WHY I BLOG

I’m not sure if it’s because of the circles I now move in (and by this I mean the many, many new friends I have made in Joburg and Pretoria this year) or if it’s a general trend – but blogging seems to have become increasingly popular.  I can think of 25 people off the cuff in my immediate circles who have their own little space on the world wide web.  These blogs take various forms:  Some uber serious, some political, a few humorous, gossip blogs (a great deal of these come from my immediate circle as a result of the media world I am slightly involved in) but mostly (not unlike mine) a general mash up of whatever thoughts the particular blogger feels the desire to share.

Whenever a large amount of people do something I tend to ask myself (in the cases where I am also doing it, obviously) “why am I doing this?” In this case – why am I part of this blogging world?

I started my blogging journey on the free wordpress platform before moving to this markpaul.co.za domain in June 2009. Initially, it was out of pure curiosity and a desire to have a platform to share my thoughts.  It was also to have a platform to share my daily devotions that I used to send out daily while living in East London.  As time has gone on, this has become an online outlet for my thoughts, opinions and sometimes emotions.  This is why I blog. I blog so that I have an online outlet, not so that you have an online inlet.  I have thought about this statement for some time before deciding to include it here, as I want to be honest, and I believe I am:  If I were to find that in the last three months, not a single person has visited my site;  if I were to discover that not a single person has read any of my blog posts from the past few months and that my blog is completely disinteresting to every single person on the world wide web… I would continue blogging.  I would continue sharing what is on my heart.  Because I write for me, not for you.

Yes, obviously, I find it awesome when I write something that others may find interesting, or may be encouraged by – but as my ‘bio’ says on the home page – this is an invitation for you to join my journey.  You’re welcome to decline, to watch at a distance or to become an active participant in the journey – that decision is yours, and I will have no part to play in attempting to enforce my views or journey on you. (You will notice one tweet will automatically let you know that there is a new blog at my page – only one. No more than that).

Sadly, I’m not sure this is why many people write blogs.  I have sensed lately that blogs have created, for some at least, the illusion of grandeur. I have literally seen tweets and Facebook status’s from people apologizing for not blogging in the last 24 hours. Newsflash – I suspect very few people (if anyone, in fact) really care that you haven’t spewed forth the ‘stuff’ that came to mind in the last 24 hours. In fact, I also suspect they would rather you didn’t say anything, than sit in front of your computer screen trying to think of something to write.  I cannot relate to, or understand, the pressure some people feel to post a blog every day.  Most of what is written is irrelevant, and only appears because the writer is trying to avoid disappointing his/her “fans” by not posting something.

This sounds terribly judgmental – and, in truth – I suppose it is. Obviously, there are blogs that I look forward to, and posts that I enjoy reading very often, even daily, and those that never dissapoint (one of them http://www.simonstrehler.com – written by the legendary Simon Strehler) – but the vast majority:  not so much.  Also, I do know of quite a few people who post daily who always have something of value to say.  So – let this paragraph be the “disclaimer”, as I know that the seemingly negative statements in this here post (as the southerners would say) does not apply to all bloggers.

Here’s another question I should probably ask myself:  “Why am I posting this particular post?”.  Well, again, because I felt the need to vent what is on my mind – but also, in hopes that if you (and by you, I really mean anyone) read this and find that it may possibly apply to you  (another disclaimer:  I have no one particular individual in mind – so I am not writing this because I don’t have the guts to confront you; there are many of “you” out there) – that you would take this out of what I have said:

If writing is your gift, passion, hobby or just something you enjoy doing – do it. Do it with everything you’ve got. Be as creative as you possibly can. Do it with excellence.  But please, please…do it for you! Do it with no expectation that someone will read it.  do it with no expectation that it will change someone’s life.  Do it because you enjoy writing.  Do it because you want to.  Do it for you!

I might read it and be blessed. Your blog might really change the way I see life.  It could inspire me to be a better person.  But I might not read it at all.  And that, too, is fine – because it’s not about me at all!

Peace. Love. Happiness

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