Blogging is like becoming an expat, you get to meet folks from all around the world, but you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s brilliant. Of course, just like traveling, you meet some great and not-so-great folks on the road. Sometimes the connection last only the strength of the holiday and other times something more long lasting is built.
The older I get, the more I realize how much EVERYTHING has to do with RELATIONSHIPS. How we communicate, what we choose to say or hold back and everything else between the sheets, learning to foster healthy and happy relationships with people is where sanity lies and society lives.
Now that I’ve been blogging consistently for about 5 years, I can’t imagine not blogging. It’s in a sexy marriage with my passion for reading and writing and my new love for taking lots of pictures where ever I go and making my friends wait while I photograph their meals.
So here’s my list, my ode to blogging and why I think blogging is the cat’s meow, dog’s bark, cow’s moo, duck’s quack, lion’s roar, elephant’s trumpet, donkey’s heehaw (okay, we get it) and, well, alright then.
1. Blogging creates conversations. I remember when I started to write about my experiences as an Asian American in Thailand and my high school friend Chieni wrote to me about how she had had the same feelings of discrimination as a Taiwanese American in Taiwan. I was genuinely surprised because Chieni speaks Chinese and as far as I could tell had gone back and forth from the States with more frequency which in my mind added up to a smoother transition and no problems with acceptance.
It was an interesting insight that I don’t think would have happened otherwise. I mean, sure, it could have happened over green tea and cookies, but we haven’t lived in the same town since high school and this topic opened other imaginary doors with other AA friends and even enlightened (you’re welcome) non-AA friends, too.
Also, the good girls at She is Fierce and The Lady Errant started a feminist link up which got me thinking about whether or not I am a feminist! Am I a feminist? It is simply not something that I have thought about even though I went to college and all that good stuff. I find reading their perspectives and those who have participated to be far more meaningful than what Hollywood A-listers have to say on the matter. (I know, celebrities are people, too, but they get enough attention.)
2. Blogging a good way to test new ideas out. After I wrote my book, the missing teacher and failed to get it picked up by a literary agent, I decided that I would blog it. And as it turned out, I was encouraged by private emails that I have received over the years. Yes, there were comments and I’ve had nasty ones, too, because of the controversial nature of the subject matter, but I was emboldened by the support and the response. So, I returned to my original idea of “this matters” and slogged through the editing process and am self-publishing. Yay!
3. You are always learning. I suppose this one is a bit groan-worthy as constantly keeping up with technology and tools can bring you to tears and lots of beers. I’ve had my fair share of Groundhog Day moments in the world of “why won’t this work” hell, and googling “_____” problem with open-in-a-new-tab reckless anger and futile hope. In fact, I think I’ve had my allotted fill of technical snafus, so thank you, computer gods, I’m good, I’m good.
Oh, right. Yeah, learning, always growing and such, great stuff, love it…
4. I’m in control. Now, I know this one seems diametrically opposed to the previous one, but let’s face it, we bloggers don’t have deadlines (unless we give them to ourselves), restrictions and other rules that prevent us from getting our work out there. In fact, if we wanted to, we could hit publish with nothing, but a quick life update or a picture of a cat in a sweater.
I like that I have my own aesthetics to please and my own agenda (whatever that is) in my blogging world that I call Life, the Universe and Lani. Control gives me freedom to spin around themes and ideas and directions that everyday work usually doesn’t allow. I like having my own space to play. And I think this is important. People need an outlet, a creative one, a physical one and a mental one, as well.
5. Because it’s fun. Blogging is obviously a beloved hobby by many, otherwise we wouldn’t have the crazy statistics on blogging that we do.
But for me, I enjoy blogging, which is why I continue to do it despite its ups and downs. I’m inspired by your posts and I like learning about new places, peoples and points of view. I also truly believe that the extraordinary can be found in the ordinary and through everyday voices. I think this is why I chose to follow bloggers who are interested in having a conversation. I liken it to reality, you know, the world away from laptops and smart phones.
If I’m talking to you and you don’t talk back then eventually I have to find someone who is interested in what I have to say, too. I’m a big girl, so I get it, you might not find a connection with me or my voice, but like I said in the beginning, everything is about relationships and how we treat one another. I think blogging can force us to be better people. Of course, it can go the other way, it can always go the other way, but hopefully we make the right choice because I think the rewards are in this direction.
Why do you blog?