I’ve been spilling my brain here for…what, a year and a half? About that. This blog had been one of my more consistent endeavors for a while now. So, why do I do it? Why take on another writing project? That’s what blogging is: another project that takes time and effort. Didn’t I have enough of those going on with the novels and short stories that are constantly clamoring for attention?
Here are three reasons why:
1) It’s a deadline. Committing to a regular posting schedule is a deadline. If I say I’m doing something Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, then by god there’s going to be a new post unless something fucked up happens. Or I’m on vacation.
Now, it’s not that I picture you lot anxiously refreshing the webpage until the new post goes up.* But there is someone, out there, who will notice if I don’t get it done. Someone besides me. So there’s a deadline.
Blogging can be a great way to get used to functioning within the constraints of other people’s time, and using it as a spur for your own shit. It’s easy to blow off a day’s writing if no one sees it except you**. It’s harder when there’s someone else watching, even if it’s someone you don’t know. Especially if it’s someone you don’t know, because your friends might forgive you. The internet will turn away in a second and forget you forever in the next ten.
2) It’s a sandbox. I write tons of stuff that’s never intended for publication. Journal entries, experimental scenes, characters that just wanted to say hi…seriously, my hard drive is full of this stuff. I have it all in a couple of giant files labelled Junk Drawer, 20XX. It’s stuff that’s fun and interesting and allows me to stretch a little.
The blog is like that. I use it as a way to sound out ideas, test theories, get my own thoughts in order about certain topics and techniques. Why did I like that first person narrator, and not this one? Why does this setting work, and that one fall flat? Why did this writing schedule work, and that one lead only to me banging my head against the keyboard in frustration? Why am I so constantly annoyed by the mewling ranks of wannabe writers who can’t muster the guts to put their words down?***
Ideas need to be tested. In an unholy gauntlet of fire and poison arrows and attack gibbons. Only then can they be useful. And even then, they might not be useful for very long. Writing about this shit forces me to test my own ideas, give them real thought, because once I hit ‘Publish’, all this shit it out there on the internet. And no one wants to look like a fool on the Internet.
3) It’s a soapbox. I love the sound of my own voice. Seriously, ask anyone.
No one wants to be a writer unless they’re at least a little bit arrogant. And I passed ‘a little bit’ a long time ago.
My words, my ideas, my story…it’s all about us. We think we have something important to say, and we’re going to do what it takes to make sure that other people hear it. Well, sometimes the stuff I have to say doesn’t fit into a story or a book. Hence this blog. It gets some of these thoughts out of my head. And it allows me to piss all over this little corner of the Internet and say, this is mine.
That’s what I got. Others, tell me: why do you blog? Or, if you don’t, what would make you consider starting?
*But if you do, then, you know, awesome.
**And, possibly, whatever NSA spy-bot is lurking in your hard drive.
***Okay, sometimes it’s an easy answer