Apologies for the ‘me,me’ tone of this post but I feel I have to expose something of myself before I can ask you to comment with honesty. So here goes.
I started blogging because I felt I had to. Pure and simple. Every marketing how-to I read said that creating a blog was the first step in developing an online presence that would help sell the book I had yet to finish. So I signed up with WordPress, chose a theme that looked ok and then I sat there, staring at a blank ‘Add New Post’ screen. I knew how to write a post but I had no idea what to write about.
The idea of just posting whatever I was passionate about evolved out of my certainty that no-one would ever read what I wrote. However as people started to find me [in dribs and drabs] my motivation began to change. I started looking forward to logging in each morning – just in case someone out there had stumbled onto my blog while I was sleeping. Like someone addicted to gambling, every time someone did view my blog the addiction was reinforced and the days on which no-one came did not deter me. I continued telling the world what was on my mind because each post was a way of saying ‘Hey! I’m someone and I’m here’.
You all know the feeling, that buzz you get when you check your stats or notice that you have comments. But what is that good feeling?
I know that for me that good feeling is part ego-stroking and part joy at not being alone. I’ve always been a fairly self-sufficient person. I have a small circle of very close friends and family. They have been with me since forever and they are as important to me as breathing but I’m also quite comfortable just being on my own, which is probably a good thing as writing fiction is a pretty solitary occupation. Nonetheless even hermits need human contact sometimes.
Before I stopped thinking of my writing as some kind of ‘hobby’ that no-one else would ever be interested in I used to get my social contact hit from the people I met while playing mmo’s [online games]. In fact I still chat to a few gamers I met while playing World of Warcraft but after I left WoW I found new online friends much harder to find and my social contacts dwindled to a few stalwart friends.
And then the blogging miracle happened. I met people, nice people, funny people, kind people, people who cared about many of the same things that I cared about. I met kindred spirits and suddenly blogging was no longer just about ‘marketing’ or having my ego stroked, it was and is, about connecting with people. In short, it’s about making friends.
I’m still passionate about writing and bushfire survival and climate change and good food and wonderful music and politics and… Ahem, you get the picture. I’m still passionate about all the old things that define who I am and I still get an ego buzz when my stats spike for some unaccountable reason but now I also have something more, I have friends.
So now I would love to know if I’m alone in this or if other people feel the same way that I do. Have I finally ‘got’ what social media is all about? I know that every blogger is different and unique and writes for different reasons but do we all have common themes that are somehow universal?
If you feel like sharing then I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
-hugs to all-