Wednesday, December 14, 2005


300 reasons to blog

Okay, not really 300 reasons. But I noticed a lot of my favourite bloggers (Suzanne, Ann, Jen and Phantom, to name a few) have been taking on the question "why do I blog" lately, and I wanted to get in on some of that action. And then I noticed when I was cranking up Blogger that today is my 300th post! That's 300 posts in about 320 days... and I was worried when I started blog that I'd have commitment issues.

So, why do I blog?

When I started blogging, it was like this: the camera went into soft focus, music swelled in the background, and I took blog in my arms and spun it lovingly through a field of daisies, asking "Where have you been all my life?" and ravaging it with kisses.

I've always wanted to write, and I've always been complimented on my writing. I got into communications because of my love of words, but somehow writing communication strategies and media lines on the latest government initiatives didn't feel like a creative stretch for me.

In the beginning, blogging really was just about exercising that creative muscle. It was a chance to write often, in small doses and on various topics in a variety of styles. I can't tell you how good it feels to write every day. Even more intoxicating is that elusive "ahhh" moment, when I catch just the right turn of phrase and know I've not only written something, but written it well.

I used to say I wanted to write, but I lacked imagination and could never think of anything worth writing about. Blog takes care of that - when in doubt, write about everything. Feeling cheeky today? Blog it. Feeling bitchy today? Blog it. Feeling alone and bewildered and overwhelmed? Blog it. Blogging is also an extension of the (some might say annoying) habit of mine to read out loud the interesting bits in the newspaper. I blog to say, "Hey, did you see this? What do you think about it?"

Just before I started this blog, I was at a friend's house (Hi Kim!) with a bunch of friends, admiring their scrapbooks. I loved the idea of scrapbooks, had made them before they were so in vogue, and had tonnes of photos of the boys and stories to tell. And yet I could never seem to get organized enough to have the ideas, the time and the supplies together at once. Kim mentioned she scrapbooks because she sees herself as the family historian, and that's a phrase that has resonated with me throughout my blogging 'career'. That's another huge part of why I blog - to capture the elusive bits of story we thread like beads on a string to make a meaningful whole out of the vignettes of every day life. It's the story of my boys, the big one and the two little ones, and how I love them so.

And the whole feedback thing? Nah, that has nothing to do with why I am a blog junkie.

Seriously, who knew? Who would have ever guessed how intoxicating hearing back from people would be? I continue to be astonished at how many people drop by here on a given day, and how clever and witty and insightful your comments are. Almost a year later, and I am still amazed that you're still here, still reading, still interested in what I have to say. I started to write blog because it felt so good to stretch that creative muscle, but I keep writing because I am truly addicted to the idea that every single day, people read what I write and occasionally take the time to write back to me. Wow.

So blogging is all about me. It's the most self-indulgent thing I do, and it gives me validation in more ways than I can list.

But there's this whole other element to blogging - being part of the blog community, and especially of the mom (and dad) blogging community. Blogging has bolstered me on bad days, and danced with me on the cloud tops on good days. Ann got it right when she said that "mother-bloggers are such interesting people. They tend to be smart, articulate, well-read, opinionated, and passionate." In fact, that's one of my only complaints about blogging - I wish I could have all of my favourite bloggers over for a dinner party some day, because I like and admire them so much and I think the conversation would have us rolling on the floor laughing one minute and weeping into our wine glasses the next - and yet I'll probably never meet most of these people in person.

I may be teetering on the edge of hyperbole, but I have to say that blogging has made me a better person. I've learned a lot about myself, but I've also learned a lot from the parenting 'experts' out there - not the ones with the credentials, but the ones in the trenches, sending dispatches from the edge of hysteria on everything from potty training to Prada shoes and all points in between.

I blog because I can, and I blog because I can't imagine what I'd do if I couldn't.