FPQ 67: Why blog?

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week:
As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?
As a preface to this, Fandango wrote that he had gone to another blog which asked a similar question, and asked several of his own in the comments: In my post in response to Dr. Tanya’s post, I wrote that I am curious about what purpose blogging achieves or fulfills. What internal needs does blogging meet? What part does it play in their daily lives? How important is it to them? If they weren’t blogging, how else would they spend their time? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being blogging is their entire reason for being, and one being that, meh, they have nothing better to do, how does blogging rate?

I will use these additional questions to guide me in my response.
FPQ
What is the purpose of my blog? Originally, it was a forum to write my travel journals, but it has expanded into much more than that, although I use my travel photos very often in my responses to photo challenges. I like to write and keep a journal in addition to my blog, although I write in my blog far more often than in my journal these days. Originally, I wanted my blog to be a place where my descendants could read about me and my thoughts – leaving something behind for posterity. But I don’t think of that much anymore. I thought I could post some of my best writing and putting it on a blog is like publishing it in a way. I always wanted to be a writer but never wanted to jump through the hoops one much jump through to be a published writer these days. Self-publishing is another way to go, so I am working on a book about my ancestors, which I will have a printer put into book form.

With my blog, I soon discovered that I was unable to generate the kind of audience I desired with my writing. I think a lot of people don’t have the patience to read a long piece online, and it seems to help to break it up with photographs every couple of paragraphs. Doing some of the things people on WordPress suggested to expand my audience worked on a limited scale. I was disappointed that it didn’t do more, so around that time I started writing my blog for myself. It gives me satisfaction to blog – after all, I’ve been writing all my life and never had a single thing published (except a couple of letters to the editor), but that didn’t stop me because it has satisfied some internal need. I just like to do it. I like reading and am influenced by writers to write better myself. Also, I enjoy photography so getting compliments on some of my photos also satisfies my ego.

I blog every day or almost every day, unless I am on vacation and don’t have a computer with me. I know when all the photo and writing challenges I like are, so I try to participate in them as often as possible. I get more “likes” for these because people find my post through the challenge host’s link. Sometimes I take a lot of time composing a blog and even doing several small posts takes time. The challenges give me a way of organizing my photos and writing. When I get on my computer, I often have a specific task to do – such as pay bills or do spread sheets – but first I check my email, where the responses to my blog come in. Then I am lost! The bills are completely forgotten when I am absorbed in my blog and reading other bloggers. If I haven’t blogged all day, then I will go on at night, and it’s usually after midnight when I stop.

If I weren’t blogging, maybe I would spend more time on one of my long-term projects, such as working on my ancestors’ book, making photo albums on Shutterfly, transcribing my dad’s World War II letters, or doing some kind of artwork.

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My Shutterfly photo album of Israel
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projects to work on, in my closet!

Besides writing and photography, I love to draw and I am pretty good, which makes it gratifying.
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On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate my blog somewhere between 7 and 8, (although if I had lots more readers, it would be 9 or 10). If I am not able to blog for a couple of days, I get very ornery and then prioritize it over all else. I have been known to publish 6 blog posts in one day, although my average is much lower. When I travel, I think about what I’m going to post on my blog. I love Norm’s Thursday Doors, and take photos of doors abroad specifically to post for his challenge when I get back. I also started doing more flower photography after participating in Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I like to read other people’s blogs and see their photos of where they’ve been, which might inspire me to want to travel to the same places. Or it’s just awesome photography. I talk to my husband and others about fellow bloggers and often use a particularly inspiring post in my own journal.

Another reason I like travel blogging is to review places I’ve been – I forget a lot of things I learn on trips, so when I get back, I do research on the places I’m blogging about. This helps me relive the trip and appreciate it more.

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