Monday, June 06, 2005

Why Do You Blog?

A good friend of mine from College, Elsie, called me last week. We hadn't spoken in a long time, as is the norm for many of my long-standing friendships of late. I'm not proud of that, so I'm always thankful when an old friend calls up and says, "Rob, where the hell have you been?"

Elsie reads this blog regularly, though she herself does not have her own spot of cyber-space. Last night she asked a question that I will attempt to answer here, and then I'm going to pass it onto my other blogging buddies. She asked:
"Rob, why do you blog?"
I started this blog as an exercise in writing, in preparation for my qualifying exams and now for my dissertation itself. I had always wanted to start a personal journal, but I never stuck with it. For me, I need the motivation of knowing others may read this stuff in order to keep adding to it. The act of writing has always helped me to organize my thoughts. I wanted to improve the speed at which I could organize my thoughts and communicate those to others in a manner that (hopefully) doesn't put people to sleep. I think it's worked so far: the papers I've written for my classes have gone along more smoothly, I believe, because writing has become part of my regular routine. I hope this improvement translates into the construction of my dissertation proposal

There is a curious, yet understandable, divide between the reality-world and the cyber-world. Elsie asked me if she should call me to say hello and see how I'm doing, or if she should just read the blog. I encouraged her to call! She is an in-person part of my life, and this blog is really just certain snippets of my life. This discussion does raise another question: why do I choose to place certain items from my personal life in this blog? For me, the events of my life influence the way I write, and even the subjects about which I write. There is an inseparable connection between the two. So, perhaps I blog not only to practice my writing but also to practice thinking out loud and organizing my thoughts.

So (drumroll, please) I have two questions for my fellow blogging buddies. Please help Elsie understand all of this and respond when you have a chance on your own blogs (or here as a comment, if you prefer):
  1. Why do you blog?
  2. How do you choose the subjects about which you blog?
I'll pass this onto Lemming, John B., Hugh, and Joe. Elsie, check out their sites in the next week or two (I think some are on vacation now).

Thanks for reading (and responding!).


John B. said...

I posted a short response on my blog.


lemming said...

Getting there, getting there...