In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”
“Why do you blog?”
I’ve answered this question before numerous times on these very pages, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to contemplate it again, particularly for the benefit of those who have only found me recently and are disinclined to trawl through over 2,100 previous posts to find previous answers.
I blog for numerous reasons. Mostly habit, to be perfectly honest; after 2,114 days of writing something each and every day, it is very much part of my daily routine now, even if I do habitually leave it until the “last minute”, as I have done once again today, writing this at 1:10 in the morning when I have work at 9am.
The reason why I started, though, was to be part of something that sounded interesting. A few people I followed on Twitter at the time started talking about the hashtag #oneaday, which I investigated further and discovered was an attempt to write something each and every day for a year. The intention was not necessarily to write something good each and every day for a year, but more to get into the habit of writing something on a daily basis. The more you do something, the more you develop your craft, after all, and in something inherently creative like writing, the more you do something, the more you develop your own personal style, too. Since most of the people participating in the hashtag were games journalists to varying degrees, keeping their writing skills fresh was obviously a good idea.
I jumped on board — a little later than some of my comrades, but still within January. I kept an eye on what others were up to and sometimes drew ideas and inspiration from their work, but I was somewhat surprised to discover that a goodly proportion of the people who started in that January decided to abandon the project remarkably quickly. One of these people who jumped ship quickly was the person who appeared to have started the whole shebang in the first place. I decided that I was going to be stubborn, though, and I was going to stick it out until the end of the year.
So I did, along with a few others with a similarly stubborn streak. Then I kept going. Some of those others continued on with me; others joined the cause; others still abandoned the idea altogether. I continued for another year and kept going and going and going. Now, to my knowledge, I’m the only member of the original crew who is still writing something every day, though I have stayed in touch with quite a few of the people I met over the course of the first couple of years of this project.
Writing something every day is challenging. Not because the act of writing is itself particularly difficult, but because it can be a real challenge to come up with something to write about every day. I don’t like to spend too many days in a row writing about the same thing — those who follow me regularly will know that I could probably rabbit on about Final Fantasy XIV for months non-stop at a time — but rather spread my wings a bit and write about other topics, be they things that have happened that day, things that I’ve seen on social media, frustrations I’ve felt or successes I want to celebrate.
Finding those topics has encouraged me to use writing as an outlet for the things that occasionally swirl around inside my head and are in need of expressing, but which I find difficulty expressing out loud to another person face-to-face. Writing allows me to put things across I am unable to — or unwilling to — talk to people about in person, in other words. Interestingly, though, the more I write about things, the more I feel I am able to actually talk about them too; perhaps because I know that some people have read the things I’ve written and thus know all the most pertinent details before I start actually addressing them directly.
It’s been a helpful form of quasi-therapy, in other words; it allows me to work through things that might feel like they were unresolvable or frustrating if I left them inside my head. Sometimes the things I want to talk about really are unresolvable, but the simple act of communicating them in some way relieves some of the “pressure” because I’ve been able to express how I’m feeling — and indirectly help other people understand what it is I’m thinking.
So, as long as I have an Internet connection, a keyboard and working fingers, I have no intention of stopping just yet. I do occasionally ask myself why I keep bothering when my regular reader numbers are so (relatively) low, but my answer is pretty much always the same: I’m writing for me first and foremost; if other people derive some entertainment, comfort or understanding from it, so much the better, but my first priority when I write is always expressing my own thoughts and feelings.