WHY DO BLOGGERS BLOG?
There’s a blog out there -- somewhere, by someone, about some thing -- written for whatever interests you.
If one is interested in learning about any particular topic, they can find it on the Internet. Better yet, one can learn about what other people are saying and thinking about a particular topic by finding it in a blog, written by someone, somewhere, who no doubt has strong feelings about whatever it is they’re writing. But not everyone with passion about a topic will write or blog about it. What, really, moves people to get up off their duff to willfully
share, in writing, their opinions, ideas, and suggestions in a blog? I don’t claim to know the answer to this question, which could also be framed “Why Do Writers Write?” but I chanced upon a successful and well known writer who does.
A few months ago I began publishing a website after learning about the do-it-yourself websites that allow one to do this economically. As for me, I was primarily interested, like other businessmen and professionals, in establishing an Internet presence for my medical practice. The Internet has now become a common route for many people in obtaining information about any business. It has for me. For one, I hardly ever use a phone book any more.
But after setting up the basic information like phone numbers, hours of operation and such, I entertained the possibility of writing a blog on the published website. I thought about what I might write about and wondered what I might be able to contribute that was fresh and insightful for anyone who cared
to read it. What new information, I thought, could a single physician add to this ocean of information that hasn’t been said by now or could be found with a quick Google search? Since I have a special interest in relationships and obesity, as well as preventive health issues, I thought those would be well-received subjects about which to write, but not everyone is interested in
these things even though taken together they comprise a very large part of our health world, if health happens to be your interest. Common to all bloggers is some difficulty in trying to determine what might be of interest to readers. It can be tricky trying to find truly interesting subjects with universal appeal.
A topic about why bloggers blog is probably not one of them. But if you’ve just read this line then I know I’ve misjudged you.
But having initiated these blogs, hopefully on things that might be of most interest to readers from all walks of life, I’ve paused to wonder why I, like others, am even interested in sharing in digital print my opinion, insight or suggestions – not that any of it might necessarily have significance or be of importance to anyone.
Consequently, I happen to have stumbled upon an insightful explanation. As a reader, primarily of nonfiction, I’ve had a special interest in the personal essay. The genre has elements akin to those found in a blog. Of those essayists I’ve read who are most notable, I find the writing of George Orwell appealing, not so much necessarily for its content or his opinions and political
views, although what he has to share is interesting, but more for its clarity and straightforward syntax. Compared to many other essayists his writing reads smoothly and his words flow across the eyes as easily as buttermilk descends a dry throat. But he happens to have written an essay entitled “Why I Write” in which he lists four reasons why any writer writes, and perhaps by my weak
extension, why any blogger might blog. They are as follows:
1. Sheer egoism – desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death
2. Aesthetic enthusiasm – perception of beauty in words and their right arrangement, rhythm, and sounds with one another
3. Historical impulse – desire to see things as they are, discover true facts and to store them up for the use of posterity
4. Political purpose – desire to push the world in a particular direction, to alter other people’s idea of the kind of society they should strive after
He says these four motives are at war with each other, some more dominating in some people than in others, and at more times than others. He confesses being unable to declare which of these motives are the strongest for him. But he goes on to say he knows which of these four motives deserves to be followed by writers who wish to write well. He admits that of all he has written that
anything that lacked political purpose was, in his own words, “humbug generally.”
I’m sure there are many bloggers who would disagree with Orwell about which of these motives causes one to write well, especially those who think their writing is good, or is good, and who blog about nonpolitical things like house repairs and the maintenance and care of a Pekingese dog. Anyone who’s cruised the Internet for any time has come to learn there are more things about which to blog than there are words in a library. Some bloggers’ writing, even those that are non-political, are much more appealing than others. One wonders what Orwell might have thought about today’s fascinating cyber technology and the ability of anyone to write and publish their opinions and ideas to the world. From this one might surmise that the distilled version of what he advanced was that good writing was borne more out of a passion driven by conflict and contradiction, than by anything else.
Regardless of the blogger or what moves him or her to write, everyone has something to share that may be of help to another either in thought or in deed. If you’ve been thinking about writing a blog, do it. As for me, I’m not sure why I’ve decided to blog other than to share perhaps something helpful to others. But I’m sure I, like others, probably suffer from a combination of the
four reasons on Orwell’s list. Nevertheless, but for the little that I’ve blogged to date I’ve come to appreciate anyone who has bothered to read anything I’ve ever posted. And consider it a privilege comparable to that in being able to assist someone in regaining their health or overcoming an illness. Hopefully, along the way, it’s been of some help to someone, somewhere, somehow.
Leave a Reply.