What is a blog, anyway? Sure, the term evolved from the concept of the “web log,” the idea that someone would put their thoughts down on a computer screen and post them to the “world-wide web” so anyone could read them. Must have been a heady time back then, knowing that all you wrote could be seen by everybody. But the concept has grown almost out of control and I now understand that several million blogs exist that compete for all our time and attention. Including this one.
So, why blog anymore? Or, more to the point, why would I blog? What do I and my readers get out of it? Well, I can’t really speak for the few regular readers I have, but I can put down a few comments on why I blog. I could just as easily put my thoughts down on paper, either by physically writing them down in longhand and filing them away, or typing them out on the computer and printing them out. I could, but I don’t. That’s unsatisfying because my writings wouldn’t be seen by anyone else. And that brings up the central aspect of blogging: that there’s more to blogging than just writing.
Oh, I do enjoy the writing aspect of blogging. For several reasons. Let’s examine those first. (Drum roll, please.)
First, I blog regularly, every Sunday afternoon, and the requirement for coming up with a blog post once a week helps focus my mind. Many of my blog posts (like this one) are not related to the science fiction I write, at least not directly, and I’m forced to shift mental gears (I know, bad comparison) and think about something else for a change.
Second, but related to the first point above, blogging gets me to thinking about all sorts of nonfiction topics, from writing to science, and forces me to put my thoughts down on a regular basis. It gets me away from fiction into nonfiction. That’s good exercise for a writer. Keeps the mind working all the time. Or at least every Sunday.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, blogging gives me a chance to get my opinions out there to the world at large. Not that I’m all that conceited or have an exaggerated opinion of myself or my blogs, but I do believe my opinions are important in the grand scheme of things. I have something to say, and I say it. I don’t really have that many regular readers, but my blog postings are always there, held deeply within the bowels of the WordPress servers. They can always be accessed by anyone who wants to see them, and there they will remain until either I croak or Kim Kardashian becomes President, whichever comes first. If my readership increases in the future, everything I wrote will be available to new readers.
And I expect to continue blogging for the foreseeable future, too. Comments, anyone?