When it comes to blogging, a lot of times I question the point of it all. Perhaps that explains why I’ve started and deleted so many of them.
The favorite “expert” advice for aspiring bloggers is to have a point. Find your niche. Keep it focused. Write something that will be relevant and useful for people. Reviews, links to news… factual, utilitarian. If you blog about your life and your opinions and what you did today, nobody will want to read it except your mom and maybe a few other relatives. Save that nonsense for your journal, because nobody really cares about that stuff anyway, right?
So I’ve wrestled with the notion of it all… because what could possibly be more self-indulgent than throwing my thoughts on life out into cyberspace, hoping someone will read them? Who am I to think anything I have to say could be remotely interesting? Then I retreat to my writing corner with my laptop and stare at the blank text field, wanting to write something — anything — worthwhile, but hearing the nagging little whisper in the critical corner of my mind: “Who cares?”
I’ve thought about all of that… and recently I found another blogger that mused on the very same point. Who came up with this concept, and what possibly made it seem like a good idea? Valid questions… and I thought her conclusion was right on:
“But there is a piece of me that completely gets why we are all so drawn to blogging. Deep inside each of us is a desire to be known by someone. We want to be able to share those thoughts and feelings inside of our heads. We want to get it out and let others see us—even if we do it anonymously. Because somehow, knowing that someone is reading our thoughts and feelings helps us to feel as if someone might actually care about us.”
Of course! Suddenly I realize that my favorite blogs are just like that. The ones I return to over and over aren’t the ones that give me useful, factual information. They are the ones that give me the glimpse into another person’s life… sometimes people I know; often people I’ve never met. They’re excerpts of longer tales, snapshots of life.
I love stories. I love listening to people talk about their past experiences and future dreams and the strange and beautiful things that happen in life. The art of storytelling is ageless because we are always learning from them, resonating with them, recognizing ourselves in them… knowing through them that we are never ever alone in this messy world.
My fascination with blogging brings me full circle. Because while I stress about the self-indulgence of it all and consider giving it up and just reading what other people have to say, I realize if everyone felt this way, no one would say anything. And the stories would go untold, and I would be missing out on their insights.
So here I go again, trying to sift through my ramblings and throw them out there, hoping my story might resonate with someone too. Hoping it might help someone, even if just a little bit, even if by just being a small, flickering light on an otherwise dark and lonely road.
It’s why I want to write. It’s why any of us dare to write in the first place…