The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

What to expect from blogging

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.


PI said...

Well Kim I for one, think you do all of the above. And I'm grateful:)

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Great post. I relate to a lot of what you said in there, about getting a sense of validation. Definitely. Very cool.

Anna van Schurman said...

You blog therefore you are?

MikeP said...

Very existential, man!

First, someone invented blogs; so now we have to figure out their purpose.

Expect lots of angst on that quest.

karatemom said...

you do, you have, you will, you are, ..and I want to say ...thank you so much.

Charlie said...

I think I knew all this about you before you wrote it down: "you" show in all of your posts.

Especially when you're marking your territory.

Mary Witzl said...

You didn't have to encourage me too much, Kim: what you had to do was walk me through every millimeter of the setting-up process, which must have been awfully tiresome, and I really did -- and do -- appreciate it.

I kept my reasons pretty tongue-in- cheek, but if I'd been serious, my number one reason for writing is the desire to make an impact, to tell the world I was here and thought these things. I CAN write into a vacuum, but it is infinitely nicer to write something I know is going to be read. And blogging is great because you can connect with people instantly -- as many people as you can attract to your blog.

Freakazojd said...

Well you've certainly inspired me on a number of levels, regardless of whether I've acted on said inspiration yet, haha. The weight issue is the biggest of those at the moment (pardon the pun), and I am acting on that one already, huzzah! So thank you! :)

Carole said...

"I love to help people grow.I love to help people survive."

When Nebraska was born I was told there was this great network of blogs out there about DS and that it would help me learn more about her and what her needs would be. I popped in on several and through Vince's site I found yours. At the time though I was such a ball of pain that I couldn't think about DS and I noticed you had a post about why you didn't believe in God. And at the time I was so angry at God that I wanted to knock him on his ear, so I read it. And then your other posts on God and then your posts on DS and then your posts about Maggie's cooking. Then I began to think I was a cyber stalker and should quit reading all your posts. But each time I would come back to the reality of how you conveyed feelings, in a way that let me feel without shame. Because truly in the Christian world, you feel ashamed if you doubt God or want to punch him out. My faith grew stronger but completely different than I had been taught. It is still morphing. But mostly you helped me survive. And I will always be more than grateful you blogged, more than grateful I found your site, and more than grateful that you use your blog for something more than writing styles.

I am crying now, so I need to be done, but thanks Kim. Thanks a bunch.

Attila The Mom said...

Well there you go! All in a nutshell. :-)

In my opinion, you're like the Stephen King of blogs.

I don't mean the horror part.

You get to the nitty gritty of human nature, and when I read it I get the "ping!" of "Yeah---I been there, I identify with this!" that makes me follow you down the trail of any tale you want to tell.

It's a gift. You have it.

I'm so jellus.

But I still love you. ;-)

Attila The Mom said...


Write a book already. Then we get bragging rights and can say, "I knew him when he was missing a toof!"

MaLady said...

In a perfect world you would definetly be discovered and offered lots of money.

I've been trying to absorb whatever I can learn about your whole approach from the wordsmithing to your topics to the way you listen to others with your comments. Thanks for giving what you've got to share.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - thank you :)

FLG - thanks :)

Anna - I think for most people it's the other way round, but for me, yeah, probably :)

MikeP - I have a background in Philosophy, I can't help but be existential

KarateMom - thank you :)

Charlie - You've planted your orange and lemon trees - now I'm waiting for your book

Mary - you were enthusiastic - there's nothing more wonderful than teaching someone who wants to learn. And if you put it on hold, you'll miss the feedback

Freakazojd - you know what to do, and it's you doing it - don't forget to feel good about your achievements

Carole - it's not a tear in my eye - it must just be a bit of dust or something...

Attila - but which book? The one on the Time Traveller, the one on the Prophet who meets an Indifferent God, the one about Chalk Lines and Narrative Structures, the one on how to lose and keep off 100lbs, or the one on Why I Never Get Round To Writing The Bloody Thing?

MaLady - if you know any rich people willing to invest, do point them my way :)

Brave Astronaut said...

I often tell people, when talking about my blog, "well you see, there's also this guy in Scotland, who sort of writes like I do." I need to stop saying that for I will never write as well as you do.

I saw Mary's post where she tagged you and wondered what you would do. It is abundantly clear to all of your faithful readers (which we will continue to be as long as you let us in) that you would respond in exactly the way you did. Your blog helps you to be "alive" and we all get to live vicariously through you.

Thanks for that.

PI said...

I realise I haven't done the lion yet. What am I afraid of? I will do it - when I feel brave.

Tom said...

You've definitely accomplished your desire to communicate on my part, Kim. It's been a great help to have a voice out there telling me not to take myself too seriously, to just live life.

Appreciate it. Really.

happykat said...

Blogging is almost like shared therapy.

Sometimes it helps the writer; sometimes it helps the reader. (and then there is the mindless prattle which, I don't mind saying, also has it's usefulness)

Anyway....carry on, Kim.

((tail swish))

avocadoinparadise said...

and that you have been alive! all those blog posts are snippets into our past. concrete snippets. =)

Kim Ayres said...

Brave Astronaut - I've never been able to tell anyone who doesn't blog anything about my blog without them pulling strange faces and backing off a few feet

Pat - if you need any assistance - physical, mental or emotional, don't hesitate to email

Tom - I get a great deal out of your blog too

HappyKat - you're still around! Are you blogging again? If you're using a different ID, then email me to let me know :)

Avocado - I don'tknow how concrete to be honest - one nasty virus or power cut at the worng time and all our electronic history can vanish forever

Jupiter's Girl said...

I took a week or two off from visiting (very busy with things here - Mardi Gras, you know?) and you've been prolifically putting out these profound posts, Kim. I've been catching up.

I agree with everything everybody here has written. They've all said it as good as I could, or better. (That's another good thing about your blog - it attracts such nice, funny and thoughtful people.)

I want to read all of those unfinished books you've got rolling around your creative mind. That last title is a hoot.

Kim Ayres said...

I'm pleased you like to read the past posts too. Hope Mardi Gras was fun :)

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