I mention it now because Rachel at The Challenge of Life tagged me with that "5 reasons I blog" meme.
I think there are 228 reasons...obvious within each of my 228 posts over almost two years.
But I'll give you the history, as briefly as possible, and boil it down to five reasons.
My early entries were short (I know, I know, barely believable, but true), and usually featured a piece of artwork I did. I was really uninterested in blogging and had only done it because my husband wanted me to.
Kaliroz of Fortune and Glory, Omegamom, and a few others (some of whom are MIA these days) started a blog group...a sort of carnival where people suggested topics and we all wrote about that. Most of us had been members of a writer's group and our energy went there, instead of into blogging. But the carnival was a nice exercise and it opened up a door for me. I suddenly saw the potential of blogging.
And that's reason Number One why I blog:
To chronicle events during this time in my life; a time which, I suspect, I'll look back on as one of the most amazing and interesting stages. To keep a picture of this time, for myself, and for my kids.
I've been an off and on diarist. I love finding little pieces of time preserved in a book or calendar, and often wish for more on either side of the brief period journaled. I had an elaborate web site for my first daughter, which was an early sort of blog, I guess. I detailed her life, frequently, mostly for long-distance family, but also for us.
I talk about her here, now, too, such as in Heaven, she said.
But my poor, poor second daughter, as is typical, is a little short in the chronicle department.
One day I realized that my blog can be a diary, and when Persistence was eight months old, I posted a little letter about her.
Shortly thereafter, I used the blog to process. And that's Reason Number 2 that I blog:
To work through, think out, and write out my thoughts, feelings, and opinions about personal and public events that affect me in some way.
My first post like this was What is valued? What is valuable? and it helped me process some issues bubbling inside me about Hurricane Katrina, what I did, what I didn't do, and how it affected me.
Barely two months later, I was recounting our Hurricane Rita experience, mostly with photos. It's a sanitized version of the story, but I can see my anger and post-traumatic stress seething under the surface...in all that I didn't say.
I didn't talk about:
the death we saw...how sick we all got...trying to help the dying woman, or how I haven't stopped wondering if she made it, and is okay...how we spent three precious hours of time and fuel trying to find an open gas station and another route out...our friends who had their gas stolen at gunpoint...running out of food and water 30 hours in...being so overheated that despite drinking a ton, we never needed to pee for two days...my children, how they held up (bravely); how both of them wore diapers the entire time, diapers that never needed changing...dumping things on the side of the road to move the dog into my car (which stayed cooler) when he quit responding to my husband's voice...my husband, near tears, as he said, "I don't know how to protect my family and keep them safe under these conditions!"...the fury I felt when public officials, such as police said, "You aren't my problem."...the relief we felt when we were finally rescued...how long it took me to come back home.
I think I am just now ready to talk about it, and maybe someday I will...or maybe I just did.
That right there...Reason Number 2...that's the main reason I blog.
As is art, which I briefly mentioned. And that's Reason Number 3 that I blog:
To share beauty, either through words or art. Initially, I only posted my own art, such as the one to the side there. My husband did start this blog for me, in fact, as a place to put up my art, and talk about it. However, I've expanded beyond that (obviously) and talk about much more than just art, and display more than just my own pieces. Each image I post, though, is (in my mind) specifically supporting or related to what I'm writing about.
Sometimes the words, images, processing, and chronicle elements all come together into one post, such as "I am obsessed...I think about it all the time...I compose poems and essays about it in my head..." The corn was such an amazing experience for me personally, and for the kids, too, who were fascinated by it. Thanks to a suggestion by our friend Halushki, we planned to make cornhusk dolls as a memento, but alas, the blog post will have to suffice due to a dog and overzealous cleaning.
I have also, on occasion, posted poetry. In spite of all the bloggy rules against it, of which, happily, at the time I was unaware.
And that's Reason Number 4 that I blog:
To have a platform on which I can talk about anything I want, to the degree that I want.
I can always talk about the amazing art of Emily Carr, and the book Susan Vreeland wrote about her here at my blog.
I can discuss politics, world events, my thoughts on issues and more.
And sometimes, people talked back. About a year ago, I started feeling my blog legs beneath me. And more people started talking to me. I started finding and reading blogs (outside of my little group of friends), and I began commenting on them. Then they commented back some more. I felt the warm fuzzy glow of Attention, and the even warmer glow of being Engaged in Something More Interesting than Laundry and The Wonder Pets.
That's Reason Number 5 I blog:
Attention. People are out there, listening to what I say, reading me, replying to me, gosh even sometimes giving me awards and tagging me with memes. It's a heady rush of pleasure to be listened to. It's an even headier rush of pleasure to be respected, to stimulate thought and discussion.
I look back and I see that I started getting a little interesting, and a little interest (outside my group of friends), in May of 2006.
Some people who I didn't even know or pay replied to my post about The Dumbest Question in the World, Bar None, Hands Down, Ever and the comments started coming consistently. People had things to say about my post, Big Brother is watching you: From 35 to 3501. In fact, one blog even backlinked to it, and rehosted my art.
People not only tolerated my ranting in The world in black and white: why the current immigration discussion saddens me, but encouraged me with agreeing comments.
And then the ultimate happened. Thanks to Jozet of Halushki, I got a Perfect Post Award for "What scares me? Jokes and science experiments," the post that put me on the map.
I ranted some more about life in my Passive Activists post; joked with my husband in So Sue Me, I Like Denny's; confessed to further misdeeds and misadventures by the children; admitted I liked missing my children; shared TMI about growing older and health troubles; got political about girls and workplace expectations, as well as political interior decorating; burst a lot of bubbles when I revealed that there is no magic word; shared the whole three part saga of how we became parents; got Dugg (et al) and published three times in a row when I talked about porn star Barbie, the penis story, and parenting as if I might get hit by a bus (which the very kind Masked Mom nominated for a Perfect Post).
Then suddenly, it was 2007, and I had a fresh leash on blogging.
Somewhere along the way, I got so much more than I ever expected from blogging:
* I gained personal insight
* Found a platform for discussing all the issues, large and small, in my mind and heart
* Discovered some amazing people with fantastic things to say who I love love love to read every day
* Learned a lot about other people in other places living different lives
* Cybermet some awesome people who I am so fortunate to have gotten to know through blogging
The first five are the reasons I blog, the second five are why I continue to blog and why I find it so valuable. How can I explain what it means to have a place in which to release the thoughts that flood my head every day...but I'm sure you understand. And how can I explain how much it means to have people to talk with, about these issues and others I hadn't known or thought about but am always glad I got exposed to.
Thanks Rachel, for this meme.
And thanks all of you, you know, just for being there.
And now...for the tags! (If you've done this meme already, linking to it is cool.)
First up: Two fabulous bloggers I've known a long time who really kept pushing and pulling me along the bloggy path (thank you): OmegaMom and Jozet at Haluski
Next up: Two bloggers who always impress me and are great writers and commenters: Gwen at Woman on the Verge and Jen at One Plus Two
Last but not least, a blogger I am just getting to know and like: Momish
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert