16 Sep 2012

Why Do I Blog?

I've already told people on why I started this blog. In fact it's even spelled out neatly in the "About Me & This Blog" section. But just in case you're not viewing this post on site, or somehow you can't access that section, here's a brief overview: I fractured my ankle 4 years ago, and ended up homebound for quite a bit, not being able to move around much. Out of boredom I thought I might as well set up a personal blog to satisfy said boredom, and also because I seemed behind the social trends as seen by the other blogs set up by personal acquaintances years before. 

Admittedly things came out a bit clumsy for a while, because I had no clear clue on what to blog about. Blogs I've seen talk about personal events, some showcasing personal photos of themselves with friends at events, some talk about their secret crushes in school or complain about strict teachers and their homework loads. I think I tried too hard to imitate them, and eventually decided to just – well, go along with it. Just whatever comes to mind really, because there really is no reason to force myself to meet audience demands by moulding every single post, like how a pop music producer forces himself to go with tried-and-tested formulae when crafting songs. 
And initially I thought about the primary blog's function as how it was defined: a web log of entries like a diary where people penned down personal thoughts and close happenings. So I thought of just sticking to describing simple events in my life, and once in a while adding in some random musings over certain issues. But later I realised that blogging had quite a deeper use: because blogs can be made public and their contents can be accessible by online users, this meant that a blog also could serve as a platform for people to broadcast and share ideas. It was something potentially powerful that I admired, but alas could not find it too relevant to my interests at the moment. I'm neither someone who wants so badly to make a radical paradigm shift in the masses for the better, nor somebody who desperately seeks to find like-minded people on the Internet by casting my own ideas as lures. 

...which begs the question: if I don't blog mainly for such noble purposes, or to become a famous online celebrity, then why do I blog? 

I've thought about this for a while, and currently the best answer I could come up with is this: it's a way to sort myself out.

Doesn't it sound kind of odd? If that's my motive for most of this blogging activity, why not just engage in silent self-reflection? Well that does help in some ways, and I occasionally do that when I can't be online to blog, but sometimes I forget, or sometimes the answer that I find in myself wouldn't be as applicable to myself in another time, where circumstances could have changed. That's where the archiving ability of this blog helps out: having a physical copy of my musings that I could refer to any time can help me observe changes within myself better, and perhaps gain some small revelations.

Then why a public blog instead of a private one? If I'm doing it for myself, why should other people see it?

On the contrary, it's because I want that possibility that somebody online will see my ideas and thoughts materialised on screen, that I choose to have this public rather than private. If I know that someone out there could be reading my posts, and scrutinising the ideas I put out in those personal posts, then it forces me to try and bring my ideas out in clarity so the reader understands fully. And by making clear these ideas to as many people as I can then I make them clear to myself as well, so less confusion and ambiguity exists. That's what aids in the mental assortment process.

Another question might come to mind: if I want public exposure of my thoughts, why not have a video blog? 

That's slightly easier to answer: I don't want to be seen stumbling over my words so often, and eradicating that would take too much time and effort for this to be worthwhile in my opinion. Also I don't like how my voice sounds really. But more importantly, I don't want people's perception of my ideas to be influenced by other factors like how my voice sounds, or how I look, or how often I stumble over my words... putting them on the blog at least serves my content on a cleaner platter. (though arguably the look of my blog can affect this still)

So there it is. I've let everyone, including myself, why I continue to blog today. Not for fame or riches at the moment, but to question myself, and answer myself. Maybe, just maybe, I might put in more effort into this blog to make it a decent income source, but obviously not a primary one. And certainly not now of all times. 

For now, this blog will still primarily serve as both my mirror and my mouthpiece.