What's Cool? and My Purpose for this Blog
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post on how I felt that online community is a valid form of community. An anonymous commenter shared how they felt there were some blogs that were top tiered and then some that were, uh, parasitic. That sparked some interesting conversation that Bethany revived and put a new slant on in her post about Cool and Not Cool Bloggers. This also generated a lot of conversation. For those of you who don't spend much time in the book blogging community, you can probably skip this, but there's been a lot of angst lately about who is popular and who isn't.
Trish wrote about how blogging can be like high school. Becky asked, Why Keep Blogging? She said she thinks it's good to consider every once in awhile, and I agree. My reasons for blogging have changed a lot.
About My Blog
I've read that the average time a person blogs is 6 months. Then they get bored, start neglecting it, see it as a chore to continue, and give up. I remember an excellent blog I subscribed to...after six months, they said it was starting to feel like work and they just wanted it to be fun. So they quit.
Blogging is not just my hobby, it's my serious hobby. I consider blogging to be a serious hobby. Yes, sometimes it feels like work. Sometimes I don't feel like doing it. But I keep it up, because I know I can only get better if I keep working at it. Some people run marathons as a hobby (I know, sounds like torture!) I really don't think they give up when it sometimes feels like work. They persevere through.
Sometime within the last year a shift has taken place in me. Before I blogged as a casual hobby, now I feel like I blog with a purpose. I have goals for this blog. I want to encourage people to read. I want to encourage them to read to their children. I want to help them find stories that will challenge, change, inspire, and move them. I want them to celebrate the stories of our time whatever manifestation they take. I want to share what I'm reading, I want to enter into the important conversations of our world, and I think art, especially books, facilitate those conversations. Our culture of literacy is dying and this is me fighting back!
To that end, I probably spend more time on my blog than other people. It's an outlet for me to express myself, it's a place where I can hopefully accomplish some of the above, and it's my serious hobby. I do want people to read this blog, because through other blogs I have been challenged and changed, and there's a part of me that hopes I can be a positive influence on other people. I think blogs are greatly underrated as a vehicle for change, spreading the word, and influencing culture.
Are there other people who could do this better than me? Probably. No not probably, definitely. But I want to make my contribution and do the best I can at it.
I absolutely know this is a casual hobby for a lot of bloggers. And that's awesome. I had to laugh when I read Bethany and Trish's posts, because I know I'm not a cool kid. If we met in real life, I'm not the person with the natural humor or sparkling personality that people gravitate towards. I'm melancholic-phlegmatic if you're familiar with that personality measurement. I'm not cool in the casual write-hilarious-posts-and-have-everyone-read-them-without-working-at-it-way. (Raych, I'm looking at you) I'm just me. I love books. I want to reach as many people as possible to discover fantastic authors. I want to be friends with bookish people and inspire casual readers to become avid readers. I want to talk about other great pop culture arts and sometimes some other things, too.
Is my self-worth bound up in this? No. But I do check things like my stats and subscribers to see if I'm accomplishing my goals.
I hope we can still be friends. I value everyone who takes time to read this blog. I love your blogs, too. And I respect and appreciate that we all blog for different reasons, and all want to get something different out of our blogs. After all, that's our choice. Maybe we all just need to take a deep breath and mind our own blogs. ;) (I couldn't resist. I know it's lame.)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
What's Cool? and My Purpose for this Blog