Have you ever wondered, what’s the point of blogging? Who cares anyway?
I have, frequently.
In a recent blog Here’s the Secret to Perseverance in Blogging (or Why We Should Continue Writing Even If We Feel that No-one is Reading) I gave my reasons for continuing to blog, even though I am not sure that I have many readers.
And yet I still wonder why do I write?
So now I’m going to write in praise of the art of writing itself, and why I believe that writing of any kind can support our wellbeing. And if it supports wellbeing, it’s worth doing, right?
Where it began
I have always been an avid reader and, through that reading, was often motivated to write for myself. I wrote short stories, poetry, first chapters of novels and non-fiction, purely for my own amusement. I have spent a large amount of time during my career in education introducing young people to great writers as well as encouraging them to become writers themselves. Having been a lifelong reading ambassador and a strong supporter of various creative writing initiatives, it seemed to be a natural progression to advance my love of writing through starting my own blogsite. And although I started the blog to chart my journey of returning to photography after many years, it has become much more than that. It has become an outlet for self-expression, and it has taken me down exciting paths exploring all sorts of topics that appeal to me.
To me, the art of writing has many benefits. It helps me clarify my thoughts and gives me an outlet for my emotions. Writer and poet Michael Rosen once said,
“Writing down what we think and feel is a great way to remember things and a great way to share with others the things we care about.”
Blog writing is my current choice of writing medium, but why blog writing specifically? What is it about writing a blog that is beneficial to me, and to you? Here are a few reasons worth mentioning:
Blog writing encourages personal development. It develops resilience and perseverance to keep going, even when facing a ‘lean’ period. As a means of self expression, it encourages us to explore our interests and increase our understanding of our topic or subject matter. It develops concentration and attention, keeps our mind constantly alert and increases our awareness of ourselves and our beliefs.
Blogging is a way of sharing experiences and connecting with others. To quote Michael Rosen again:
“What you write about becomes part of the way we all find out together what matters and what the possible ways to behave, think and feel about things are.”
It helps clarify our thoughts and “keeps the mental rust from forming.”
It encourages us to keep learning. Through our blog writing we are more inclined to constantly look for more sources of inspiration and insight for our writing through reading books and online articles, listening to podcasts, watching videos and doing research on our subject.
Through consistent writing we build up a ‘body of work’ to which we can refer, which we can re-read and develop thoughts and ideas from an earlier stage, and which helps us reflect on where we are now and how we have progressed.
Blog writing, as all writing, is an ideal activity for entering a ‘flow’ state, a state in which you become fully absorbed in the task at hand, aware only of the creative process in which you are engaged.
Writing about topics which interest and engage us helps us to define our vision. We all have our vision, the way in which we look at the world. Our perspective on the world, our opinion of the people in it, the things we find beautiful, interesting or just crazy, are the things which form our vision. Our vision changes as we grow, experience more, learn new things and discover new ways of doing. How we think about life changes so our perspective is ever responding, and this gives great value to our writing. If we are to hold on to our evolving vision, we need a way to keep in touch with the deeper places within us from where our vision springs. Writing helps us in this process; it helps us to be self-aware, alert to our thoughts and feelings, and it allows us to explore, for ourselves and others, the changing ways that we express our vision.
Not all of us will become great writers, or indeed even good writers. We may never publish a best seller or see our book on any bookshelves, but through blogging we have a chance to express ourselves, publish our writing and have our voice heard by an audience, however small. To me that is a real joy, and a reason to keep on blogging despite the down times.
“In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” Meg Rosoff.