Why Blog?

Generally, I blog for myself. Writing my ideas down forces me to look at my life and my ideas more carefully than I would by simply randomly running them through my head. Good writing is good thinking, and writing helps me to expose fuzzy thoughts. If I can’t write my ideas down clearly, I know I haven’t really thought them out.

Writing regularly also brings new ideas up, ideas I would never have thought of if I hadn’t written the day before. The more I write the easier it is for me to write and to think of new ideas to write about. Writing also inspires me to read more because reading introduces new ideas or forces me to rethink old ideas.

I also like to think, as Whitman suggests in “Song of Myself” that”every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” If I learn something from my experiences, I hope it might be valuable to someone besides me. I have learned much about myself from reading others’ poems and stories; I hope that others can also learn something from my experiences and my writing.

I like to think of blogging as something more than just writing a journal. I like to think i’m part of a writing community. The bloggers I read and link to may all be writing about something quite different, but we use each other for inspiration and motivation to continue on our journey of self-discovery.

Having others read my attempts to come to terms with my life, motivates me to write on a regular basis. Feeling an obligation to my readers, no matter how small that group might be, also helps me to write regularly.

Of course having an audience also affects what I write in this journal, for better or for worse. When I write this blog I am aware that I have an audience and that affects what I write. For months I resisted letting those closest to me know that I was writing a blog simply because when I know that certain people are part of my audience I am less likely to write about some things. For instance, I would have liked to include some poems from a book entitled Japanese Death Poems before my recent operation, but I didn’t because I was worried that close family members might take that to mean I was somehow giving up on life.

On the other hand, knowing that others are reading this also inspires me to write the best that I can and not to accept rough drafts too quickly. Though I don’t really consider any of these entries finished works, they are considerably more finished than they might have been if I were only going to stuff them in a filing cabinet for later reference.

Did I forget to mention that I’m a lover of books, a believer in books and a believer in their power to transform lives? I’m a shameless pusher of books, particularly poetry books, for me the highest form of literature. Books not only help to reveal who we are; they help us to transcend who we were.

13 thoughts on “Why Blog?”

  1. I can’t remember whether I posted something when I started visiting your site But the main ideas expressed above are the reasons why I kept it on and I found that I spend hours reading the poems you’ve selected and watching nature as you capture it your photographs.
    Reading good stuff inspires me too; they confirm things I juggled with in my thoughts and everyday experiences. The visits and journies you make sound interesting and I used to think what a way to while away one’s time for I could feel your enthusiasm. I thought: he’s lucky!

  2. I think the only thing I’ve managed to do since I retired is to slow down and actually look around me to see what’s there. I suspect anyone who really wants to can do the same thing; it’s just a matter of prioritizing our life differently.

    If you’re interested in poetry you must be more than half way there already, Laide.

  3. Hi! I found your site because of your entry on Yeats’ poem “Dialogue of Self and Soul.” I will probably link to it in my own post. I offer you this lovely thought from Thomas Merton, since I see you are a bird watcher: “Even a wild animal merely ‘observed’ is not seen as it really is, but rather in the light of our investigation (color changed by florescent lighting). But people who watch birds and animals are already wise in their way.” April 5, 1958

  4. Your thoughts blogged ten and twelve years ago resonate even more today than they did back then. Welcome back!

  5. Sensible encouragement for using writing as a tool to improve thinking and considering the impact words have on oneself or an audience (big or small). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on writing.

  6. It is EVIDENT you’ve “come to terms”
    enjoying all the flitting Murms
    no Craning for Splashless Terns
    or dark Larkless serious worms
    feather pon you Raven’s germs
    hatching pleasure, life affirms

  7. I’ve only just found this page. Your thoughts on blogging, as you express them and I read them, are almost exactly mine. I particularly liked “Good writing is good thinking, and writing helps me to expose fuzzy thoughts.” It’s a humbling experience, isn’t it, when one starts to set down some grandiose idea or other, only to realise how trite and ill thought out it is when you read it back? Blogging encourages circumspection.

    1. Unfortunately, I seem to be doing a lot less “writing” than when I first wrote this. I seem to have less to say. Perhaps that’s why I publish so many pictures.

      I suspect I’ve always loved pictures more than words. If I’d thought I could make a living, I would have studied painting, not literature, in college. I think it’s the imagery that drew me so strongly to poetry.

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