That is a question I ask myself regularly.

Why do I bother scribbling all this crap every day? 

I mentioned a while ago that I did an online interview for some university project in the States and that question arose once more, and quite frankly I had some difficulty answering it.

All my soul searching has morphed into two basic reasons.  Maybe there are more, but I'm no expert on the workings of the mind.

I suppose the first reason is that I enjoy writing.  I like words.  Sometimes I like to play with words and indeed the language in general.  I have always enjoyed reading but it's only in the last decade that I realised I enjoyed writing too, which is a bit of a bummer: if I had discovered earlier in life then who knows what would have happened?

The second reason is that it's a hobby.  It's a damn sight less strenuous that golf or football, or even crown green bowling.  It keeps the old grey matter ticking over and in my book, brain exercise is a lot more important that physical exercise.  Who wants to be a physically fit vegetable?  I like the mental challenge of finding a topic and then analysing it until it screams.  Sometimes the output is rubbish and sometimes it isn't but the simple fact is that some thought went into it and maybe delayed senility by another few minutes.

Another question that cropped up in the questionnaire is how I choose my content.

That one is a lot easier [in principle, but not necessarily in practice].  The answer I gave was that I wrote about whatever rambled through my mind [the clue is in the title].  Sometimes I might write about an idle thought [like today], or maybe a drop of reminiscing.  Sometimes I write something that might amuse me [but rarely anyone else]. 

The bulk of my brain farts though are a rebellion against the modern world and its mindless acceptance of everything it sees on television or reads in the papers. We seem to live in a society where the headline is the story and no one questions anything.  I swear that if a headline appeared – "Study find Everest earthquake caused by people eating broccoli" that half the population would never touch broccoli again.  It doesn't matter how absurd, illogical or patently false the headline is; people will believe it.  People now happily believe that a whiff of tobacco smoke in the open air will cause them to have a heart attack despite the fact that the person who is generating that smoke has been inhaling the stuff for forty or fifty years with no side effects.  People believe election promises despite the fact that successive governments have bankrupt the country.  Basically people will believe any old shite that's thrown at them and what's worse will then go and repeat that shite to others as if it's hard fact.  That annoys the hell out of me so I have to vent my anger somewhere?

Of course there could be another answer to "why".

I once got an email from a person who thinks he is highly influential in my life [he isn’t].  In it he reckoned he knew the answer –

… Then there are the blogs that are personal, a sort of BEBO, where you say here I am, please by my friend. And the more hits you get, the more friends you feel you have, but where the replies are almost always from fellow personal bloggers – all feeding off each others congratulations, and where disagreement is not on the agenda. Very nicely put recently in the Times as "an onanistic niche activity persued by self-regarding geeks, oddballs and social pariahs."

Will you please be my friend?

Pretty please?

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Why? — 10 Comments

  1. Blog has become our equivalent of the company water cooler or maybe the local pub. We can grippe about how everyone else is wrong and how much better the world would be if they just would do what we know is right. 

    Some pontificate, some argue, many agree, others sit back and listen making the occasional interjection. 

    Human nature causes like mind people to gather together and makes those who think differently uncomfortable enough to leave so there is a echo chamber affect. Some groups are more inclusive even becoming hostile to outsiders, other are more welcoming and open. 

    • I like the idea of "the local pub".  At least here all are welcome, smokers and non-smokers alike.  I would dearly like to know where the taps are though, and who's buying the next round?

      One thing I have noticed all right is that people tend to gravitate towards their own opinions.  I tend to read sites I agree with [though occasionally I drift over to The Dark Side] and there seems to be little argument here.  Sadly one of my favourite commentators disappeared off the scene because he couldn't tolerate my views on a particular topic.  [No names – no pack drill etc.]

      Sure it's all a laugh really.

      • Oh, do tell, Gramps!  At least reveal what "the topic" was. I haven't been coming here long, so I probably missed the debate.

        Pretty pleeeeeeeeese!

