Why I Blog

Posted by Brandon |

All of the drama going on lately over at I Talk Too Much and Karl's adventures at BlogHer this weekend got me thinking about why it is that I continue to blog on a near daily basis. The simple answer is, it's fun. It has become my hobby over the past two and a half years and I still enjoy doing it, unlike most every other hobby I thought I would enjoy.

I basically do this for myself. Sure, I enjoy the fact that I have a few fans and it is nice to get comments and I will promote my blog whenever and wherever I go. And I will admit, I am a bit bipolar, I get a little neurotic when the comments and traffic are low and cocky when things are going great. But when you boil it down, I don't blog for anybody else's approval, I just write about what I feel like writing about. Does it lead to randomness and inconsistent quality? Yes, without question. But that's a pretty good reflection of me, random and inconsistent.

When I read people complaining about their blogs, I get irritated. Like I said, I do this as a hobby and when it isn't fun, I don't do it. I don't feel the same obligation to put something out there when I don't feel like it or have nothing to share that a lot of people seem to do. A hobby shouldn't be an obligation, it should be relaxing and fun. If you see me go a few days without blogging, it is because I am having fun in other ways or I just don't have anything to share, plain and simple. Sometimes I let you know about that fact, but it is never in a complaining kind of way, just a little status update.

I see a lot of people complaining about costs associated with blogging or software issues or whatever. I usually tune this stuff out because I don't have any of these same problems. I have spent, maybe, $25 on blogging total. I paid for a podcasting service at one point and I spent a little tiny bit of money on advertising once. Sure, my blog doesn't look as beautiful as someone who paid a couple hundred dollars for a whole bunch of skins and I don't have my own dot com, but that's what I like about it. All of the improvements that you see on this blog I taught myself how to do. I started with a blogger template and have tweaked it by learning some HTML basics, stealing code from others, and experimenting. I'm proud of what I have accomplished and what I have learned. That has been half the fun.

I have heard horror stories about these classes and seminars that you can take on how to become a successful blogger where some of the students have meltdowns and freakouts because of the stress of blogging. I don't even know how to quantify success as a blogger. Is it the number of comments, or the traffic or how much money your AdSense has made? I don't know, but I know none of these things are a reason to have a breakdown. If it's not fun or it is stressing you out, stop blogging. Find something else to do that you might enjoy.

When blogging stops being fun for me or I find a new hobby to occupy my time, you will know. I won't subject you to long-winded posts about how much blogging sucks or fill my blog up with, "I don't know what to write about" posts. I'll just ride off into the sunset one day, pants around my ankles, and you will remember this post.

But I don't anticipate that day will come anytime soon. I live in California, just some of the dumb things I see and hear day-to-day could keep me going for years. I'm having a great time and if you would like to come along for the ride, please be my guest, just don't be surprised when you find my writing inconsistent and random. You have already been warned.


RW said...

I say keep going. For myself, just because I don't comment doesn't mean I'm not reading. For example - that thing about the grocery fun bags just... left... me... I dunno... dumbfounded?

What comes through is if the person is engaging or not. If they stop being normal and naturally themselves, If I stop reading I take you off the blogroll... then you have no traffic because I control blogdom muuuaaahhh ha... urp

I mean just be yourself. :-)

MC said...

See, you know when I am running on empty when you start seeing silly quizzes and really short, short posts.

There are times when yes, I am sorta blogblocked, but like in more traditional forms of writing, I push through that block.

But with a lot of blogging it is a case of diminishing returns if you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

Brandon said...

Thanks RW, like I said I don't plan on stopping. I just think there are a lot of people blogging for the wrong reasons right now. None of them are people I enjoy reading, but I see it all over the place while surfing.

MC - I do that too, I will push through a blogblocked time and give short posts, but that is just temporary usually and I don't have meltdowns because of it. If it came to that, I would stop before I subject my readers to the bitching.

Schadenfreude said...

Great post, Brandon.

And I agree -- I blog when I got something to say, and when I don't, I just steal other peoples' posts a la Kaavya Viswanathan and post them as my own.

kapgar said...

God, I'd swear that I wrote paragraph two about myself and my blog. Yikes.