So I've been going on about these women bloggers I've been hanging out with on FB. One of them asked us why we blog, what benefit we accrue from blogging, what keeps us going.
I gave some kind of flippant answer, but in truth, now that I've been doing this for a while (almost exactly a year, in fact), maybe it really is time to stop and think about the why.
I started this blog as a place to experiment with writing, to see if it was something I could do. I didn't have any particular audience or purpose in mind beyond my immediate family and friends. I called it My Coat of Many Colours because I love Carol King's song Tapestry, in which a character wearing a coat of many colours drifts across the Tapestry of her life. I even explained all of that in this blog post. I am such a classic ADHD person, a drifter and a butterfly and a jack of so many trades. This blog was started as a way to explore all those different interests and passions that I have, trying to figure out what I want to be if I ever grow up. I'm fifty years old now, so you'd think I have a pretty good sense of self, but if anything, I'm more confused now than I was when I was twenty, because I've tried a few things I thought then that I might want and it turns out I was wrong.
So the first purpose of this blog, for me, is to help me figure things out by writing about them. I've never been much of a journal-keeper, but I do find that sometimes thoughts flow out better through my fingers than swirling around in my brain. Obviously I do practise a certain amount of self-censorship, especially as it involves other people.
Another thing this blog has done for me is to help me find new communities. I've joined a couple of blogging groups on Facebook, and both of them have been wonderful. I've developed a passion for local food, and I've met some amazing people through writing about that. I've joined a Paleo Bloggers' group as well, and have learned a lot from reading the blogs there. I'm exploring all kinds of traditional food skills like fermenting and dehydrating, and the blog is one way for me to talk about those beyond a few status updates and pictures on Facebook. I also talk about Judaism. It is indeed a coat of many colours, which means I don't fit into any niche. How beautifully my blog mirrors my life.
I would love to find some way of making a living from blogging, but yeah, so does everybody else out there. Trust Julien Smith to express that with his trademark ferocious succinctness. I'm no Dooce, that's for sure. I've thought of putting affiliate links and stuff like that (not ads) on this blog and I'm afraid my friends will all hate me if I do. Still working that one out. Would you mind if I did? What would you like to see?
So why do I blog? Because it's there. Because there are people out there who actually read it sometimes, and it makes me happy when they do. Because it forces me to articulate my thoughts, just like Ruchi's question in our FB group made me stop and think. Because it's one of the few things in my current life that require discipline, and I need more of that in my ADHD soul. I've actually got my calendar set up to send me a reminder every day to write. It doesn't always happen at the time, but at least I think about it, and that sometimes leads to writing later.
I've often wondered whether I should focus this blog more on one thing and try to turn it into a source of income. Or maybe I should split it up into specialised baby blogs. Or maybe I'm wasting my time trying to "find myself" and I should just suck it up and get a job.
What do you think? If you blog, why do you? If you don't, why not?