Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why We-blog

"Why do you blog?": This isn't the first time I've been asked this very simple question. Back in 2005, when I was excitedly announcing to everyone that I was about to start MY OWN blog, a friend of mine did wonder the same. She argued that all the benefits of a blog could be achieved by having one's own personal diary, then why exhibit one's personal life to the scrutiny of a voyeuristic surfer-by? I don't think my answer was very convincing then, because I was just doing something that seemed right to me. The basic elements seemed to be in place- I could write, I was happy to write, and I had things to write about. What else did one need!

Two years, 30 posts and a revival of a almost-dead blogging career later though, I think I have a fair idea why. A hectic social life and the coincidental timing of me relocating to a new country have left me with very little time to blog- but somehow I keep wanting to go back to it.

It's primarily because I always have a lot to say. I'm somewhat opinionated (though I like to keep an open mind!), I feel strongly about certain things and I'm curious about almost everything. And I love sharing with everyone those small incidents that are probably just worth a chuckle. Though my closest friends often wiggle their way out of having to listen to my funny anecdotes, I never give up: I always find opportunities to insert them into casual conversations. Blogging is another method I employ to expand my victim circle.

But most importantly, for a person like me, the very public nature of blogging is something very essential to bringing out the best in my writing. I have written diaries in the past- a year later I would read them and find them so boring, because they were an exact replica of my usual thoughts- verbose and haphazard. Only when I blog is when I sit down and order them, construct meaning out of them and present them concisely (ok, relatively speaking!). The fear of writing a bad post and getting negative feedback on it always plays on the blogger's mind- and she/ he responds to it by being one's own critic, proofreader and editor. And that's where one transcends writing to a higher level.

This may sound strange, but after you become a regular blogger, the one-way traffic lane between your mind and the blog transforms into a duplex exchange. For initially, you write everything that you think, but then you soon exhaust all of them. When the mind then starts hunting for different topics to blog, and finds something interesting (like this post!), it becomes attuned to thinking more towards it and completing the thought's incomplete silhouette. Thus blogging helps me think more, think better, and think focussed. (That could be used as a tagline by Blogger!)

And of course, it helps me reach out to people in an efficient way. Feels good to see comments from friends I haven't met in years, and to meet new interesting people. What's been fabulous is a few complete strangers who emailed me complaining about me being so lazy with my writing- that has really spurred me on. To know that people connect with/ mull over almost every thought you put out is a massive sense of achievement. As Sudha points out, its just another medium for a people-hungry extrovert to expand his social associations! :)