The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Why I Blog: To Read

Henriette Browne, (1829-1901) ‘A Girl Writing’ Oil on canvas Museum no. 1083-1886 Dixon Bequest Victoria and

The first assignment for Blogging 201 asks us to consider our goals for blogging.

WordPress tutors asked these questions:

Why do you blog? To gain notoriety? To secure a book contract? To self-publish your work? To establish yourself as a leader in your field? To gain followers? Traffic? To connect with others? To work through and clarify your own thoughts?

Initially, I passed by this exercise. I figure that I am well acquainted with my goals and I’m satisfied with how how my blog looks.

I surfed away from the assignment and set out to find something to read.

That’s when it hit me. One of the most important features of this site (for me, anyway) is the chance to read good writing. When I find an author that grabs me, I want to engage with them and to offer my support and encouragement. Because, after all, I’ll have nothing to read if they have nothing to write!

So, I went back to today’s assignment to underscore the key points from the prompt.

Why do you blog? To gain notoriety?   Nope. I’m as notorious as I want to be, thanks. 

To secure a book contract? Not at the moment, but I’ll admit that the carrot is dangling somewhere there out in the haze.

To self-publish your work?  Getting warmer, but still not THE main reason. 

To establish yourself as a leader in your field? Oh WordPress, you make me laugh and laugh. 

To gain followers? Traffic? Sure, it’s nice. The ego took a hit yesterday when my tally dropped from 199 to 197 followers. So, yeah, who’s counting? Me, that’s who.

To connect with others? To work through and clarify your own thoughts?  Now you’re talking!

Talking! Key word here. Not talking into a void, but with other people, connecting, engaging, and exploring my world through the written word of others.

That’s why I blog. To Read. Then to muse, and finally, to write.

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52 replies

  1. I relate so closely to your thoughts, so thank you Maggie for helping me to analyse my own thoughts.

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  2. Nice Maggie. I honestly started this because I just wanted a place to go blah, blah, blah and entertain my family and friends. Then the A to Z happened and my horizons were broadened. I hope on some level to be able to encourage other folks to tell their stories, too. It’s very cathartic.

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    • Thanks, Amanda. It is cathartic, absolutely. What still surprises me is how much we all have in common. The catharsis comes when I realize that I need not hold onto my baggage out of shame and fear that others will find out. Because you know what? Others have held onto the exact same baggage and have managed to let go. When I realize that I’m not alone, the baggage is suddenly gone. Wow! What a relief!

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  3. Thank you, Maggie. Good writing inspires me too, and the daily prompt must be part of that. Strange that WordPress didn’t seem to mention “reading” in the reasons why. To read, muse, and write. That sounds great. xxx :-)))

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  4. Oh! And to see lovely images too. I love the picture at the top of this post. Thank you. 🙂

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  5. Well said, I like the way you think Maggie! Thanks for the follow and the comment on my post. I look forward to reading more of your posts and interacting and connecting with others through this challenge.

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  6. I blog for much the same reason. I love to connect and “chat” with others. I read the link to blogging 201 that you posted. It suggested that we spend an hour per week visiting the blogs of others. I find myself spending an hour a day doing that. I use it as my reward for getting all of my daily chores finished–although, today I’m rewarding myself before I even begin my chores! 🙂

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  7. Would people still write beautiful stories if they knew that what they were writing would never be read by anyone … not even themselves?
    Thank you for this blog. It got me thinking.

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    • That is a very good question. Now you’ve got me thinking! I’ve edited this comment at least a half dozen times!
      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
      Emotion adds to the beauty.
      Emotion is more powerful when shared, witnessed, passed along. (In my most humble, etc. etc.)
      So.
      That’s all I’ve got so far. But I think without a correspondent to witness, a beautiful story might not be written.

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  8. I knew nothing about the community that arises from blogging, but it became apparent to me very quickly. I very naively thought that bloggers just threw their thoughts out into the ether, I didn’t realize that so much more comes back from the connections that are made. Now I would say it is what I love the most.

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    • I didn’t know about the blogging community either. I followed only one blog, and that for a couple of weeks a few years back. Other than the recipe blogs I encountered on Pinterest and reading Gretchen Runbin’s book AFTER her blog took off, I had no idea what to expect. Have to say I’m plenty tickled by the outcome! Great chatting with you today, Joanne.

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  9. I really like your thinking, Maggie, and your way of expressing it! I am pretty much on the same page as you. I think if blogging couldn’t feel somewhat natural to me, like an authentic way to express yourself and hear others do the same, it wouldn’t be enjoyable to me. And I want to enjoy it!

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  10. Eaxactamundo. (This is me, channeling someone, not sure who!) That’s one of the reasons I’m not too worried about a major writing project any time soon. I’m afraid that will take away the fun!

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  11. Encapsulated extremely well, Maggie !! But I am less sanguine than you re WP’s list: the reading bit doesn’t enter Someone’s thinking when it comes to posting on a blog. They’re thinking all social media, in my opinion; and TwitBook has nothing to do with reading, not really – they’re just a matter of scanning someone’s brief utterance and rushing to add your own. Whereas blogging is essentially the community: I believe there are lots and lots of groups who’ve come together through one way or another, and who stick. They swell and fade, but a core is always there.
    Don’t go away, OK ? 🙂

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  12. Oh, what a wonderful thing to say! Thank you, M-R!

