Originally published Tuesday, 30 May 2017.
Periodically people ask me, “Should I blog?” Some may already be blogging and wonder if they should continue. Others may write in other contexts and wonder if they should add blogging to what they already do. Still others desire to grow in their writing and wonder if blogging would help them do that.
There are many reasons people start a blog. Some do so as a way to make money. Perhaps they sell ads or promote products on their blog. Others might blog to grow and develop their platform. Tim Challies wrote an article recently about this, advocating that blogging is a good thing to do simply for the sake of blogging, not as a step to something else.
I started blogging as a way to communicate with friends and family far away about the life of my oldest son when he was first born. Blogging then was recently gaining traction and it sounded like a fun new thing to try. I loved it and it awakened a love for writing which had been buried in the responsibilities and duties of adult life. After a while, I started writing for other websites and publication and couldn’t blog as frequently as I once did. Blogging has changed a lot since the first post I wrote. Some wonder if it's even worth doing. Some have even declared that blogging is dying or is already dead. Other authors I know hate blogging. But I still love blogging and here’s why.
My blog is my writing home. It’s where I can be myself and be most comfortable. If you were to come into my physical home, I’d probably be barefoot. There’ll likely be nerf darts scattered in the corners of every room. You’ll see piles of books on every available surface, each of which I am in the middle of reading. And if it’s a Saturday, I might still be in my pajamas!
In a similar way, on my blog I can be myself. I don’t have the constraints of word count, topic, or the concern about whether it’s the type of post people are looking to read. I can play around with a new topic or technique. I can write poetry or tell a story. I don’t have to construct a list (5 Reasons to ____) or provide some defined take away. One of my friends says that when she reads my blog, she hears my voice most clearly than any other place I write.
I also think having a blog is helpful because it provides a place for people to come and visit. If I met someone in real life at the grocery store, the kids sports practice, or at church, we might enjoy spending time together. Each time we see each other we might learn more about each other. But if I were to invite that person to my home, then they’d really get to know me better. They’d see me in my element. Likewise, if someone reads something I wrote on another website and they liked it and wanted to read more, they can visit me at my blogging home and learn more about me than just the three sentence bio at the end of an article.
Writing helps me think. I don’t know what I think about something until I write it. Blogging helps me think through the things going on in my life. It helps me practice applying the gospel to all areas of my life. I often experiment here with a topic that I later expand into an article for another place. Blogging gives me regular writing practice which only serves to help me improve in the craft of writing.
Blogging has changed a lot since that first post I wrote almost twelve years ago. But I’ve changed a lot too. And I think blogging has played a big part in that change and for that I am grateful. For all these reasons and more, I enjoy blogging and plan to continue. How about you? Do you blog? And why?