Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why do I blog?

Daughter 2 was having a nice early night with a book. Then she got up to fetch something. Guess what had happened by the time she got back?

I’ve been out of the blogloop all week and indeed hardly in it at all for several – all due to ridiculous busyness.

Thank you for your answers to a couple of posts ago: why you blog. These had some points in common but were interestingly different in other ways.

Like Tanya and others, I do it partly because I’m a compulsive writer. I enjoy putting words together; trying to make them say exactly what’s in my head; getting the rhythm right.

I think I also do it because I’m quite a shy person. My son doesn’t believe this, because these days I hide it fairly well most of the time and I no longer worry all that much what people in general think of me. And of course my job involves talking to large groups of students, which is different. But I do sometimes lack confidence in my complete fascinatingness – who doesn’t? – and in social groups will sometimes notice myself speaking quite fast so that others don’t have to listen to me for too long. Blogging is such a good medium for shyish people. No one has to read you and you never know if someone has got bored and stopped reading half way through a post.

I suppose there’s a self-selection process: almost by definition, people who read your blog are likely to be interested in what you have to say and to share your sense of humour and outlook on the world. Unless they’re only looking for pictures of cats.

And comments, however brief, are indeed a bonus. Every time you post, you step out of the shadows and shout, “Listen to me!” You feel less silly if someone replies.

I read one or two excellent blogs that get hardly any comments. I imagine that this is because they don’t comment on others’ blogs and so not all that many people know they’re there. I rather admire this. Presumably they don’t need confirmation – that reassurance that yes, other people know what they mean, like how they write and occasionally feel the same way.

And of course blogland is a community. Like the rest of you, I do have actual friends, though none of them knows about my blog. Blog friends are… just very pleasant. They tell you things that sometimes your real friends don’t. You get an insight into their daily lives, sometimes many thousands of miles away. You may even get to meet some of them – a sort of internet dating without the anxiety that they may not find you attractive.

Lastly, of course, it’s so much more fun than cleaning the oven. Or, in some of your cases, than doing your paid employment. Hello Salford!


  1. the position of the catlet up there on the pillows is just wonderful. Could she/he get any more relaxed??

  2. I really like what you said about the reasons for blogging. So many of us feel the same way.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day and letting me know you were there.

  3. I started blogging so my kids and grandkids could keep track of the quilts I was making for them and ended up blogging because I found so many friends out there. That was a complete surprise to me.

  4. I'm glad you blog.

    I'm glad that I blog too, just the fact that I met you and was able to visit would justify blogging.

    It's funny how you sometimes feel you know a blogperson really well. In real life it is often difficult to catch up with friends, always something gets in the way, like a 2 hour round trip to a water polo match on a sunday afternoon, for example...

    We are battling a summer flea explosion at the moment and the cats are banished from our beds!

  5. Great reasons, Isabelle, and ones we can all identify with. It still amazes me when new people comment on something I have said.
    I was out for dinner last night and somehow the conversation turned to the internet, and everyone there apparently reads my blog, but no-one has ever commented. Sometimes I think it would be good to have another blog which no-one in my real life knows about!

  6. I recognise Linds' thing about people you know reading it, now and then I've given links to people when I've posted about something involving them or they might be interested in, now I'm a bit embarrassed to find how many people read it quite regularly, and wonder whether to set up a pseudonymous alter-ego elsewhere!

    I'm quite shy too, and I'm glad you blog.

  7. Yes, what you said. That's what I meant to say, it's just that the day I commented wasn't feeling sufficiently coherent. Or articulate. Or talented.

  8. I'm glad you blog Isabelle.

    Loath though I am to say it, I also like catlet pictures.

    I do not like busyness either ... interferes with blogging ...

    Oh for an ideal world ...

  9. I love communicating, reading others' thoughts, sharing a sense of humour, and everyday lives. And I especially love your cat pictures :) Those are just a few reasons I blog, but you hit the nail on the head with the last's so much more fun than cleaning the oven! ;)
    It's also very convenient and easy to 'chat' with (or just visit) blog friends when you have time to relax, rather than going somewhere to visit with 'real' friends. I suppose it's really very similar to sitting down with a good book, or chatting on the phone, except you can keep the conversations short :) And we're able to 'meet' people from all walks of life. It's fascinating!

  10. I forget that so many of my family and "real-life friends" read my blog (without commenting, I might add), and I'll have these bizarre conversations where I start to tell them something (I think, for the first time)and I realise part of the way through that they already know the punchline!

    I blog for many of the same reasons you do.

  11. Well, Isabelle, being that we're internet dating and all, I feel I must say it. I love you. But we can't get married or anything, you know there are hubbies to be considered. LOL. I love your blog. And your fabulous way with words. And how you probably make me laugh more than any other blog I read. Don't ever stop! Oh, and the catlets are an awesome bonus.

  12. Just laughing at Thimbleanna! I meant to say how much I chuckled at the bit about internet dating without worrying about whether they'll find you attractive...
    In response to your comment at mine, I wanted to say how you inspire me with your humour and thoughtfulness and generosity, and how you must use your writing time very efficiently to blog so well inspite of all the work, for which you have my admiration.

  13. A great insight into why you blog. I am shy and hadn't thought about blogging in that sense but of course you're right, it is so much easier than standing up and having to say it to other people, and like you, none of my friends know what I'm up to!

  14. I wish my blog were my secret, but using the same computer lets others see where you've "been" and gives them the address and blows your cover. If I had total anonymity I wouldn't have to be so circumspect...! But maybe that's a good thing....I agree with all your reasons, especially the connection with people you'd probably love in real life too....and of course being better than cleaning the oven!

  15. Isabelle, I do SO enjoy reading your posts!
    I also agree about oven cleaning. Or ironing! I totally detest ironging. Except when making a quilt, of course, then it is pleasure not work.

  16. I'm just catching up with your blog. I've been frantically busy for a few weeks with real life and I've so missed my blog world.

    Much as I enjoyed all your other posts, I was drawn to this one when it was time to say "Hi Isabelle" via a friendly comment.

    Because of your earlier post I have been thinking about why I blog. Lately, as I've been too busy to blog much, I've thought about it even more. All I have to do now is find the time to write my thoughts down. *wry smile*

    Good luck with getting those books read. I enjoyed the stories about your grandmothers. I don't think I have anything at all belonging to mine, neither of whom I had the pleasure of meeting.