Today, for Thoughty Thursday, I’m pondering the question:
“Why do people blog?”
Many of the readers here at More Cowbell are bloggers. (And y’all have been cranking out some truly excellent bloggage this month. I think the Year of the Water Dragon is getting people fired up!)
You know who “bloggers” are, right? The official (incredibly dry) definition of a blogger is “a person who keeps a weblog.”
Here’s MY definition of a blogger:
Special people who schlep their a$$es to their computer, day in and day out, flinging their thoughts and dreams out to the World Wide Web with the intent of sparking a conversation.
That’s a little more sexy and descriptive.
The “what” of blogging can change and grow infinitely. My brain being the way it is, I’m more interested in the “why.”
WHY do people blog?
Why put out all that effort in the hopes of receiving some comments? Why do bloggers thrill to see some tasteful Twitter or Facebook mentions? Why does it knock their socks off to be included in a mash-up of links?
That’s only a tiny piece of it.
It’s my belief that very few writers sit down at their computers thinking about any of these things. They blog to build a community. They spent time visiting other blogs to offer support to that community. In short, bloggers go out of their way to live the motto of my writing chapter, OCC/RWA:
One hand reaching forward, one hand reaching back, in a continuous chain.
None of this answers the original question of “Why do people blog?”
While I think some people dream of monetizing their blog and making a living out of it, most bloggers are fueled by the same desire as any other writer:
It fires a writer up when others read what they write.
It fires ’em up even more when people will discuss it with them.
It’s that simple.
Writers have stories running through their heads, pretty much 24/7. Stories they long to SHARE. All those stories take a long time (and a hell of a lot of work) to translate onto the page. Some books take YEARS to write.
- Most blogs take minutes, or maybe hours, to write.
- A blog gives you immediate feedback for you efforts.
- As writers we dream of reaching out and touching people with our words; we look forward to receiving their words in return.
THAT’S the power that keeps us flinging our thoughts out like so much birdseed, hoping to see interesting readers come feed. At least it is for me.
Why do I blog?
1. Because it’s fun. More Cowbell is like a big party for me. I LOVE to throw a great party, where conversation flows like an electric current. (That’s also why I prefer Twitter to Facebook.)
The readers here brighten my day, EVERY day. Not only do you grant me the joy of making you laugh, you crack me up right back. Plus, seeing y’all form connections with each other takes me to my Happy Place.
2. To help me research my books. I don’t particularly love research, so I lure myself through it with the carrot of a nice, fun blog at the end of the research stick. I’m to the rough part of my memoir on high-risk pregnancy and my Saturday Risky Baby Business posts are easing me through it. Plus, I get to help pregnant ladies. It’s a win-win.
3. Giving back to other writers gives me the Warm Fuzzies. I feel strongly about the need to give back to other writers. Many, many writers have given to me and I like to pay that forward with things like my Techie Tuesday posts.
I’m a people person (stop laughing) and a classic extrovert. (I mean it…stop that cackling.) Being an extrovert means I gain energy from time spent interacting with others.
Blogging “fills my well,” helping me stockpile the energy I need to withstand the solitude of writing a book. When my energy flatlines, I run to the most crowded place I can find and write there. (Did you see all the introverts either shudder or fall off their chairs just now??)
If I had to think about long-range planning topics like “branding” while I blogged, I might run screaming from the page. That feels like work for me. I wouldn’t blog if it felt like work. I do enough of that already.
Nope…I’m here for the party. 🙂
Let’s hear from you. Why do YOU blog? What makes you read or follow other blogs? Is it the topics, the connections, the things you learn? Is it because you were told “you had to?” What do you love about blogging? What do you hate about it? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!