“Do you mind that I don’t read your blog?” my partner said. I laughed, not in the least bit offended. It’s something friends often mention indirectly too.
I understand that in the “internet age” we are constantly being bombarded (or are we doing it to ourselves?) with information. I turn on the computer to just do something “quickly” (buy a ticket, look up a train time) and suddenly I’m pottering through the delightful internet garden, reading lots of interesting things. I’ve lost x minutes of my day (probably close to an hour), my eyes hurt, and I haven’t spoken to a real person face-to-face in heck knows how long. Time is money, and it’s important not to waste it, and live in the present.
I write my blog 100% for myself, as a way of organising my thoughts, and making them open to others who might want to share theirs. People often send me questions about learning Spanish, so instead of writing a long email to each individual person, I might write a blog post, and then send them the link. It’s as simple as that.
In the beginning, I did have hopes of my blog one day having some sort of professional use, maybe involving advertising, or using it as a portfolio of my work as a writer/journalist to send to prospective jobs. As I started to write more and more, and enjoy the act of writing itself, I realised that in order to make money blogging, or have a serious journalism blog, one needs to focus in on a niche (e.g. travel, fashion) and that means you end up writing publicity, or at the very least, narrowing your field of topics.
Writing gives me a weird sense of satisfaction. Some people describe it as an addiction, but for me it’s more like medicine or physiotherapy. I need it to manage an illness, and that illness could be described as “the fear of not being heard”. I often silence myself, and the process of writing and redrafting are good ways to listen to myself and clarify my own thoughts on whatever I fancy.
People (and I must admit I have been guilty of this) often suggest the pretentious nature of having a blog. “Why do you think your thoughts are so important?”, that nasty little voice in my head asks me. I love the saying: “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly”. By having a go at writing myself, which I enjoy, I feel like I improve my skills. Also, living abroad and teaching my language, it helps me to remember how to write in English, which is something I would be in danger of losing articulacy in (if it hasn’t already happened).