I’d already been thinking some about why I blog, when I read this from Bob Hyatt.
I started blogging because I wanted to take a risk, and get thoughts out there. I continued blogging because I enjoy writing, and it was a discipline to keep at it. I keep blogging because I find I’m learning better what I think, it’s cathartic for me personally, and because I’m continually surprised at how blogging truly is a community experience.
Risk. As Bob Hyatt said in the link above, it’s a risk to put your thoughts out there. Case in point, the buttons I seem to push if I venture anywhere close to the political realm. It’s a risk to say something that I might change my mind about or am unsure about. Case in point, did Israel misunderstand God about the whole conquest thing? But for me, the rewards far outweigh the risks. I’m learning how to truly dialogue about controversial things. I’m learning things from smart people, things I never would have learned without taking the risk of putting a position out there.
Enjoyment. I just plain old love crafting words. I love trying to make people laugh, I love trying to win an argument, I love spurring others’ thinking. I find most of my posts get written in my head while driving in the car or taking a shower or laying in bed, and I hash them and hash them before I put fingers to keyboard. And it’s great, great fun to edit and recast on the screen, too. I just plain like it.
Cathartic. I’m an extrovert who is incredibly introspective. I’m always churning something on the inside, and that internal churning can be tiring and draining and restless until it has some sort of release. Blogging releases some of that churning (and that’s an interesting phrase, given that the best example of cathartic writing recently was the post about Aubrey releasing the churning of her stomach!)
Community. Because of blogging, I’ve re-connected with Jimmy and Tony. I’ve got a real friendship with Liz Wood. I know how well-read Matt Hawblitzel is. I’ve re-connected with Bob Ramsey. I know how cool and thoughtful AJ is. Kathy Watson and I have a deeper connection. I’m staying connected to people in Boise, people I love (thanks for reading Shawn, Sherm, Tanya, Karla, and Bridgier!) But what’s been even MORE amazing has been the unexpected connections with people I’ve never met face to face, and probably never would have. I’ve connected with a whole bunch of Quakers, ones on the “other” side of the great divides in Quakerism, and they have enriched my life in really good ways. We’ve had open, honest, mutually helpful conversations, all via blogs and comments, that never would have happened otherwise. And my life is better because of it. So thanks Robin, Beppe, David, and Martin!