(From a wedding I shot recently)
I have found there are two types of people when it comes to blogs: those that get it, and those that don't. Neither one is better than the other, mind you; it's just that people tend to fall into one of those two categories.
The ones who "get it" may or may not have their own blog. But either way, they love to read other people's blogs. When they meet someone else that uses the word "blog" or they overhear it in conversation, they get just a little bit giddy inside - "Hey! She must be just like me!" Those that "get it" also love to tell other people stories that they've read on their weekly blog reads. They also may have certain bloggers in common that they follow, like The Pioneer Woman, Angie Smith, or MckMama.
We learn from other bloggers how to do fun or useful things. We learn more about ourselves, and more about God. It is a fast and condensed form of reading (which used to be one of my main hobbies, until I had to do a Directed Reading for my MA program of 5,000 pages, suddenly had to be prescribed glasses, and declared that I would never read a book again- but I digress). It is a little bit like reading a magazine; you can get through a post in 5 minutes and come back to it later if you want to. I can honestly say that reading blogs has helped me to become a better mother and wife, as I have been encouraged by others. I have learned new strategies for dealing with stress and household chores. I have seen that other moms have the same struggles as I do, and it helps me to relate to others better. In addition, I have made some real friends through blogging! These are people who I have never met in person, but we keep in touch aside from our blogs and would love to meet someday.
I blog because writing is an outlet for me. I really only have 1 hobby, and this is it. Some people scrapbook, some people crochet, some people cook, some people clean. For me, I write.
There are also those who don't get what blogging is, and ask questions that come off a little cynical at times. Questions like "Gee, when do you have time to blog? I'm so busy that I don't have time to do anything like that." or "Yeah, that's not my thing. I'd rather connect with people for real, like on the phone or face-to-face." In a way I think they're putting bloggers down, mainly because they don't understand it. It's okay if you don't understand it.
So, here are my responses to those two questions/comments that I get all the time. In response to the "Gee, when do you have time to blog?" question, I mainly blog at night, after the kids are in bed. Sometimes I will start a post earlier in the day and finish it later. But it's just like any other hobby. You fit it in because you love it. Don't worry, I am not neglecting my children (because that's another misconception about mommy bloggers). I don't do it every day, but try to at least 3x a week.
In response to the "I'd rather connect with people on the phone or in person" comment, I am thankful that I do regularly connect with people in the real world. But I don't have time to be on the phone more than 3 minutes once a day, so I hardly ever talk on the phone. If anything, blogging has enriched my personal relationships by getting to know people on a deeper level. I blog about things I may never normally have a conversation with you about, yet the next time we see each other, we can connect in a new way because we have connected through the power of our life's stories.
So, why do I blog?
1) Because it's fun!
2) Because it is an outlet
3) Because I want every mother who reads my blog to know that she is not alone. I want every woman who reads my blog to be encouraged. I want every person who reads my blog to experience Jesus.
It would be great if this blog grew and had thousands of readers. Not because I want to be famous, but because I want to encourage others and reach out, and it is a form of ministry to me. Yet many bloggers think that bigger numbers means they have a better blog. In the efforts to get more followers, there are "Follow Me Friday" link ups all over the web, but all they really do is give you followers so that they can get you as a follower. They are NOT necessarily readers of your blog. I tried it once, but quickly got tired of the "I'll follow you if you follow me" comments. I won't do that again.
Some bloggers get paid to blog, in essence, because they have sponsors or advertisers. I may pursue this at some point, but I like the feel of having control over my content and not feeling like I have to write about any particular thing. It is also a lot less stressful to not have to deal with the whole business side of the blogging world.
For now, this blog will stay what it is, and I'm okay with that. I appreciate each and every one of you who take time to stop by each week. It really means so much to me that you would be the least bit interested in something I would have to say. I love reading your comments, and I love the conversations we have in person, too. It is always encouraging to know who is reading, as I have no way of knowing without comments or knowing you in person.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of why people blog in general, and why I choose to blog. If you blog, why do you do it?