Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why I Blog

After a few years of blogging, I was asked recently while in a professional situation (that is, not asked by family or friends) why I blog.  And the funny thing is that I tend to blush when I get asked about my blog while in professional circles.  Perhaps it is all the Harry Potter references.  Anyhow, it got me thinking about why I do it now. 
  1. I have no patience for the op-ed submission process where you have 800 words or less (I sometimes rant longer than that) and you submit and if you do not hear within several days, you can submit elsewhere.  But then the story may have been overcome by events.
  2. I like that a blog can follow themes and events over time.  Gives me a chance to either develop and deepen a point of view or backtrack and contradict myself.
  3. It allows me to think and write about stuff without having to go through the process of formal research--reading all of the literature, reviewing why it falls short, gathering data, analyzing, submitting, waiting months for reviews, revising and resubmitting.  I would like to publish about Quebec, for instance, but there is so much stuff out there that I would have to read to get past reviewers but would otherwise not want to read.  The blog allows me to write about Quebec separatism without subjecting myself to the piles of books and articles addressing it.  I can simply apply my theoretical background to the question at hand.
  4. A blog is elastic--a post can be as short or as long as I want it to be.  
  5. I am impatient--it bears mentioning twice.  It allows me to comment on events as they are happening.  
  6. The audience is different.  Mostly my family and friends, but anyone who is interested can find the blog.  
  7. It reminds me how not to write in jargon although I probably still do it way too much.
  8. I can be as serious as I want to be.  Or as snarky as I want to be.  My original audience for the blog was myself, so there is still an element of doing it to entertain myself.  I had an article titled nixed by a journal a while back.  It was on irredentism--when will groups seek to join their mother country--and I wanted the title to be "Reuniting: When Does it Feel So Good" or "Four out of Five Irredentists Agree".  But nope, not professional enough.
I will try to blush less at conferences and workshops when I discuss the blog.  

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Great answer! A blog is your own personal space to say whatever you want, however you want, and whenever you want. Not only do people who know you find your blog but when other bloggers find your blog it's so great to make connects and share opinions. I recently launched for bloggers to share why they blog and hear what others have to say, check it out!