My parents have asked this question several times.
It made me think. I know why I write, but why do I blog? Why do I write up my thoughts and post them online for anyone to read? Especially when I could scribble them down on paper?
Who, exactly, is my intended audience?
Some people blog to stay in touch with family and friends. I follow several such blogs, but I am not one of those bloggers. I can count on one hand the number of times a family member has mentioned reading or even knowing of my blog. As for my friends, they’re either on Facebook constantly updating statuses or they’re not online much at all because they are absolutely nuts when it comes to reading. Over three years I’ve acquired a weird, lovely bunch of followers – some of whom have been reading almost from the very beginning – but hardly anyone I actually know reads this.
That’s a weird thought.
So I don’t blog to keep family and friends up to date on what I’ve been doing. What about blogging with the intent of using my blog for Official Stuff like college or getting published? I’ve heard that, for teens who want to major in some type of writing, it can help to have a blog because it shows both your writing and your commitment. It shows that writing is important to you because every so often you took the time to practice and improve. Well, I’m not blogging for that reason, either. Oh, I would certainly consider providing the link in a transcript or whatever, but that’s just because it’s convenient. That’s not the reason I started blogging or even the reason I continue.
I want to be a published author someday, but I don’t blog so that I can turn this into an author website someday. When I’m published, I’d probably keep blogging here but (if I can afford it) I’d get another website with a more professional design and maybe my real name as the URL. I’m also not blogging to get published. I suppose if I’m querying agents about publishing a book (or more likely, a short story) I would mention that I have a blog but again, that’s not what drives me to blog.
I don’t even blog for school. I follow some blogs written by homeschoolers as part of their English studies and my parents do count my writing here as working on English, but this blog is not expressly for school. I didn’t start it because it was assigned, although I think I would have it enjoyed it either way.
I don’t blog for family, friends, college admissions people, literary agents, or teachers.
I blog for me.
I love the idea of keeping a diary. Notice the word ‘idea’. In reality, I’ve started and stopped, started and stopped, started and stopped. Over and over and over again. I keep a diary for a few weeks at a time and then I forget where it is. Or I just plain lose interest.
Or I get sick of the hand cramps that come from handwriting. I may not be the world’s fastest typist – I have small hands, OK? – but I’d much rather type than handwrite. I would not be able to write as much or as often as I do were it not for this computer, Adele. (So named because she is a Dell!) I’d much rather keep an online diary so I can write to my heart’s content without wincing about my hand and then procrastinating on writing about my day.
And that leads me to the other cool thing about using a public journal as my diary: I can write about more than just my day. It would seem weird to, I don’t know, review books in a paper diary, but I can do that here. Even better, I have a nonsensical, silly title instead of one like “Nevillegirl’s Book Reviews”. Because my blog’s name does not specify its content, I can write about anything.
Over the past three years some of my post topics have included books, reading, writing, homeschooling, college, Harry Potter, humor, LGBTQ+, NaNoWriMo, being a teen, Tolkien, STEM mentoring, fictional characters, fantasy, Teens Can Write Too!, the Good-Sinful Alliance, photography, blog awards, authors, science fiction, goals, film scores, music in general, 4-H, The Hunger Games, movies, Doctor Who, YA fiction – and yes, my life. Here, I can dump thoughts about absolutely whatever I wish.
I used to feel guilty about not keeping a diary until I realized a little while ago that I do. My blog is my diary – I know that’s true for many bloggers but because I’m stupid, it took me the longest time to work that out, to figure out what I was doing. I’ve been doing so longer and more consistently than I ever have before. It may not be a conventional diary but it’s mine and it’s fun to write. As it should be. Not all things in life can be fun but I do think the stuff important to you should be.
I love having followers – currently, over two hundred! – but ultimately, I’m not writing for them. Sorry if that sounds rude, but originally I started a blog just to have a blog, not to put my thoughts out to anyone in particular. Your awesome comments are just a nice bonus. I didn’t have a real reason for wanting one. I just did. I didn’t even know who I was writing for, especially during the first year or so when I had, like, eight followers.
Now it seems obvious. I’m writing for me. I write here because it’s easier than a conventional diary. I write here because it’s fun having such a wide range of possible topics. I write here for my own enjoyment. An audience of one.