Why Blog?

From my Inbox:

I know I’ve asked you this already, but why do you blog? What is your purpose?  I’m just curious.  While I enjoy reading people’s blogs, I can’t help but think that it is also leading us away from being personal in our relationships.  What are your thoughts on this?”

Oh, how badly I want to give the quick Sunday School answer: “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  That answer is not entirely untrue; however, if I am honest the answer is more complex, more self-gratifying.

Indulge me in a bit of personal history. My brother Danny introduced me to reading blogs. On one of his annual visits he brought a file of his favorite online links and installed them on my computer. He’s hot into reformed theological controversies, cooking, techno-gadgets and blogs. He knew I’ve been reading, drooling over, and collecting George Grant’s writing for years (I have a huge binder full of his book reviews from World Magazine) and showed me how to read his stuff online. It was a quick transition from reading » commenting » writing my own posts. 

So why do I blog? 

1.    I have a show-and-tell personality. Whenever I’ve read an excellent book or listened to incredible music, my joy is not complete until someone has read it or heard it and agrees that it is excellent. If you came to my house today, I’d ask if you’d like to see my _______ (silverware drawer, garden, guest room, whatever). I’m trying to get beyond foisting a book on some unsuspecting victim/friend and promising them they will Absolutely Love It; but that impulse will never be eradicated. 

2.   To improve my writing. Thoughts and phrases float across my brain, but getting them onto the screen in a readable form is good exercise. I need an editor, big time, but people are not standing in line to offer their services.

3.  To encourage other people. We all have our little sphere of influence; I try to use mine to share quotes, books, prayers, pictures, recipes and music. Truth, beauty and goodness surround us and I like to point them out. 

4.  It’s good intellectual stimulation. This refers to reading other blogs and following their links to other stories. My world has expanded in  fabulous ways. Even if it’s just exposure knowledge, I’ve learned much that is useful in the last three years.

5.  To develop friendships. It’s very odd, especially to the analog personality, but I’ve made some dear friends online. It’s really amazing to read someone else’s journal and recognize yourself. My husband tends to scratch his head as I quote one of y’all. Which one is this? he asks with a note of confusion. 

What’s wrong with blogging?

1.   Time, Where Did You Go? My clock ticks away like nobody’s business when I’m online. Dana suggested a using timer and I’m becoming more convicted that I need to. Time spent blogging is time not spent fulfilling the responsibilities which we have been given. Could you argue against that last sentence? I’d sure like to hear your argument so I could use it for myself. 

2.    Incomplete disclosure. When I blog, I filter what I want you to know about me. You do the same thing, don’t you? Of course, discretion is always called for, but, all the same, I’m putting my best face forward. I am thankful that real people that I really know read my blog. It helps me to combat hypocrisy.

3.    Isolation. I am more convinced each day that life needs to be lived within the context of covenant community. It is too easy to plug into the computer and zone out the people who are in the physical now. I try, emphasis on try, not to blog when my husband is home so I can be present with him. 

4.   Misplaced priorities. Since I really do enjoy blogging, thinking about how and what to write is often at the forefront of my mind. “My public needs me” has been a joke in our family for decades. My toilets need me too, but I don’t view them like I view you, my dear reader. 

5.   Unlimited scope. When my oldest son began to read, I devised a plan to check out each and every picture book in our public library. After a few months I asked myself, Why? I had assumed every book the library offered was worth reading.  I used to be impressed with four pages of blog links, until I realized that it was the same fallacy. I’m content to limit myself to a small group of daily reads, a larger group of weekly reads and another folder of occasional glances. There are many extraordinary blogs which I miss and that’s Okay.

Why do you blog? Or, why do you read blogs?

(P.S. Thanks, Mel, for holding my feet to the fire. I appreciate it…and you.)


13 thoughts on “Why Blog?

  1. Very good post!
    I wrote one like this a couple of years ago and will come back and place my link.
    The fact that I have to spend extra time looking for it rather than having a tag or category is a poor use of time.  But to date, I dont feel like my writing or reading of blogs is a waste of time.  I can easily misuse time without benefit of a computer.
    Dana in GA

  2. Great post, Carol. I blog for many of the same reasons as you do – though they weren’t necessarily the impetus to get me started.
    I, for one, am very glad you don’t consider blogging a waste of time – I enjoy my daily visits here!

  3. I loved this part of your “reasons not” (though I like your “reasons to,” too!), as it flows from other conversations …  life needs to be lived within the context of covenant community … instead of [zoning] out the people who are in the physical now.   I don’t BLOG (yet?) because of the time factor (though I have been encouraged to do so often).  I spend too much time online as it is …
    Carol, I love that you BLOG as I get to peek in your world through the wires (or wirelesses, as the case may be) a bit more than I (unfortunately) physically do.  And that warms my soul.

  4. This is the best reply I have seen to this question, Carol.
    Well done on all accounts.
    I blog to fulfill Titus 2:3-5 in a small way.
    And to connect with other women (family included)
    And cause I think it’s awfully fun :o)

  5. You feed, encourage, bring beauty and creativity to, enliven, and enrich the lives of those of us you regularly read your blog. The thing about it, is that you are even better in person! The initial reason I started to blog was with the realization that I would never, in this world, be published. The Lord gives us things to say with the express purpose of giving glory to His Name, of encouraging other women in their walks of faith, and this was a way to do that. The surprise came when I started getting blessed by others so profoundly.

  6. I read my favorite author’s blog, Veith’s Cranach through World. I read a Lutheran friend’s blog, she is one of the most articulate from all the years on MartinLooper’s  Homeschool e-list (e-lists suck the time…big time if they are well posted-to!)
    So for connection, worldview discourse and challenges from friends like you , whom I see rarely other than as we pass on the way to church on Sunday ; )
    Thamks for another great post!

  7. “donnabooshay” hit the nail on the head. I’m the recipient of the Titus women I’ve “met” by way of their blogs. The Lord has brought me into contact with women who are ladies, who love, respect, and adore their husbands, and are keepers of their homes. I find that when I hit a bump in the road, reading these put my perspective back where it should be … being appreciative of my precious family. I haven’t started blogging yet because I don’t feel like I have much to say … YET. Pleasantly,Kat

  8. Carol, this is very well articulated.  Thanks for leaving the link to it in answer to my question on my blog!  (And thanks for not viewing your readers the way you view your toilets! )  For me this is a matter of “all things in moderation.”  Though sometimes I wonder if I would get more writing done if I just eliminated the blog, it requires more discipline for me to keep the blog AND get more writing done, and it’s a challenge I am embracing for now. Thanks for reading — and for writing!

  9. what a great question to ponder.  I began blogging to remember… I continue to blog because of the relationships, because it is intellectually stimulating, and because I also love to share my discoveries.  I hadn’t realized it until you articulated that in #1… but I am just the same way, especially about books and music.But, it does eat my time and I am uncomfortable with the voyeuristic element.  What is it about me that wants people to “look at me!” ?   When I look long and hard at that one I always come up short and think its time to close up shop.   That and the time sucker that the internet has become in my life.  I like the timer idea.

  10. Carol, I enjoy your blog for many reasons and I won’t list them here other than one:  I appreciate how you are modeling through your words and pictures a glimpse into a well-rounded, at times imperfect, but emotionally and spiritually healthy life.  Keep up the great work!

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