There has been a lot of talk on the web lately about bloggers and their standing within the world of publishing.
This has led to some excellent articles about the value of blogging versus the printed media.
One thing the debate did was to make me examine my place in all this.
Am I an anarchist scribbling on a toilet wall for all to see? Am I shouting my talents at the world in the hope that some paper will spot me and hire me? Am I taking a massive ego trip?
The answer is no.
Hundreds of years ago, when I was at school, my strong subjects were Mechanical Drawing, Geography and Geometry. I was also quite good at physics. [You may add that to the 8 things you didn’t know about me.] You notice that English doesn’t feature. I was always bad at languages, and had to give up on Latin and French, before they gave up on me. So I never ever entertained the possibility of entering journalism or writing a book.
So why did I start blogging?
I didn’t have radical political views that I hoped would shake the world. I do have very strong opinions on the Nanny State and over regulation, but I never aspired to changing public opinion. So that wasn’t the reason. I’m not a frustrated writer, so I wasn’t touting my talent for all to see, as I didn’t think I had any. My ego was fine. As long as the people who matter to me don’t think I’m a twat then I’m happy.
I honestly don’t know why I started. My first posts were rants, and very few people read them. I didn’t mind. I didn’t expect any reaction, because I was only writing to myself.
And that is what I continue to do. I am sitting here in my armchair. The house is quiet. Sandy is asleep on the window ledge opposite me. I am quietly tapping on my keyboard for my own amusement. It keeps the grey cells exercised. It’s like doing a crossword, only not as frustrating. I am of the generation where the concept of thousands, or even millions of people being able to read what I’m writing is alien. Even as I type this, I find the concept strange – that hundreds of people I have never heard of are going to read it. It is bemusing to say the least, so I put it out of my mind, and carry on writing just for myself.
I am utterly baffled as to how I have gotten myself into the situation I’m in. I cannot understand how I am being listed amongst the Greats. And I am not writing this because I want people to reply and tell me I’m a literary genius or the greatest wit since Oscar Wilde because I’m not. Even now, I cannot understand how I have a book deal.
Maybe I found a niche that no one else was in? I don’t think so. There are others like me who write on similar topics. Somehow, I was picked at random and stuck on the crest of a wave and at times, I feel quite uncomfortable here.
I can now hear K8 coming at me in that jeering tone – “Ahhh, you love it. You’re always checking your stats. You love the adulation“. It’s true. I do check my stats, and secretly I do feel good when a lot of people visit. But I still don’t understand it.
I really write because I enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with something fresh to say. I enjoy the mental exercise.
So, to the point of this post. I am acknowledging that people will read this, and I’m asking you a simple question.
Why do you blog?