Recently, my "blogging anniversary" popped-up on my LinkedIn profile and several friends and colleagues congratulated me on this random milestone.
A quick Google search indicates that the blog industry is booming and the blogosphere is buzzing with interest and innovation. As to their evolutionary trajectory? I leave that question to the social media trend forecasters. So many media avenues for sharing information and opinions have morphed into blogs, and for better or worse, I too have been swept up into the wonderful whirlwind of blogging. I wonder, what is truly the beauty of blogs?
Here's my blurb on the beauty of blogs:
- Blogs connect ideas and information succinctly through a simple and accessible social media platform. We all crave simplicity and accessibility in a complex, turbulent and fragile world.
- The blogger is connected with readers in a dynamic way allowing for meaningful feedback and dialogue. We all crave meaningful connections.
- Why I (and countless others) are drawn to blogging (as opposed to other media):
- Twitter is too concise (my blabbering cannot be adequately condensed into 140 characters.)
- Journalism requires too much research and preparation.
- Essay writing is too long-winded and formal, and I did my share in my student life.
- Personal Journal writing is too reclusive.
- Book writing / publishing is daunting.
- Facebook and Instagram obviously lack the power of verbose paragraphs.
- Vlogging is too revealing, almost creepy.
How and why I blog.
It seems that blogging has just the right blend of creativity and structure ‒ basically a user-friendly template with some wiggle room to establish our own signature style. Many of us are attracted to the particular mix of style, tone and template produced by blogs. Ultimately, we entice the reader with an apéritif and tasty appetizer, offer a few nuggets to chew on and conclude with a delicious digestif ‒ perhaps a satiating remark or a tantalizing question suggesting more food for thought. Ta da! A terrific recipe for a zesty blog post.
It seems like blogs are taking over the world of information media. Sometimes, I wonder about the future of all other forms of written media; are they in fact becoming obsolete? Morphing into the universal uber blog? Then again, blogging might just be another passing trend. Not likely, as the hyper-connected, short-attentioned Millennials seem to be wired perfectly for a blog infused world. And apparently many of us Gen Xers are catching the blogger bug too.
It can take hours, days or weeks to percolate a notion worthy of sharing. Typically, (scenario #1) I'm sweating it out on the loathsome elliptical and a potential idea for a blog post wondrously pops into my head in between familiar tunes on my favourite 70s playlist. Sometimes, I get pleasantly distracted with the budding idea and I manage to complete the otherwise challenging and monotonous elliptical routine without despair. Typically, I can sustain approximately 30-50 minutes on the elliptical, as such, creative ideas don't fully flush out all that often. Then again, (scenario #2) as my middle-aged body sustains a boundless stretch and I am surrounded by an awesome natural landscape and the peaceful sounds of silence, a creative impulse may be gently stirring.
The flushing out process is a reconfiguration of my random, sometimes Rorschach-like ambiguous thought patterns into a more sensible Venn diagram type schema. My sense is that our shared human experiences are somewhat universal; and hopefully, the blog posts offer a decoded glimpse of my mind that in fact somehow connects all of our tangled minds. It's comforting to know that even in the depths of our sometimes warped thinking; we are likely more similar than different. We tend to blog about our passions and our seminal experiences; hence my blog posts have included candid personal narratives about my family, food, music, travel, mental health and my current stage of life: adjusting to the empty nest in the absence of a plunge into a major mid-life crisis.
Long before the evolution of the current digital lingo we have hoped to share our ideas and "click" with others. Certainly, sharing our passions, insights and experiences (even if they are not epic or legendary) brings us together into a wonderful community; and now the blogging community is an extension of that network.
In the meantime, let's download several creative iblog apps: plug in the desired content, hone an enticing theme and zoom in on an intended audience and poof! The perfect blog will appear. Not that simple; the blog hosts remind us of an essential caveat to readership: as authentic bloggers, we must reveal an inner layer of ourselves, essentially exposing our flaws, fears, woes and wishes. Definitely, some transparency is required. Personal but not too private; descriptive yet not too graphic. We are bloggers, real people; let's remember there is just a fuzzy and transient line between bloggers and readers. And that's precisely the blog-appeal!
Author: Liz Pearl, M.Ed., is an educator and therapist with a particular interest in psychogeriatrics and expressive arts therapy. She is the founder of PK Press and the editor of several collections of personal narratives including Mourning Has Broken and the Living Legacies series. You can read more of Liz's blogs at Her Magazine.
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