On my last post, someone left an anonymous comment.
“I’m curious, who is this for, if anyone? I do something similar, but it’s very private, I show it to very few people. I could never publish it like this for anyone to see, it would limit what I would feel comfortable writing too much.[…] But yeah what is your objective in writing it, what do you get out of it?”
So, Anonymous, here is your lengthy and discursive answer.
[The short answer is: “This is largely for me but it’s public so my friends can see”]
Why blog on a weekly basis in the way that I do?
- To remember. Simply put, my weekly “/numbered/” posts are supposed to be a documentation of my life in 2013. I’m doing it so that I can look back one day and remember this year, both for posterity and because I have a bad memory which I want to train up. It’s all about documentation.
- To live in the now, accept my changeability and not be neurotic about it. Writing weekly posts takes away the pressure of making statements of universal truth, when they will most likely actually become void after a few months. And this way you can see what things stick over time – Scandinavia, for instance!
- To improve my photography skills and expand my photographic vocabulary. Photography is something I value highly and consciously focus my entries here around. But the fact that I struggle once I have no photos to write something engaging and interesting is something I really do have to work on and am looking forward to doing.
Why blog in public?
- To get better at expressing myself more clearly and thereby force myself to start thinking objectively and thoroughly. This is a crucial element , and one of the primary reasons for this blog being public: it compels me to make sense of my life.
- To resist the urge to go off on tangents. Though it isn’t a very focussed blog as it is, it is at least somewhat centred around me and my development.
- To keep in touch. This is plainly a very pragmatic reason, but with friends scattered across the globe from Canada to Japan, it’s an important consideration.
Why blog at all?
- To be able to have a space where I can speak freely. The things I say here are not necessarily what would you would hear if you had a conversation with me. Conversations can be skewed by social convention or the desire to assimilate with the person you’re talking to. It’s a blank slate where I can figure out what it is I actually think and what is actually important.
- To reflect on what my thoughts and decisions say about me. I hope that by charting my life on a weekly basis, I’ll be able to recognise patterns in order to decide whether my actions match my aspirations and values.
- To appreciate my wealth: of experiences; of love; and, let’s be pragmatic, of means. That is something which I – like most people – seriously struggle with. Thankfulness, then, in short.
Who is this for?
I have always said this blog was just for me. That was partly for all the reasons I listed above, which still hold, but also because (apart from Ellie) literally nobody read my blog for a very long time, so it had to be for me. If it had been for somebody else, this would have died a long time ago.
Recently, though, more and more friends have been contacting me to say that they read what I write here. It’s really heart-warming somehow, and while I’m not really sure why that’s happened, it’s made me realise something.
Though at its core, the act of documenting my life is still just for my sake, the reason that I put so much effort in (into the design, to the photography, to the words) is for those who read.
So there you go, hope that’s answered the question. It’s good to figure these things out!