Does Blogging Matter?

I guess the same question could be asked of any writing .  The brevity and immediacy of a blog often requires much less of a reader than say, a novel. In a blog, you can dip in and out of topical or temporary issues.  This can be like eating too much sugar – addictive, but unsatisfying too. On the other hand, blogging feels democratic: anyone can write and readers get a right of reply.  Nor is it a one-way street: those who comment can also  influence what’s being written.

Then there’s what’s meant by ‘matter’.  Perhaps, does it make ‘a difference’ or whether it ‘has a point’.  But even this isn’t straightforward.   If my writing does impact others, then is that always a good thing? Should I take responsibility for my readers and if so, how much? If I write about eating disorders, will my words be helpful – or triggering?  Can I control how they are perceived?

Then there’s the authorial voice.  Is it ‘real?’  How do I present myself?  As a fellow journeyer?  A guru? Or someone in need of help? Is this someone others would recognise – or does it need to be?  Can I change my mind – and to what extent?

I guess when writing, I do it first and foremost, for myself. As Heaney says, ‘I write to see myself, to set the darkness echoing’. Even here, my motives are unclear.  Sometimes I write to cheer myself up, sometimes to work out how I’m feeling.  Sometimes I write for a response, sometimes I forget that anyone but me is reading. Writing for me, is a way of being human.  Of understanding myself and God and other people – of sharing something that otherwise gets lost.  Perhaps the end product matters very little – but the process matters a lot.

2 thoughts on “Does Blogging Matter?

  1. I liked this, especially the last paragraph, which really resonated with me. I love the Seamus Heaney quote- awesome. I enjoy thinking about writing and why we write. For some reason I can’t quite identify I wonder if writing about writing is writing in its ‘purest form’? (this is getting quite confusing!) All the great poets write about writing, and that is often their greatest work. Or is all writing in some way a search for meaning?

    I’m blurbling again! But I like the chance to think about these things, even if I haven’t quite worked out what it is I’m thinking.

    Maybe take this comment as a ‘bonus echo’??

  2. I know what you mean: it would be great to distil writing to a single purpose, like reaching others or speaking truth – but I suspect it’ll always elude definition. I’m always fascinated to read what great writers have to say about it – but so often they contradict each other, perhaps because it means different things to different people. Writing about writing might be the purest form – but in a funny way it can feel like tapping around the subject without actually doing it. But maybe all writers feel like frauds..pretending at something they’ll never attain?

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