"So... why do you blog?"
It's a question I can't remember ever being asked, but it's one I ask myself. So here we are on post 2,961 and now I ask myself this? It is an interesting question. Many have tried and failed/bailed. Why would I post spend time, almost daily, to commit words to the ether where the average post will get about 20-30 the day it's posted and a trickle after that? (Except when I write about GroupOn, fixing my washing machine or Facebook's in-retrospect-quite-failed attempt to kill email.)
It's just one component of the social strategy that is the James Lamb brand. My personal brand. And the TV James subbrand, but that's waning. But, yeah, why bother?
I struggled with that on Sunday, with an idea for a blog I haven't written yet, one that part of me feels like needs to be told and one part of me says "this one's not for public consumption" (hint: it's about my attitude and it's a churchy topic) and so I haven't written it yet, but in trying to decide if I wanted to write it, I found myself asking "Why do I even blog in the first place?"
I think there are several reasons.
A Story to Be Told - like most people, I want to be heard. I believe the thoughts in my head, the experiences I have, the ideas that come to me - they should be shared. Now, they're not all winners and they don't even always put me in the best light, but usually it's something I want to share and think adds value to the world, even if in a really small way.
Something for You - I've come across something, I've discovered something, I've been struck with what I think was a stroke of brilliance or at least a new idea or concept... something I want to share. Something I think you will appreciate. Where it's a few articles from a magazine, a great video, a handy tip, a book you should or shouldn't read, I try to give back.
How To/Research - The ones that end up being the most popular - when I present on a topic, often things relating to the Email Marketing world or something handy I've done around the house.
Free Therapy - Sometimes, like tonight (written Tuesday night and scheduled to post in the morning), it's all about working through something. By writing it, it helps me tease it out. While it's often stream of conscious, sometimes it's a serious issue that I need to get off my chest. Other times, I'm just trying to figure out a piece of the world that makes no sense to me. And sometimes, talking to others just serves to make me feel foolish or dumb because I didn't figure it out on my own, so the non-judgemental mostly-white screen of Blogger is the perfect canvas for me to make sense of it through my own discovery process.
An Attempt at Creativity - Words are amazing. You can stick them together in so many different ways and evoke different emotions. A carefully crafted sentence can inspire, but a sentence that just jams words together without thought is like so many keys mashed down simultaneously on an out-of-tune piano. Words are powerful. I don't have nearly enough practice and so I feel like my words all too often trudge along, sullen, dutifully. So every so often (far too infrequently) I'll try to make them spin and swirl, casting a delightful image in your head with just the right dash of color, sound and excitement. It's definitely a journey.
A Warning - Sometimes I'm a warning of what not to do. Learn from my example.
Accountability - I've experimented with life tracking of different things like my diet or efforts to declutter or maintain a household.
I'm Engaging in the "Get Rich Slowly" Movement - In a good month, these ads will earn me 6 or 7 cents from Google AdSense (is it just me or is this a superbly clever joke of a name?). If I post a book review, that can usually earn me another penny or two in referral fees. If I don't request a check and let the money pile up, in about 6,000 years Google and Amazon will only be able to afford to pay what they owe me by turning over a controlling interest in preferred voting stock of their two companies to my distant descendants. So thanks for clicking. I just hope they appreciate this gesture this gesture and go back in time and deposit large sums of money into my bank account.
I'm Vain - I think I'm pretty swell. I'll admit it. Some people like to hear themselves talk, I like to go back later and read what I read. Except when I find typos. I hate that.
I said several, but I think this far exceeds several. But proves the "free therapy" point. I started working on it and more and more came to light.