I have struggled with the rise of the blog for a long time. So many people have suggested that I write a blog but again and again, I sat to write and my mind went blank. All the words that dance around my head from minute to minute, left the dance floor for an early night. I felt choked.
I found myself judgemental of others who were able to blog while wondering why anyone would want to read anything I wrote. As if one had to be a certified expert/guru to have anything to say.
Exacerbating my feeling of being choked was the marketing concept of social media being a funnel to the 1-click-buy website/booking class or workshop theory. I felt like a cynical fraud funnelling my ‘readers’ toward my bank account, adding ‘three zeroes’ to my income.
However (apologies to grammar nerds), recently I discovered a reason for blogging far more compelling than funnels and zeroes. A FB friend reposted a blog from someone I had never read and may never read again. It was a deeply personal telling of a woman’s grief over the unexpected death of her husband, one month previously. I was overcome with the power of her grief, compassion for her and all those suffering grief, and the intimacy of her writing.
In that moment I found my motivation to read and write blogs. Blogging is this generation’s campfire, kitchen table and Red Tent in one five hundred word bundle. In a world where we are running at a million miles an hour and becoming socially isolated, blogging is our way of sharing the intimacies of life, of connecting to and sharing our stories.
It is not the often one line, self-obsessed trivia of twitter or selfies of Instagram or even the ‘life is always great’ posts of Facebook but more often deep authentic sharing of our story, as we might have done around the kitchen table or in the Red Tent; or exploration of our cultural and societal norms as might have happened around a campfire.
And the nature of the medium is freedom of self-expression. If people want to they can read what you write but really interesting blogs are not about writing for an audience but writing authentically about one’s own experience. It might not be perfect prose as one might read in a celebrated novel or profound wisdom as might be found in spiritual or transformational tomes but it is valid as one’s own experience of life.
Every blog we write or read may not be perfect or to our taste but we all have the opportunity to walk with our clicks and leave. As humans we are nothing if not communicators and blogging gives us an unconditional opportunity to communicate and the even greater possibility of being heard.