Why do you blog?
Is it weird that by reading this question that The Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" popped into my head? Not exactly sure the exact correlation between reading "Why do you blog" and that song, but my coffee clearly hasn't kicked in yet and eff you for judging me!!
I always loved English. Not the people (although I have nothing against tea and crumpets and what not, but you know what I mean) but the subject. I have been an avid reader since I was 3. I could always immerse myself into what I was reading, envisioning exactly what the writer was seeing as they put their words to life on paper. Characters would resonate with me, they would become more than an imagined protagonist, they became my friends. I felt I knew them, that I too was there in what ever scenario their life was playing out in chapter after chapter.
I sort of hated pictures in books. They never lived up to my imagination of whatever character was being portrayed. When I read Dan Brown's "Davinci Code" a few years back, I was so engrossed in his description of the main character that when I learned they cast Tom Hanks I refused to see the movie, already angry since he had clearly described his main character as "Harrison Ford in Harrison tweed". I mean, Harrison Ford is still a love and well so once would think a natural casting choice, but I digress.
I always wrote. I would write poems as young as I could remember. Essay assignments in school that would cause my fellow classmates to cringe in collective groans would have my mind reeling with excitement at the chance to go home and write for hours. I always got an A in English. I took everything I could as I got older. Journalism, Shakespeare, Literature. Anything that would allow me to write, to read.
I used to blog as it were on a variety of sites over the years. I would write sort of essay-esque editorial rants just because I could. My MySpace page of yore was littered with them. Remember MySpace? Just a few short years ago it was the coolest hippest thing in town, and now it's about as awesome as a rotary phone. A distant memory of a technology that is obsolete and dated even though it was the most innovative thing of 2007. Crazy.
Anyway, I pooled all my miscellaneous internet rants and what not into once place in 2009. People would react to what I wrote. They emoted whether in a positive way or not, they reacted. I realized I was touching people somehow. That they too had the same reaction to whatever it was that pissed me off that day. That they too felt whatever I felt at any given moment. All those times I felt alone and completely insane for whatever estrogen or otherwise fueled emotional drama I was facing at the time, someone somewhere had been there too. Who knew?!
I had always wanted to be a writer. I was the editor of my high school newspaper. I aspired to be great, an idealistic teenager who wanted to change the world. Clearly reality has set in now that I'm in my 30's and I realize that my chances of being some sort of world renowned author are slim to none. I was published here and there over the years. An op-ed in a Vermont newspaper when I was 18, a tribute to a local hero in another newspaper a few years back. I even got a poem published in a book, which I then realized I basically paid to be in, but it's got an ISBN number so I'll take it. Blogging is it.
I don't have deadlines. I don't have editors. I don't have censorship. I can write what I want when I want how I want. You don't have to like it, you don't have to agree with it. I can live within my own little internet bubble. Granted I haven't done anything in ages, but that's the beauty of it. I can pick up right where I left off and not get in trouble. Not worry about having failed someone except myself.
I remember stumbling across a blog years ago. An article of sorts that resonated with me so wholeheartedly I felt as though it were written and directed straight at me. I remember my reaction to her words. I thought, "Wow, this is my life!". She was from South Africa. What?! My mind was blown. Across the world, on a different continent, in a different hemisphere than myself someone's life mirrored my own. We were kindred spirits. And now, we're friends. (and you can check out her awesome blog I Started at the C Prompt)
If I can touch just one person (and not in a creepy way, so get those thoughts out of your head this instant. This INSTANT I said!) and affect them as she did me, if I can be relatable and maybe help at least one person feel less alone, then I have succeeded. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.