04/01/2013

why blog?

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:

vanity

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!

loneliness

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?

historical significance

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!

personal love

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.
















9 comments:

  1. Does there have to be a reason why we blog, I suppose we do need to justify why we do it. I agree with the vanity bit, I love showing off the things I've made but we are only human and I think that that's ok. I blog in the hope that some of the stuff I make will give others some idea's and I like to provide a pattern source where possible.
    Mostly I do it because like you I like the company of other bloggers I enjoy being part of this crafty community, happy blogging! xx

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  2. I don't know why I blog either, but you have definitely given me things to think about. Maybe because I am not showey-offie ( is that a word) in real life I can do it anonymously to people who may appreciate it and say ' I made this'. I mostly look at blogs for inspiration and to see what's happening out there in the crafty world. It's just a bit of harmless fun anyway, keep on blogging x Sarah

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  3. Great to read such an honest post, I think I use my blog as a diary and scrap book, always surprised when people bother to look and never thought I would keep it going, somehow enjoy having a look in the blogging world each day, everything always looks beautiful there a bit like looking at a glossy magazine!
    Happy New Year!!

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  4. Such true thoughts..almost as if you were reading my mind and writing this post. Getting 2 kids and leaving a very active work life to be a home maker bought with it its share of loneliness, the need for creative appreciation, contact with non-family members aka friends and bloggers and more importantly the ever diminishing ME time..Blogging gave all this wrapped in beautiful packaging.. Love this world now!

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  5. lovely post. I am one of those 'crazy Marketing people' and I do think blogging is a very personal thing. like you i dont do it for money, it is a record of what I have been doing, a way of showing what I have made and also a way of connecting with like minded people.
    I read a lot of blogs and its like picking up a magazine, i read about real life people and gain inspiration from other peoples projects.
    Thanks for sharing your blog, I always love to read about your projects, family & little Betsy. x

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  6. Why not :D ?
    As long as you are happy with it and have fun... For me it's a good way to see what I've actually done for the last months, time goes so fast! It gives me a sort of structure for my creative things and a good reason for making lots of pictures that otherwise I wouldn't be bothered about... Looking at the small and wonderful things in live with more care I guess; not taking everything for granted...
    And I really love the interaction with other bloggers as well! So many lovely people who share a lot of the same interests; it gives me loads of inspiration. Anyway...keep blogging please, your blog is so nice to visit!
    Lots of love from Mirjam.

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  7. I will echo Mirjam... please keep blogging! It is such a lovley corner to come visit and spend some time! x With that in mind I've nominated you for a Liebster award. If you would like to accept it, you can pop on over my way for the details. Hazel x

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  8. I love this blog post and your writing. It's so honest and self deprecating that it's unabashedly charming and endearing :)

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    Replies
    1. Lala, thank you so much for a lovely comment...xx

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