Mary tagged me to express what I expect to get from my blog. I was determined after the last meme not to get involved with any more for a while, but two things have contributed to me taking this one up.
The first is I’m one of those who nudged, cajoled and generally encouraged Mary to take up blogging, so I feel it would be unfair to ignore a request from her.
Secondly, as I started trying to think about this topic I ended up on a journey to the core of what motivates me for just about anything. This post has been written and rewritten and rewritten again, as each time I’ve stripped away another level why I like blogging.
It’s easy enough to list the rewards of blogging, like friendships, a place to practice different writing styles, the recording of ideas, and vague hopes that someone might discover me and offer me lots of money.
But more than any of this it’s a need to be read.
There are some people who write because they are compelled to write – it wouldn’t matter if they were never read, they would still write. I am not driven in that way.
My compulsion is to communicate: to pass on ideas, thoughts and feelings; to change people’s perception of themselves, of others, of the world.
I love to help people grow.
I love to help people survive.
I love to help people think in ways that challenge their assumptions and broaden their outlooks.
I am desperate to feel that I have made some impact on the world; that it is different because I was here.
That it matters whether I live or die.
That it matters whether I ever existed.
At the heart of it all I am still crying out to an indifferent universe, trying to force some kind of imprint on to it.
Man’s ultimate quest for meaning: in a meaningless universe you can only create your own.
I don’t deal particularly well with solitude – I need other people to feed back to me that I exist, and that it matters.
Blogging is one aspect of this, as is being a husband and father, teaching philosophy, playing the mandolin at folk sessions, helping friends, and making people laugh, smile or think in different ways.
So what do I get out of blogging; why do I do it? Developing my writing skills, friendships, dreams of fame and fortune – of course.
But ultimately it contributes to a sense of validation.
It helps show me I’m alive.