Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Why I Blog (5 Years in)

This blog reached the age of five on April 12, 2015.  The occasion went unnoticed by me or anyone else because at that time, this blog had gone dark for over a year.  In fact, the blog has been dark for most of the past 4 years since I have been gainfully employed.  Yet, this semester I picked up again writing on the blog on a semi-regular basis (about three times a week).

I thought this would be a good time to revisit the question of why I blog (see my post from November 2010 discussing the same question).

I have wrestled a bit over this past semester with this question.  Am I looking for self promotion in my field (as I was five years ago while on the job market)?  Am I looking for recognition?  Am I looking to gain followers?  But, the consistent answer to all of these questions have been a resounding no. In fact, I am not even sure if I could envision an ideal audience for this blog.  I am not writing for fellow scholars.  Not all of my posts are relevant to a broad range of people. In the end I have come to the conclusion that  I do not blog for anyone other than myself.  That may sound selfish, or narcissistic, but in the end, this blog is a tool for my writing.

I picked up the blog at the beginning of this semester because I have not written much in the past 4 1/2 years since I have been a full time professor.  But, on the few occasions that I have had to write things, I have found that it is like pulling teeth.  I am out of practice.  I cannot get my thoughts down on paper (or on the screen) the way I would like.  So, merely as a tool for practicing my writing, I decided to start blogging again.

Now, in theory I could practice writing in any number of ways.  I could simply create a personal journal in Microsoft Word.  But for some reason, that does not hold the same allure. There is something about putting my thoughts out there in public that is more appealing than just keeping a private writing library. I don't have any expectations for readership.  I don't feel pressure to gain readers or followers.  I have just been looking to practice my writing and thinking.  I have loved blogging this semester and trying to get my thoughts down in a sustained manner.

Now, blogging does come with some nice extra benefits.  I have been able to interact with others on my topics.  I have reconnected with some other bloggers. I have met some new bloggers thanks to the Bloggers dinner at the SBL conference.  But, none of those benefits are why I blog.  I blog just for me.  These other benefits are simply the icing on the cake.  If you are reading this, I hope you enjoy. If what I write is interesting or stimulating.  I would love your thoughts and comments.  If on the other hand you are bored.  So be it.  This blog is for me.

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