Why do we blog?

A blog friend recently retired… Or, more likely, decided to step away from blogging for awhile. I both admire and understand his decision. Blogging can become a drain on time. The dopamine released when others comment, like, validate our thoughts has been proven to create online addiction. The instant validation temporarily beats the years we wrestle with other creative projects. And, sometimes, blogging can feel selfish, vain…

Still, I find reasons to stay. Blogging is an instant creative release, the kind of regular writing that makes you into a better writer. It provides a way to practice the craft in short bursts, to get the fingers moving, the mind thinking. It is a window into the real lives of other people I would never meet in my regular world. It is a source of friendship, camaraderie, inspiration. For me, blogging provides a way to be brave, to put myself out there, to stop caring so much what other people think. It is powerful medicine.

Even so, I sometimes feel tempted to do the same thing as my friend, to hit delete or disappear. Sometimes it feels like too much of me out in the world or like a waste of time when I could be doing something more productive. Then I think of blogging as my hobby. I enjoy it. Words help me process the world, connect, live. In that context, it is a much better hobby than many of the alternatives, at least for me. After all, the whole point of having hobbies is to take a break from always having to be productive, right?

What is blogging to you?

Much like riding shotgun while my husband races, blogging was one of those instances in life where I had to push myself to be brave.

I recently pushed myself to ride shotgun with my husband while he raced (his hobby of choice). Blogging is kind of the same thing. Sometimes it feels scary to put myself out there, but I still hold on tight and hit publish, and it gets less scary the more times around the track.

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12 thoughts on “Why do we blog?

  1. jeffo says:

    I think when you stop enjoying blogging, it’s time to walk away from it, either for short or long term. I confess, part of why I got into blogging is because I thought it was something I was ‘supposed’ to do, but it is something I (mostly) enjoy.

  2. kingmidget says:

    One of the biggest reasons I have temporarily retired is that it is an ever-expanding medium. More followers, more commenters, more blogs to follow. Don’t want to get back into it again until I can figure out the right way to keep it under control. And that’s the key. As long as it’s under control, there’s nothing wrong with blogging. Hope you keep it up.

  3. I started my blog as a sort of public “journal”, I’m still really shy about having people I know in real life reading it but I do love the feeling of having things in common with people I haven’t gotten the chance to get to know yet! Also, good for you for riding shotgun with your hubby, don’t think I’d have the guts to do that!

    • oliviaobryon says:

      The shyness about people you know reading wears off– although it still catches me off guard when I tell someone something and they say, “Oh yeah, I read it on your blog.” I forget that I put so much out there πŸ™‚ And, thanks, it took me a couple years to finally ride with him last month. It ended up being a lot of fun when I got over being nervous… Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. It’s interesting to think how on one end blogging helps me to put myself out there as a risk, like you mentioned. But then only to sit and wait for others acceptance! It is a good practice but hard when it is not accepted. Acceptance builds my confidence while a quiet comment section keeps me humble! I often wonder why I blog sometimes as well and have taken many breaks along the way. But I keep on coming back for one reason or another because, for the most part, it is a safe place for my voice that I struggle with having in my everyday life.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Beautifully put Ashley! I think it is very much the same for me, a place to express myself when I often do not speak up as loudly in my day-to-day life. It’s really interesting how we all come and go from time-to-time. I relate to the humble feeling of a quiet comment section, versus the excitement of an active blog. It’s an interesting journey, mostly I’m just grateful it has helped me learn to be braver!

  5. Blogging helps me organize my thoughts. I often use it as a way to share the varied thoughts that ramble around in my head. It’s also a type of warm up for my “serious” writing. By serious, I don’t mean subject matter…more geared toward my manuscript.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I agree! It is definitely a good way to get the wheels moving– I find it helps me process life and writing, as well as get me ready for our more “serious” work πŸ˜‰

  6. patricia says:

    I blog just to do something. I enjoy it as well it’s fun.

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