One of the blogs I most enjoy reading is The Culture Monk (http://culturemonk.com/), I thoroughly enjoy his social observations and balanced worldview. The “drinking in the culture tour” has taken things to a new level and on top of that there is his new adventure of a podcast, the man clearly has too much time on his hands 😉 you should head over there and enjoy it (after finishing reading of course). During the first podcast the question was posed; what started you blogging, what do you like about blogging? Etc etc. On the surface it is a very generic question, yet one I feel is highly pertinent to me at this juncture as I’ve found myself not devoting as much time and effort to my blog recently as I used to.
I have answered this question several times, especially early in my blog, but here we go again. What do I like about blogging after 15 months or so of doing it? What keeps me writing? What keeps me reading? Etc. If I were to identify one thing about blogging that I like the most, it would not be writing or stirring my creativity, it would be the community. It is rare in my first person life to meet people who think deeper and actually articulate those thoughts readily in conversation. It could be that is just my lack of social abilities to deeply engage people; other than my friends at church who as fellow life survivors join me regularly in deeper conversation.
Regardless of my face to face (ever improving) social ineptitude, today it is the blogging community that keeps me interested in blogging in general. My experience has been one of an open and welcoming community, supportive and enjoyable. From poetry to Christianity, social observations to travel blogs, regardless of the blog type, the collective attitude is usually one of welcome.
There is not always that much to it; maybe it’s a comment, maybe its hitting the like button. Maybe it’s a virtual friendship that is built on sharing each other’s thoughts over a period of time. Regardless the community aspect of blogging is good. It’s funny, community, real community is so sadly lacking in western society today that virtual communities are almost becoming more real & more common place that physical communities where everyone is just too busy to slow down and enjoy each other.
Let me try to phrase it this way, it feels like everyone in America is too busy to enjoy living life, then when we realize it we hate ourselves and hide in our business to try and get away from hating life & so the cycle continues until something breaks it, the wake-up call, the come to Jesus moment, you get what I’m saying.
In a way blogging does not help with this, it is not real time, it is not face to face, it is done on your schedule. Yet I feel that when approached correctly, you find not only a community of people facing the same challenges; but as you are drawn into reading the blogs, you find yourself slowing down, it may be for only 5 minutes while you look at your phone when you are supposed to be working, but those 5 minutes probably made your day better, they probably made the madness of 21st century adult life a little more bearable, it does for me at least.
One of the beauties of the blogging community is discovering something new. Sometimes for me that is new poetry or some other art form. Sometimes it is running across a new blog, usually somehow connected to one of the blogs I am reading. There are so many things that I don’t think about, so many new perspectives to learn about. When I run across a deep thinking blog it reminds me of why I got on this blogging journey in the first place. It was never supposed to be simply a creative outlet, although that is a very good thing; it was always supposed to be about causing myself to think more, to not go through life on auto pilot. That is one of the things I love most about the blogosphere, the people who are way better at thinking than I am that cause me or challenge me in some small way to become more than I was 5 minutes before I read their thoughts.
There is something special to being a part of the community, it means something, in some ways it is unspoken, but there is a great multitude out there that get it. You are not just a lone voice in the night, but part of a collective that whether we realize or not, is making the world just that little bit brighter. We are all drawn to communities in life, wanting to be accepted, to be part of something, maybe its sports fandom, maybe it’s a book club, maybe it’s a gaming clan, community is a craving at the core of humankind. This particular community just happens to be, in my opinion, a beautiful crazy diverse cross section of the world.
I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who do not think this way, who are in it for notoriety or whatever; I would be surprised to find myself clicking the follow button on those blogs though. That follow button that I have a love hate relationship with. I love to read blogs, but after a while it is easy to have a “reader” that is overwhelming with the content for you to read through. It becomes a struggle with time, time for writing and time reading. Are you really reading and comprehending or just scanning, are you enjoying it or has it become a chore, are you even remembering to do any of it at all?
So like all healthy life, it goes back to the fine art of finding balance. I love the blogging community but I cannot read every post that is pressed from every blog I follow. Sometimes there will be great blogs out there that I just won’t discover because of time. Sometimes my own blog will be sadly neglected as I pursue other things in life. I have learned that this is ok, the blogging world will not fall apart in my absence and, it seems it will always welcome me back when I do have time. After all, just like just like music or video games or sports, blogging is my hobby, it is not my job, it certainly is not as important as my family & the great thing is, most everyone out there seems to get this too. Hence, once again I tell you, the blogging community is the best part about blogging. And I apparently have just rediscovered the ability to ramble and circle talk again, I should write some more and quickly…
Which just leaves the question: What do you like about blogging?