Tuesday, October 21, 2008

why blog?

although i haven't been blogging much in the past week, i have both been thinking about it and reading about it--here and here.  and reading has me thinking about what blogging has meant to me over the past nearly a year (although i created this blog back in 2004, i didn't really start using it 'til late 2007). it has been a creative and emotional outlet. it has been a way to ensure that i write something every day, as i transitioned to a job where writing was my work. it has been a healing process. a place where i work out thoughts and emotions. a place where i record experiences, preserve memories. a place where i leave some small pieces of myself...a footprint, if you will (better than leaving fragments in a mirror, don't you think?).

it has surprised me that it has turned out to be a social space because i really, sincerely started it for me and only me (and even had it closed initially). but it's become a place where i have found new friends all over the world. people who i have things in common with and who interest me. i think when i started i didn't imagine an audience at all, i was blogging for myself and for my sanity. it was a different way of keeping the journal that i've always kept. a less messy, morbidly personal way of doing so, as my handwritten journals can be SERIOUSLY navel gazing (i know, i'm indulging a bit of that at the moment), to the point of nausea. and i also repeat myself. a lot. i hope i do less of that here.

i have no desire to blog on the scale of andrew sullivan or matt drudge or ariana huffington , tho' i enjoy their blogs. for me, it's totally fine to have a network of people whose blogs i read and leave comments on and who occasionally stop by to read me. it feels hyggeligt that way. (hyggeligt is that danish word that they always translate as cozy, but which encompasses so much more than that word does in english.) it's a sense of an intimate community that i enjoy. i find inspiration in the thoughts and creations on the blogs i read. and i imagine that will continue, even as blogs evolve and change. i love the personal nature of them--the insight into someone else's life and thoughts and creativity.

another of the things i love about blogging is my monthly ritual of printing my month's entries and putting them into a lovely binder. i love that they print in reverse chronological order--it's like knowing the end already from the beginning. i love looking back at where i was (both literally with all my travel) and philosophically over the past month. or paging through previous months and seeing how my thoughts and moods have changed and evolved.

having studied literature for years (and gathered a couple of degrees related to it), i have always been interested in genre. i think the blog is an interesting and emerging genre in its own right--part diary, part gossip column, part self-help, part journalism, part storytelling. it's immediate and intimate. it can be confused and disorganized or poetic and lyrical. it's ever-shifting, yet always personal.  i love it and i intend to keep doing it.  like leaving footprints in the sand....


Amanda said...

I've missed my morning reading of you these past few days! Glad you are back!

I have had a similar revelation lately about my blogging...I have never been a journal girl, but blogging has provided that for me.

I for one are glad you blog!

Unknown said...

Oh, what a lovely idea of putting all your entries in a folder! I think I should do that too! I would really like to have a lasting reminder of it not just on the comptuer.

julochka said...

hi amanda--thanks for missing me! :-) that really means a lot!

emily--you should go straight down to bookbinder's design down in byporten shopping centre that's attached to oslo central and get a lovely binder. :-) they're absolutely gorgeous, fabric-covered and in any color you could want! and they also have these totally cool rainbow-color dividers. there's another shop in paleet as well, but i'm somehow partial to the byporten one. same merchandise in both, tho'. you're lucky you live where they have bookbinder's design. there aren't any in CPH.

Andi said...

Lovely post! I love blogging for all of the reasons you listed here. It's become much more important in my life than I ever expected, and now I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Barb said...

Interesting to read why other's blog. I feel much like you Julie, I started for myself but it has become so much more.

Having met "blog" friends all over the world, getting a glimpse into their lives.

I hope you don't stop, I so enjoy taking this journey with you. My morning is not complete with a stop by to see what you are up to. Barb

Unknown said...

I agree that blogging is potentially an up-and-coming genre. It is incredibly democratic, allowing everyone a voice, and your audience is attracted and faithful depending on the consistency and quality of entries. We gain what we sew.

I too enjoy reading yours.

tangobaby said...

Like the others here, I think it's been a wonderful journey to see how blogging has affected my life in such a positive way. I remember when I had no idea what a blog was.

I love the idea of collecting my thoughts and having a place to put them in a format that works for me. But what a fantastic idea about saving those entries for the future. That's a project I would enjoy.

Footprints in the sand...I like that. It's also very nice to be hyggeligt with you, too. ;-)

Molly said...

In every one of your posts about blogging you wonderfully articulate all the reasons I'm enjoying it too.
Thanks for that, and for the continuing inspiration to keep at it!
Love your work.