Monday, March 07, 2011

Why I Blog

My friend, Don the blogger

My friend Don V's blog subject this morning was "Why I Blog."  What he said is exactly why I blog.  I've posted on this subject before but I think it bears repeating again.

I blog because I feel a deep visceral need to share my life experience with others.  Those 'others' may or may not be interested in this one individual.  That isn't as important to me as is the fact that I have to get down in writing my experience in this one life I have.  I blog as much for myself as I do for those who read my blog.  Blogging for me is therapy.  I've never been to a therapist in my life nor do I intend to ever cross that threshold.  All I know is that once I blog (write), I feel cleansed and refreshed and ready to start a new day.  

Many years ago when I was a teenager I had this same need to 'get my story' out.  That was when I discovered the Pen Pal world.  I put my name in one of the teenaged fan magazines of the day called Dig.  I was so thrilled when my picture appeared in that magazine with my profile requesting pen pals.  I was inundated with letters!  I loved it!  At one time I had over sixty pen pals for around the world.  Every day I would rush home from school to see what letters had arrived for me from my pen pals.  

The way we used to communicate - Snail Mail

I always got a thrill when I received those letters.  I would find a special place to sit down and open my letters and read about what my pen pal did that day.  Most of my pen pals were teenage girls.  That didn't matter to me.  They were my friends.  I had a few male pen pals.  None of them were gay.  At least I didn't know that they were gay if they were.  Remember, this was back in the Fifties when the word gay meant that you were having a good time.  Gays back then didn't have a good time.  They were breaking the law.  Back then they were called 'queers' or worse.  It would have been cool to have a gay pen pal but I was happy with my many teenage girl pen pals.  They were my friends and I was their friends.

When I joined the Army I dropped most of my pen pals.  I probably outgrew them.  In the Army I made a whole new set of friends.  I was still in the writing mode and I kept in touch with my new friends when they transferred to another post.  Over the years I kept in touch with them by mail. Eventually, one by one, the letter writing dropped off.  

Thus for a long period of time I did no letter writing.  I only shared my life within my small circle of friends and my partner, Bill.  Thus when blogging came to the fore, I picked up on it immediately.  Blogging is so much more fun.  I can be inventive, I can spill out in real time exactly how I feel, and I can meet new friends.  I also am a very nosy person and I enjoy reading about other's lives.  And that is the real secret behind blogging.  It has to be a two way street to be enjoyable.

Now I would be less than honest if I told you I enjoy all bloggers.  I don't.  Some of the blogs I read are so off the wall they don't make any sense to me at all.  Some other blogs, especially the gay ones, are all about some frustrated middle aged man just discovering he's gay and his writings are about that struggle.  I have to admit that I am interested in reading about them coming to terms with their sexual identity by trying to have it both ways-the family, kids, wife and their longing for male sexual contact.  To me this is better than any reality show on Bravo.  

Some other blogs are nothing more than advertisements.  I don't have anytime for them at all.  The blogs that I do enjoy are the ones written from the heart.  The honest blogs.  No matter what the subject.  One of my blogger friends writes about his family and adopted kids accompanied by his beautifully taken pictures.  Another one of my favorite bloggers doesn't blog that often but when he does, it is a pictorial history (taken by his cell phone camera) of his family's activities during the week in the Delmarva peninsula.  He calls his blog "The Sunday Post."  I always feel good after reading (and seeing his pictures) his always interesting blog.  

I've encouraged three of my friends to begin blogging and they have done so with gusto.  I knew they were blogger candidates because they lead such interesting lives and they're good writers.  I feel proud that I am responsible for their quality addition to the blogosphere.  I never miss reading their blogs.  I feel like they're my children. 

So there you go, another retelling of the story of why I blog.  Blogging makes me feel complete and I get to make new friends to boot.  It's all good.   


  1. Anonymous11:22 AM

    You're shoelessly comfortable to blog! Does that help make your blogs so good? Kidding aside, I enjoy your writing immensely.

  2. Anonymous,
    Thank you very much! yes, I always take my shoes off before I blog. It helps my creative juices.

  3. Ron, it's huge! Have you heard that before? Just so you know, I'm talking about that screen in front of you. I have screen envy.
    I agree with you 100%. Blogging is a two way street. I am still amazed that I can instantly communicate with someone 1/2 way around the world in a matter of seconds. It does seem like one big family after awhile. So cool! I love how you commented about people that you've inspired to start blogs calling them your children. It's a neat way of thinking.
    Question, have you and Bill made it to the old house yet? The reason that I'm asking, I may be "allowed" to come see you there and I can photograph you and Bill together walking the grounds. I'll surely share those photos with you. What do you think?
    Your Friend, m.

  4. Mark,

    You're right, it is HUGE! When my friend Larry got his iMac he said his only regret was that he didn't get the 27 inch screen instead of the 121 inch screen he did get. I took his advice and am I glad I did. You get used to the larger screen real fast, just like a large screen flat TV. You wonder how you did without it before.
    Yes, I think that is a great idea for you to visit Bill and I at our old house. We're waiting for a sunny Sunday (this one coming up maybe.) I would love for you to see our old house and take pictures and to meet you! It's just a shame you couldn't experience our house and grounds the way they used to be. Send me your cell phone number so we can coordinate the meeting. Bill and I drive up in the morning. We will get there about 11 am. We stay for a couple of hours and leave at around 2 pm. We don't like to drive in the dark. Send me your phone number by e-mail and I'll do the same with mine. Great idea Mark!

  5. I like your blog very much. I check it almost every day. From your blogroll, I also know new entries from other bloggers. How convenient!
    I think I'm nosy too LOL

  6. Dad,

    One of your children here. Yes, I do wish I had bought the 27 inch screen. This 12 foot (121 inches) screen takes up a whole wall and I have to walk up and down to read the text.

    Live and learn department: did another video and put it together. It ran nearly 30 minutes. After a lot of work editing, narrating and adding music, I find out YouTube limits a clip to 15 minutes. I hate the thought of redoing the thing as shorter pieces, but can't find a way to split it up. I guess I need to learn to read before I reap.


  7. Thank you! I'm glad to have you as a friend.

  8. that is a very nice summary, and I agree with it all.
    I also learned it is a great way to meet people - like yourself - who I would not know other otherwise. Perhaps that is the biggest blessing of blogging.

  9. Spo,

    Blogging vastly broadens your horizons. That's what I love about it!


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