        • I don't kiss and tell.

          Suffice it to say that apparently anyone who questions manmade Warble Gloaming must be a complete idiot and should be instantly put to death to save the planet.  Or words to that effect.

  2. I have found that one should never ponder the "whys" of what one does simply because one does it. Unless, of course, it involves such things as murder and other such debaucheries in which case it would do very well to consider why one does such things. Especially before the law catches up with you or, at the very least, a pissed off relative.

    Since your personal blog does not does not cause anyone to die due to reading it (that you know of) or cause anyone, directly or indirectly, to go out and commit murder or other such debaucheries (that you know of) then it's best left to not to consider the "whys" of doing something you enjoy doing.

    Besides, what's wrong with and older man having a hobby? It's better than collecting poisonous toads for example.

    So, the better question you might ask yourself is, why not?

    • I don't know if this site has killed anyone yet, but I certainly hope it has raised the odd blood pressure or two?

      Why not, indeed?  I have the time, the technology and an opinion or two so they all blend nicely.  Not so easy though to give that kind of answer in an interview?  It's a bit like when I was a kid and would ask if I could do something and got the answer "because…"  That used to drive me mad.  Because why?  Because what?  I prefer meaningful answers!

  3. I sort of like "citizens' initiative" I once saw used to describe blogs.

    It's far better than that given by the "person who thinks he is highly influential in my life".

    And only yesterday a certain Frog showed that you guys can – in a circuitous manner – make a difference.

    (and goodness knows how many times Guido's tweaked tails).

    For sure chucking out something almost every day'll result in the occasional tedious brain fart, however I can relate to that business of doing the research, learning about the topic and posting something that makes it relatively easy for lay people to grasp is very gratifying.

    And yes it does stave off alzheimer and it does improve vocabulary and it's good to get something off your chest.

    And once in a while you can raise a smile, maybe even lighten someone's day. And that grandpa money can't buy. 

    • I would never kid myself that my occasional outpourings will ever have any political influence whatsoever.  The best I can hope for is that someone will read something and actually stop and think for a moment.  I'll leave the clever stuff to Guido, Ms Raccoon and their ilk.  Considering that my most read page is "How to order a Guinness" and that a lot of people come here researching suicide, I think I'm in a different league altogether!

      It has improved my spelling and two finger typing somewhat too!

  4. In posing the question Why do I write? you are posing an existential question, and you could be posing the question Why do I bother to continue existing? But getting back, you wonder why you write. Many writers have wondered about this. Some of them had big appreciative readers, others sold remaindered books and drank themselves into early graves. Others in their lives sold lots of books, then died and were soon forgotten. Yet while they live, to the age of 50 or 60 or 80, many writers continue writing to the end, because they can't not write, because they feel that communication with others, unknown others in the here and now and possibly in the hereafter, is important.

    The novelist and essayist George Orwell (d.1950 – tuberculosis) wrote a famous essay (only famous after the TB took him) and it is called Why I Write.  Here in an Irish blog it is quoted at length, this quotation included:

    "Looking back through the last page or two, I see that I have made it 
    appear as though my motives in writing were wholly public-spirited. I 
    don't want to leave that as the final impression. All writers are vain, 
    selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a 

    Yep, it is a mystery, and we'll never guess fully why Grandad writes, or many other bloggers. But here is a link to a larger extract from Orwell's essay:

    Some people write to pass the time. Some people smoke pipes and write to pass the time. Some people smoke pipes, write and make love, then sleep to pass time. I could go on… Some people just pass the time. Hard cheese.


    • I have a funny feeling that I'll be long forgotten as an author before my book is even published. 

      Actually, Orwell sums up quite a few of my thoughts on the subject.  I can particularly identify with "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness."  My problem is that I prefer to treat my illness with a nice large whiskey and an early night.  I don't think I'll ever make it to the lofty heights of being a Writer, as distinct from being a Scribbler.

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