Why I Blog

I enjoy blogging. I enjoy the opportunities it gives me to vent and the opportunities it gives me to have opinions. I enjoy the experience of learning to write better, and of learning to appreciate the joy of writing. I absolutely love the moments when people tell me that things I have written have impacted them in some way. Though my writerly self-esteem often fluctuates wildly, I generally like how blogging makes me feel about my writing.

I have an about page that goes over the basic reasons why I started this blog, and the things that I generally write about, but I’ve never written that much about my philosophy of blogging, and I want to. So here is that post. Or, rather, here is the first of what may be more than one post about that. The post about why I blog.

I blog because it’s cathartic, and I blog because I think I have important things to say, and I blog because I want to matter, and I blog because it keeps me on track, and I blog because I like having a record.

I blog because it keeps me on track. When I first started this blog in February of last year, I was in a really bad place. My chronic pain symptoms were about as bad as they had ever been, and at the time that meant my pain was bad most of the time and excruciating after even half an hour of sitting. I started the blog to keep myself on track. I figured that if I had a place where I was writing down how I was doing and what I was doing, I might have an easier time making progress with my depression and my chronic pain.

I was right. I think it helped a lot. Nowadays, I still think it helps, but in a more diffuse, general sense of “Helping me think through and keep in mind the challenges that I’m facing right now.”.

I blog because it’s cathartic. I think the reason that I have kept up with this blog over the last year and a half is because it serves as an outlet. I tried blogging once or twice before I started this blog, and I was never able to keep up with it. I think the difference between those attempts and this one was that this blog was specifically started to be about depression and chronic pain. When my depression or my chronic pain symptoms are particularly bad, this blog provides an outlet to vent. It provides something that I need, rather than just being something that I want myself to be doing.

Sometimes, nothing is more important than just getting out the things that I’m feeling, and sometimes this blog is the way I do that.

I blog because I think I have important things to say. I think a lot of my ideas are good ideas, and I think I am pretty good at talking about them. Well, sometimes I think that, anyway.

There was a point in my life when I started looking at textbooks more critically. I stopped saying to myself, “I just don’t get this, why can’t I get this?”, and started saying, “This makes no sense, why is this person so bad at explaining concepts?”. There are only so many times you can read a textbook and not understand anything, and then go online and find a magnificently clear explanation, before you realize that a lot of people, even people with very good ideas, have no idea how to talk about those ideas.

I think I am very good at talking about ideas, and I like to think sometimes I have decent ones, myself. So I write.

I blog because I like having a record. I like being able to look back at the things I wrote years ago and see how I’ve changed. I like being able to see what I was thinking about in the past. I like seeing the ways I was different, and the ways I’m still the same. I think history is fascinating, and I think that as much about my own history as the history of any other person, place, or thing.

One of my favorite things to do is to hear about the history of other people who travel in the same circles I do. The more I learn about people and their histories, the more amazing it seems to me that we have ended up in the same circles. The more I learn about people’s histories, the more viscerally I experience the awareness of the unfathomably chaotic structure of each of our histories that has brought us into co-incidence.

The more I think about this, the more I think of other things I could be adding. For now, I’m going to stop here, before this gets too unwieldy long.

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