Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why Do I Blog?


For those of us of a certain age, blogging is a fairly new phenomenon. Why did I start writing in this format? Why do I place myself "out there" by opening up my thoughts to the world? Isn't it a risky thing to do, to open myself to the internet trolls that search for ways to criticize others?

I can answer this question in several ways:
First, there are real benefits to blogging.
Reason 1: They are very few people writing useful blogs about my topics of interest (tai chi, stress management, and meditation). There is a real need to inform. I get a lot of feedback when something I write is helpful or meaningful to someone. (For example, see What I wish I Had Known at the Beginning). I wish I would get more.

Reason 2: Blogging is a low cost way to communicate. I only spend a few hours a month blogging. It's not too expensive in terms of time and entirely free in terms of out-of-pocket expenses. Do you have any idea how long it takes to write a book?

Reason 3: It's a great way to meet people. I have had many people contact me about something I wrote. Such wonderful people are hard to find any other way. I have readers from around the world.

Reason 4: Blogging makes me think. Therefore, I learn. I have to think about how I can communicate some difficult concept. My process is simple. Write it down, read what I wrote, think about for a few days, and reread it. Then I can clarify what I am trying to explain. I even learn when I have to fine tune my argument for people that disagree with me.

Reason 5: It makes me a better teacher. The more thought I put into my writing, the more I learn about how to communicate my ideas to my students. Feedback from students helps my writing. I also use my blogging as a teaching tool in my classes. I give reading assignments to my beginning students.

Second, there are real risks to blogging.
Reason 1: They are very few people writing useful blogs about my topics of interest (tai chi, stress management, and meditation). There is no track record to tell me how it will be received.

Reason 2: Occasionally I write an article intended to "poke a stick in the eye" of those that have an inflated view of their own importance. (For example, see Authenticity in Tai Chi). Very few of these people will respond and tell me that they think I'm a jerk. They are just going to remember my name and avoid me or boycott me in the future. I'm willing to take that risk.

Reason 3: I'm not making any money from blogging. I am not independently wealthy. I need to earn a living to pay the mortgage. Blogging takes time. Not a lot, but it does take some time that I could be using to earn money.

© 2012 Eric Borreson