Recently, I was talking to my dad about blogging. My sister and I are both Internet People — in fact, she earns her living that way, and we are all super proud. I sometimes feel kind of embarrassed about my internet use, but a passage in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl helped articulate how I feel about it:
“How do you not like the Internet? That’s like saying, ‘I don’t like things that are convenient. And easy. I don’t like having access to all of mankind’s recorded discoveries at my fingertips. I don’t like light. And knowledge.”
I’ve been writing on the internet since I was about eleven, and my dad built me a book review website. (How was I surprised when I became a librarian?) And while my goals have changed in all those years, I think what I am trying to say when I blog is something like this:
I feel weird about things. You might feel weird, too. And that’s ok. You’re probably doing a good job. We’re probably all pretty ok.
I don’t blog because I want a ton of readers. Instead, I’m mostly writing for the dozen or so friends who read this, especially the ones with whom I don’t always regularly talk anymore. I don’t blog because I hope to monetize this — while I’m so glad friends can make their living that way, it feels a bit too Rollings Reliable for me. (Of course, probably no one wants to pay me to blog, anyway.) I don’t blog because I want to record and share the details of my darling children — Instagram fills that role for me somewhat, but mostly I try not to be a mommy blog. I feel like many of the details of my children’s lives belong to them, so I try to blog more about being a mother than who I mother. Does that make sense? It’s an important distinction for me.
I do like people to read what I write OF COURSE, which is why I post online instead of tucking everything away in my journal, and I like to hear back from people when I write something they like. I also guess I would like to write my way toward an idea for a book someday, and write myself into the confidence to write it.
I think of the online writing — and writing in general — that has meant so much to me in my life, and made me feel less alone, much of it excerpted on my old tumblr. Things that made me believe it was ok to feel the way I was feeling. I want to contribute to that conversation, that work of shoring others up, to reassure readers that they are worthy, especially scared new mothers.
So that’s why I blog. Why do you?