir from the 3rd person POV. It was always about me which– whatever. You gotta start somewhere. I mean, ultimately, it was because I was lonely and looking for connection. Funny thing is, as I told more stories, I learned I wasn’t the only one. By telling my vulnerable stories, it has opened up a lot of friendships and allowed us to have sincere and meaningful conversations (which is my favourite kind). It’s also helped to create peace in difficult circumstances. I’ve been able to navigate a couple of sticky situations with a bit more ease because of what I’ve written. That’s not to say that I haven’t screwed up a lot, too (I have. I could’ve prevented some serious falling outs if I chose my words more carefully). I’m just saying that our words matter. We sow what we reap. If we sow words of pride, we’ll get pride back in return. If sow hurtful words, we will reap hurtful words back. But if we sow peace in situations that need it, more often than not, we’ll reap peace, too. If we sow stories of vulnerability, generally people will be vulnerable with you too. Obviously, not everyone will be open to it but for the ones that are, the company and conversation is sweet.
  6. I legit love it. I don’t make any money off this thing but I have a feeling that if I did, I’d have to write about the things people want me to write about on a tight timeline rather than the things that inspire me. I’m not a slave to that. Even the fact that not many people read my blog is kind of freeing. If I had a lot of people reading it, I’d probably get overwhelmed and freeze up trying to say the popular thing rather than the right thing.
  7. It’s forced me to keep trying even when I don’t feel like it. It’s easy to measure our worth based on the number of likes we get or how many followers we have. Learning how to push through that and keep posting can be hard because it starts to feel like everything is in vain. I start to wonder if all this effort is really worth it. However, I’ve learned that even though people may pretend not to see the post, my stats will say differently and show that people are in fact reading it. And because of the conversations that follow after, I know that it’s impacting someone somewhere. This makes it worth it and keeps me writing.

Anyway, my computer is getting kinda hot which usually means I need to give it a break. Maybe I’ll try writing about Myrtle next time. I probs should. I’ve been procrastinating on it for awhile.