I just read a new blog post from Andy over at Agnostic Maybe, one of my favorite library related blogs. Andy is smart, funny, cute, and always has something thought provoking to say. I like that. In his latest post, he discusses why he blogs, which is a response to this bringyournoise post, which is in response to this post. The question of why a person blogs is, I suspect, a highly individualized question.
In my case, I began to blog with Library Garden because the folks who ran it were THE movers and shakers in NJ on-line library people. I was honored to have the chance to speak about being a new librarian and wanted to get my name out there in hopes of maybe getting a job as a librarian. That didn’t work–I managed to find a Library Associate position, but it never helped with landing that much coveted full-time Librarian job with benefits. I learned much from my fellow bloggers and from the experience.
I also blogged on a personal, non-public blog just to keep track of some stuff, to share stuff with my close friends and family, and to work out some other stuff. That blog has long since died and been deleted (as best as that is possible). It was a vanity project and I killed it quickly. It never did what I wanted it to do. Next up, this blog. And as you can see, I don’t really blog.
So, instead of answering the question why do I blog, I will tell the reasons I no longer blog.
Ok, there is really only one main reason: time. It takes a long time to write, edit, re-write, and re-edit a blog post. If you don’t put the time in, it shows in the writing and the presentation. That said, there are a few smaller, but more compelling reasons I no longer blog.
First, I am learning that people not knowing who I am or what I think is also a good thing, maybe even better than being known. The quest for fame is fickle, hard, and compromising on many levels. The process takes a great deal of effort and the payoff, at least for me, is just not worth it. I can be anonymous and still be relevant. Even more important, it is much easier to be effective when people don’t think they “know” you. Trust me, I am just beginning to get this concept.
Similarly, I am realizing that I am better served to spend more time listening and less time talking (or writing). Yes, I still have stuff to say and opinions about loads of stuff–anyone who has sat in a meeting with me knows I still have opinions, especially about the uselessness of meetings! However, publishing those thoughts doesn’t really help me to grow or learn. Right now, I am more focused on self-improvement than on helping others (outside of work of course, I love helping others and that is why I became a librarian). I think that personal growth is best served by less professional blogging and more professional reading and much more personal reading.
Finally, I kind of stopped blogging because I thought the blog was dead as a form. Back in the day, I subscribed to many blogs, especially those on knitting and library related topics. I learned so much and found reading blogs helpful, fun, and a good way to spend my break time. Then it stopped. I hardly read blogs on any subjects. Because I moved on, I thought that the medium had had its day.
In the last three months or so, as I begin to settle into my first full-time Librarian gig (with benefits and a living wage), I find myself once again reading blogs. It is far more scattered than before–there is not a single blog that I read regularly. Instead, I have a variety of topics that I cruise the web looking for education, insight, and inspiration. Intersetingly, those topics are nearly ALL for pleasure and not for professional reasons. That is a complete reversal of how it used to be.
Andy is the only library blog I read regularly and that is because he writes well, has something to say, and doesn’t shy away from controversy. Plus, he is not mean–I am completly done with the mean blogger. It is just too damn easy to rip things apart. I read a few other library related blogs still, but it is far more a one-off kind of thing. If the topic they wrote about is of interest, I will dip in. I have become one of those, if you don’t get me with the headline, you won’t get me.
The question: Why I Blog? and the many posts I have now read in response to it has had an odd effect. It makes me want to blog more. I do miss having a creative writing outlet. I also miss having a chance to get off Facebook and Pinterest and actually create something. I miss taking the time to really think about something I want to say and find a good way of saying it. I am much better at this in writing than I am in person.
One blogger who posted about why they blog noted that starting a blog is the easy part. It is committing to blogging that is hard. That is really true–sometimes I forget I even have a blog until I want to make a comment on something. Then it is vague and unformed desire, which is lost with the first shiny object. Instead, I am going to try and blog once a month in 2013. (like the way I managed to meet my goal even before I made the commitment–slick Cyn). That is not terribly ambitious and I should be able to do it. I promise, I won’t write another post about why I post (or don’t).