I started blogging three and a half years ago in the fall of 2008. I took it up for no particular reason — except that everybody was blogging, so it seemed as if I should give it a try. Also, I’d just quit my job and needed — well, what? Some kind of anchor or structure to my life, I’m guessing.
Anyway, I started blogging and took to it almost immediately. I’m not a very talkative person, so didn’t think I’d have much to say. Turned out, I did. I blogged regularly, once I got the hang of it. I wrote about politics, my daily life, family, men, women, marriage, friendships, things that made me happy, things I found funny, things that broke my heart.
I broke the cardinal rule of blogging by not having a niche or particular subject I wrote about. I also lacked a constant tone. Sometimes, I was morose, other times, a wiseacre. I joked about cancer, I whined about colds.
But, niche-free and emotionally erratic, I kept blogging. I loved it. I went around telling people I was born to blog. Since I’d always been attracted to low-paying work, I told people, blogging was perfect for me since it paid nothing.
Anyway, I never seemed to lack for anything to write about and I was always motivated to hit the keyboard and opine about something, anything. I wrote about everything from the healing power of gelato to getting an MRI to realizing why I should stop whining and get some fucking perspective.
For some reason, that all came to a halt last week. I didn’t feel like blogging. The thought of it depressed me. I avoided my office, I stayed away from my computer; both seemed to reproach me for my inactivity. Maybe it was because I had a lingering malaise from a cold or that my husband was out of town for too long. Maybe too much activity, between moving and having a novel come out, had worn me down. I didn’t feel depressed (I know, too well, what that’s like — and it’s hideously painful). But I did feel down. I couldn’t imagine writing when I felt so depleted of any kind of energy or humor. So I didn’t.
This week, I feel better. But I’ve been asking myself questions I’ve never asked before. Why do I blog? What difference does it make? What good does it do?
If you write, I’d be curious how you answer those questions yourself. If you read my blog, I’d like to know what you find in it and why you come back to it.
I know, I know: It sounds like I’m fishing for compliments. Probably because I am. But, you know, sometimes you just have to fish or cut bait. Let me know what you think. I need to hear it.
(Copyright 2011 by Ruth Pennebaker)