Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why I blog

As tagged by the lovely Niki. I used to think blogging was a huge waste of time, and somewhat egotistical.

1. Since before my children were born, I have journalled. Never very consistently, and somewhat dully, since when I did write it would be with great emotion about something going on in my life at that time. It would pop up in my journal without any context or seeming relation to what had just gone before. After the birth of my daughter, I committed to keeping a journal for her specifically, so that we could both watch her grow. By this time, I had moved my journal to electronic format, but I kept hers in a lovely paper book. However, even with one child I found finding the time to write it all out tedious, and inserting photographs, as all parents are wont to do, even more annoying. So within the first year I switched hers to Word.

When ~N~ was born, same thing. Soon it became insane, and maintaining three journals in electronic form was just as unpleasant for me as one in written format. Further, our lives were so entwined it didn't make sense. It seemed contrived to try to break out parts of our days to write to them individually, and typing the same thing into each journal just wasted time in my opinion.

2. The pictures became the most efficient way for me to express myself anyway. There is little need to write a two page missive when a sequence of three shots carries the story so much better. I enjoy photo entries so much, and they really do speak more than words.

3. Even before we moved to Washington, we had family and friends far away. Even people who do not have direct access to my blog benefit from a handy cut-and-paste into an email. It's so much easier to have everything in one place, even for me, and it becomes a powerful record of our life here. Even in the short two years I have been actively blogging, I have watched the children grow and change dramatically and I value capturing that metamorphosis.

4. Blogging has given me access to a form of Internet community I really enjoy. The blogosphere is filled with as many opinions as there are people, but unlike chat boards, you can be very specific as to who and what you allow to cross your personal mind's eye. When I was preparing for my last two births, I read blog after blog, grateful for the generosity of the women who shared their home birth stories and images, as they bolstered my own courage and informed my expectations. I pay that forward with my own published birth stories. With our homeschooling journey, it is the same, but I get to do in the now and actually exchange practical ideas and philosophies in real time. Even with activism, we in the blogosphere actually learn from one another, alert one another, and bolster our scattered communities with a unified purpose when we need to.

5. I have also found that the blog has strengthened our shared experiences with our real time community. Writing about our adventures engenders a fondness and a shared memory that we all get to revisit from time to time. Going through the archives often brings a smile and a "Oh yeah, I remember that!" Because I know they are reading everyday, it helps me to update on things that have happened when they may not have been around.

Before blogging I didn't really realize how varied and full our lives are. I simply found myself so caught in the day-to-day race of diapers-cooking-cleaning-laughing-loving-learning that I lost sight of how much was actually transpiring. I value this record now, and I like to think it serves a purpose greater than just my personal journal for our lives.

Hmm. To tag? I tag Danelle78, simply because her blog name is the titular question, and Mack, because she needs an excuse to update her blog, and MelissaTulip, because I'd be interested in the answer!

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