I've been thinking about the question of blogging a lot lately. Why be a blogger? Why blog?
It can be a tricky question to answer because if you are not doing it for an income then why would you spend so much time and put in so much effort to write a blog at all?
There are a huge number of blogs that appear to have a reason or function behind them, it seems that every shop and business website now has a blog section. There are a gazillion websites that tell you (quite dubiously in my opinion) how to make money from blogging if that's what you desire but what if your blog doesn't have a particular reason or function and what about all the bloggers who are not doing it to make money, what can their motivation be.
Well I'm one of those people, proper ordinary, mostly boring as hell and with no particular set of objectives in mind so I'm hoping to shed some light on what has been amusingly (and probably quite rightly) called 'vanity blogging' - see Annie's knitsofacto blog for a great post on the subject.
My blog started life as a way of recording things, recording for me, my family and my friends and for a long while (a looooooong while) this was it's sole purpose. I quite liked it, it kept me busy whilst I was studying to finish a degree and be at home for our puppy, it distracted me from boring stuff like writing essays, picking up dog poo and swotting for exams. It made me feel (and this is quite sad to admit) like I had a job still and therefore a purpose in life - lets face it studying history can feel pretty pointless most of the time.
Then crochet happened; I learnt how to do it, loved it, started blogging about it and pretty soon I had made lots of new blog buddies all interested in the same sort of stuff as me and 'bob's yer uncle, how's yer father' that was pretty much that....people started reading my inane drivel. Yep, people who do not even know me read my blog - this one fact still amazes me every single day.
So perhaps the answer is to find your passion or as crazy marketing people like to say 'find your niche'. Is this true, does finding something you like to do make blogging easier or more worthwhile??
I don't know (sorry if you were expecting major intelligent insight here), I still sit and wonder most days why I continue to do it so I'm going to bite the bullet and suggest some reasons why....they mostly make me feel uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed which probably means they are quite true...but what the heck, here goes:
Yep, good old vanity hits the top spot.
I like making pretty things and showing them off "here, look at this amazing thing that I made, aren't I clever" type of thing. Even worse than making pretty things and showing them off, I like buying pretty things and showing them off (urgh, can you believe I said that #iamashamed)...this is bad. So bad that I had to stop myself from adding in adjectives to that sentence to make me seem less shallow and, well, stupid....you know, I sometimes like buying pretty things....like only doing it sometimes makes me a better person!
That being said I was once gobsmacked to read an article about a quite well known blogger whose mother had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on shoes for her to blog about in order to make her blog a success, crazy, crazy stuff and now I've made myself feel better and more righteous all over again!
My favourite thing about working, back in the days when I actually worked, was being with people. The only good reason to get up and go to work every day was to sit and chatter idly with my work buddies; usually moaning about work, usually me doing the moaning...poor them!
Not having a job means I haven't got that daily contact with people in the same boat as me who can sympathise with my pathetic need to grizzle and gripe about the unfairness of it all. Being part of the blogging community has given that back to me to a certain extent - obviously not the same as sitting and slagging off the boss but I've made some great friends and kindred spirits through this blog. Not to be sniffed at huh?
Also known as vanity but rebranded to seem somehow profoundly academic and important!
I'm a history student and the one thing that always disappoints me is the lack of evidence from real people. Regardless of the time period, there is never anything (or rarely anything) to tell us what real people were up to at the time. I want to know what clothes they wore, what women were up to, the price of bread, how drunk they got on Saturday night or what kind of jobs they had. This is a problem because it means that all we have to go on is stuff written by men in high places and we all know that men in high places usually have ulterior motives and therefore has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Sometimes I like to think that blogging is a way of providing pages and pages of primary source information about life right now for future generations. Imagine if we could read a blog today written by an ordinary lady in Tudor England or Cleopatra's Egypt....it would be really bloody cool and so I kid myself into thinking that is exactly what I'm doing, giving an unknown person in 2112 or even 2512 a good old laugh knowing that I have a crochet and yarn buying addiction, a penchant for stripes and quite like the odd glass of red wine!
When Betsy is older I want her to be able to read this blog. It would be nice to think that she will get an insight into what life was like for me and her Dad before she arrived and how I felt/what I wore when I was pregnant and how excited we were waiting for her arrival.
Also, every single time I write a post my husband excitedly reads it and tells me how great it is and how proud he is of me.....this is totally reason enough to write a blog and I reckon that this could have been a much shorter post if I'd just left it at that!
So that's that then, it's funny how the real reasons that I blog are totally different to what I thought they would be. I thought I would say that I blog for fun and to appreciate the moments we are in but nah, I don't... I actually blog to show off and leave a mark on the world. Go figure.