Given the fact that I only recently registered and paid for my own domain name, and paid for four month of hosting, this probably is the worst time to start reflecting on blogging. Nevertheless, that is precisely what I have been doing lately. The question: what do I do this for?
I have always had difficulty telling precisely what I think about something. My father has always been very good at calling things as he sees them. It’s an admirable quality, one that I would like to develop more, but his presentation is at times lacking. Sometimes he appears to be rude or angry when he’s honest about an issue, even if that is not his intention. So my fear is that if I attempt to honestly say how I feel about a subject I will come across in a similarly rude manner. Added to this potential problem is that I don’t think well on the fly?I often need time to process my thoughts (often done by playing devil’s advocate) before I can respond with any confidence. So, instead, usually I just shut up about something, or simply smile and nod.
I saw blogging as an opportunity to hone my honesty skills, since in writing I have time to consider my thoughts, to form my sentences so that my thoughts come out ?just so?. Now, however, as I develop blogging ?relationships?, and particularly after having met a lot of local bloggers, I find that I am once again editing my thoughts, padding them with other readers in mind. So, I’m back to square one again.
The truth is that there is a third element to my reluctance to speak my mind: the need to belong. I realize that I ?belong? to a great number of people in my life, but when new friends come along the sense of the need for belonging resurfaces. I want to say things that will please these new friends, make them laugh or nod in approval. But that, too, gets in the way of being totally forthright, as I’m always conscious of how people will possibly react to what I say. It’s a bit of strange thing, I know: I’m well aware that most other people speak their minds freely, without concern, so why wouldn’t the same be expected of me?
That problem aside, there is also this: who is this blog for? Is it only for me? If so, why do I need to ?publish? it and make it available to the world? And why do I fret so when there are infrequent comments and few hits? If it’s just for me, why don’t I just keep a private journal?
If it’s not just for me, what does my opinion matter in the greater scheme of things? Most of my posts are ultimately questions (which seem to be increasing with age), just me ?thinking out loud?, but when I do post an op-ed piece, what does it matter? And does the world (or those few citizens of it that read this space) care about my personal issues (such as with ?belonging?)?
Is ?having my say? enough of a reason to do this? Isn’t that a rather pompous/Narcissistic reason for this blog’s existence?
The biggest question of all: why am I posting this particular entry at all? Oh, the irony.