    For a while, when I first started, I’d find a writer to follow, and then, boom. Gone. An illness, a new project, writer’s block, SOMEthing. I was beginning to think that the moment I hit the follow button, it was a curse! (Ego much?)

    But you are correct. A few months into it, there is a pattern. Ebb and flow. For now, I’m in total flow. You’re stuck with me, darlin’.

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  13. Insightful post. Although I have only been on WP a few months the diversity of writing I have read here has been so far exciting and entertaining and I agree wholeheartedly with your post! Nodding in agreement 😀

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  14. You have hit the proverbial nail on the head! Love meeting new friends and connecting in a way I can’t face to face.

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  15. This is very intriguing. And possibly mind-bending (if not altering). I love a new perspective!
    I have only been blogging for about 6 months so I’m not even an amateur! There’s so much I have yet to discover about ALL of it: the reading, the writing, the connections.

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    • Hi RR – thanks for stopping by for a visit. There are some riches to uncover, that’s for certain. As M-R alluded, it’s a bit of a movable feast (to completely botch the meaning of the Easter phrase) in that everyone has a different schedule or appetite for writing. I’m behind a computer monitor a lot, so I have the time to read, to respond, and to write. The more I engage, the stronger the connections and the motivation to read, respond, and write. That said, I am aware of the fact that I have very little face-time with real faces, and that concerns me just a wee bit.

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  16. Two words: free therapy. Actually four more words:compulsive need to write. I guess we’re in the same camp!!

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  17. My original reason for blogging was to create a place for all this stuff I had been writing over the years that had no place to go. It was my hope that my readers, if any, would be entertained. And enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoyed writing them. At the end of last year, I started reading a number of bloggers who had been blogging for several years. They were having trouble figuring out why they continued blogging. They had lost their passion for blogging. This made me think about what would keep me going over the years.

    Then it hit me. I love short stories and I love prompts. Why not combine the two. So one of my two blogs each week, I read a short story and use that as a prompt for a new story. It has given me an opportunity to read some great stories. And to experiment with some new formats, such as the prose poem. My original purpose, to entertain, has not changed but I have a whole new way of doing the entertainment. This is something I think will keep me going for years to come.

    It has also given me the opportunity to focus on the short story. There are a lot of blogs that focus on the novel and the book, but not too many that focus on our heritage of short stories. Eventually I may post some blogs on short story history and the short stories I am reading.

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  18. Hi Don! So glad that you wrote today – the main reason is that even though I am following you, I haven’t been getting your posts in my reader! So today, I elected to follow by email!

    I am grateful for your thoughts here. I have always been inclined to write long newsy letters and emails to my friends, but not fiction, nor poems. So, unlike you, I had no bona fide “opus” sitting in a drawer. But I do have all of the stories that I have told over the decades in my noggin.

    Like you, I enjoy the short story format and I find the prompts helpful, even though I may not follow them to the letter or respond in exactly the way that was intended. Who cares, right? As long as the wheels are turning, it’s all good.

    And now I must catch up on your blog!

    thanks for reading and commenting!

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  19. Hi Maggie, it’s awfully nice to meet you. I completely relate to your thoughts on blogging and more. I never anticipated that blogging would open up this whole new world to me. I really feel as though I’ve found my tribe.

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  20. I so agree! I love the community of writers and the great blogs I’ve found through WordPress, and often find myself spending more time reading and commenting on other bloggers’ sites than writing my own pieces — which is fine by me! I write often enough but especially love reading and connecting with great thinkers. Happy to have found your blog now, too, by way of LindaGHill’s blog; love her site and what she does to connect writers, too. 🙂

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  21. Welcome aboard! Thanks for reading and remarking. I look forward to further exchanges!

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  22. Wandered over here from the about page – and this is a great post. I’m exactly the same, most of the fun I have with blogging is in the comments section, interacting and connecting with people.

    You know, I reckon that is what the hokey cokey is all about… 😉

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  23. Started for the discipline of writing daily. Now I can’t wait to see what other people are writing.

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  24. “Oh WordPress, you make me laugh and laugh.” Ahaha! I read this post once yesterday and once today and that line got me both times. It’s a classic! Somebody should have it for a tag line.

    I would say my comment is “What they said” (the other commenters) but I’ll add one observation. It’s the women who primarily feel this way. We bring our drive to connect and relate to WordPress.

    Another thoughtful, witty post.

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  25. I’m late to the world of blogging but I truly enjoy reading, nothing better to me than those that uplift you and make you smile while reading. I love your wit and way you seem to care for those that aren’t yet experts in writing.

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    • Hey Ron! Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comments. I sure do like it when I find myself smiling, grinning ear-to-ear, our laughing out loud at at what I read here on WP. I’m glad that I can do the same for others.

      From one slightly less newbie to another, welcome to blogging!

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  26. The blogging courses here began a long time after I first blogged (way back in 2004, I’m an old hand!) and I have never really fitted the typical ID of what they think we should be. My main reasons for blogging have always been to get to know other bloggers and to connect with people and to air stuff that would otherwise either remain on my computer or in my paper journals (which still have a place in my life but talking to myself only satisfies me up to a point).

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