Friday, April 27, 2007

Why I Do This

Ok, I'm completely, twitteringly pleased to be tagged by Ancrene Wiseass for the 5 Reasons Why I Blog meme. I've never been tagged before! I actually think about this a lot, a sort of continual re-evaluation of whether blogging is a good use of my time and energy (it is!) and why. Here's what I've got:

1. I can't resist the urge to turn anything and everything into a story. The need for a narrative is a coping mechanism of mine. If I can make something a story, give it a beginning, a thoughtful middle, an anticipated end, then I feel like I'm in control. If I can explain my fears, find a metaphor for them, write about them in a way that makes them seem logical, then they must not be completely insane or more powerful than I am. I blog because it forces me to take the disordered anxieties of my life and make them seem completely reasonable, digestible, and temporary. If others read them and understand them, it means that they are not only sane but expected. The things that might otherwise be consuming can become just a post, a story, some words on a screen. I can go back and read them or I can leave them there with a date and a time and a metaphor.

2. Grad school is lonely. It's lonely and it's isolating, and, as I've mentioned in other posts, that is completely intrinsic to the process. You can't get away from it. It would be so easy, so normal, so sane to close up, shut off, live in a world where I'm the only one that knows what I think and what I feel. Blogging is one way I attempt to continually reach out to people, to admit what's hard, to practice being vulnerable. The first few months I wrote posts for this blog, I felt like I was leaving my heart beating on the screen for everyone to see. It needed to be easier than that. I needed to learn to let go, to lean through my own ideas and emotions. If I post what I'm thinking on this blog, I can't control how people interpret it or judge it. I can only leave it out there, let it go, and hope that someone reads it and takes it (and me) for what it is.

3. I love bloggers. I mean, I just love them. I start my morning with photo blogs and move on to reading the latest from my favorite bloggers. I wanted to be able to engage with the ideas and contribute my own to the mix. Just like I feel like I'm blogging now to reach out, I felt like the bloggers I respected and admired were reaching, too. I wanted to reach back. I wanted to find ways to connect with the grad students and professors and writers who continually inspire me. This was pretty much it!

4. I'm a stats whore. I'm constantly examining the site meter to find out how many people have read the blog and where they are and how long they read. I feel a little shiny pebble of affection for every reader. If I don't post, the stats go down. So I post. Sad but true.

5. It's really a lot of fun. It's a way to stretch the writing skills that could buckle and contract under the weight of academic demands. It's a great procrastination technique. Somewhere along the line, it just became a thing I do. Not the most important, not the best, not the easiest or the hardest or the most interesting. Just something I do.

I suppose, then, that I'm supposed to tag someone else. I'm feeling slightly clueless about who has done it already and who has not, but let's go with Kisha, Scrivener, The History Enthusiast , and O'Donovan. Oh, and Xtin, whose beautiful blog made me want to do this so badly I couldn't help but try.

8 Comments:

Blogger Scrivener said...

Thanks for the tag! But you know, I think my list of five reasons is going to end up looking an awful lot like yours.

4:58 AM  
Blogger O'Donovan said...

Oh, funny! I was just trolling for something to put in the Aha! du Jour and I found it here: "If I can make something a story, give it a beginning, a thoughtful middle, an anticipated end, then I feel like I'm in control. If I can explain my fears, find a metaphor for them, write about them in a way that makes them seem logical, then they must not be completely insane or more powerful than I am."

And then I got to the bottom of the blog and was completely flabbergasted to be tagged. And excited to get to pass it along. Thanks!

6:11 AM  
Blogger Ancrene Wiseass said...

Thanks for the response and for passing it along.

I had to laugh at the "stats whore" part: I know exactly what you mean!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Acre said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only stats whore out there!

Scrivener, I think that even if our reasons are the same, you'll put it all much more eloquently.

Can't wait to see your reasons, O'D.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Hi Acre,

Your answers were much like mine, but I didn't even realize I was a "stats whore" until I read your post. OMG! I'm a "stats whore" and it took me this long to realize it!

9:25 PM  
Blogger wwwmama said...

"The need for a narrative is a coping mechanism of mine." Wow. I LOVE that. I think that's exactly why I blog too, but I never thought about it that way before.

5:24 AM  
Blogger The History Enthusiast said...

Sorry, but I just noticed the tag! I will hopefully get to the meme soon!

1:29 PM  
Blogger The History Enthusiast said...

Oh, and I also just noticed that my feed reader has not been bringing up your blog...I must remedy this quickly....

1:33 PM  

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