Why do I blog?

A few months back I pondered the question, “why do I blog?” The answer I came up with was to organize and share my thoughts. However, today I’ve concluded that that’s not enough.

I got to thinking when I realised I’d forgotten my Instagram photo-a-day challenge for several days’ running. Contemplating what I might put up, I wondered how many people might “like” my photo. A thought that has been slowly brewing and bumping around in sub-conscious suddenly burst through into my consciousness: why do I do this? Is it purely for the likes? Because that honestly seems pretty shallow and pointless!

No, it’s not for the likes – though that can be a good indicator of whether I’m succeeding or not. Succeeding at what exactly? The cogs turned, and out came a series of possible objective statements:

  • to grow a following
  • to share my thoughts
  • to argue contentious points
  • to give people something interesting to read

None of these felt right. Then out popped one last statement:

  • to inspire thinking

Finally, I have hit upon my blogging objective. This is what makes me keep going. Sure, I don’t have many followers just yet; there’s always the chance when I write that only a handful of people (or perhaps no one at all) will read what I’ve written. But I share my thoughts in the hopes that somewhere, it get someone else thinking. Now, around this idea, I can build my blogging goals – primarily, I think, to inspire conversation, so that my posts can be a place where thoughts and ideas are shared between myself and my readers, to the mutual edification of everyone.

So what is this inspiration toward thinking? I’ve left my mental definition broad: it might be to think about a weighty issue; it might be simply to draw attention to some mundane object, and so promote mindfulness and the discovery of everyday beauty. When I learn something, I like to share it, in case others find my lesson helpful.

2015: The Year of the Thinking Blog!



What is it with Frozen?

It came out nearly a year ago, but the world is still crazy about the movie Frozen. I waited till it came out on DVD, and, curious about the hype, watched it. In all honesty, I didn’t think it was amazing. It was alright, but not worth all the hype as far as I am concerned.

The songs, I was told, were fantastic. Yet somehow, everyone ends up singing that one song, ‘Let it go.’ It plays in shops and on the radio, cover versions litter my Facebook feed, and my friend’s 5-year-old sings it as she parades around in Anna’s gloves and earmuffs. The only other song I remember is ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ and that ends up as a Frozen-Sweeney Todd mashup in my mind – “Do you wanna build a snowman? Not while I’m around!” Idina Menzel’s (Elsa) singing voice is clear and pleasant but not what I’d call exceptional.

As for the plot, I thought it was way too complicated for a 108 minute film. It’s one of those movies where the storyline is so jam-packed that the individual components don’t really get much time to be unpacked and explored. It’s interesting enough, and I thought some of it was quite bold (especially the evil prince – I thought it tackled the idea of what love is and isn’t quite well), but perhaps some of these ideas should have been left for the sequel (and there will be a sequel, I’m sure!).

I’ve been wondering what it is that so appeals to this generation about Frozen. For a film that’s pretty good but not inherently amazing, it has had a huge impact, and become a cultural icon. And now I have the topic for my Genre Investigation for uni :)

What is a blog?

“…blogs sit irregularly between familiar modes of address, never quite addressing a person… never quite addressing a crowd… never quite speaking to oneself – and no one struggles more with this ambiguity, with this awkwardness of address, than the bloggers themselves. It is, I would argue, one of the defining characteristics of blogs.” – Kris R. Cohen. A welcome for blogs.

At the same time as starting this challenge of daily blogging for a year, I am studying blogs as this week’s topic for uni and it has raised the interesting question, “what is a blog?” The unit is called “Writing the Zeitgeist,” the Zeitgeist being the sort of main flavour of society at the moment. Blogs are considered a key feature in our society, and in particular it’s easy to see the link between blogging (especially news blogging) and New Journalism, which was a writing movement that incorporated the subjective experience of the author into factual material and sought to question the “authorities” on what we are being told.

The above quote is from a lecture, and it certainly rang true for me. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing for myself. I don’t have an amazingly huge readership, so I’m aware that a limited few will actually read this words – and yet I persist. And still, I hope to one day build up this blog to have a wide readership, and to write for a group. And the person I address, I suppose, is the person who will leave a comment, which is the start of a conversation.

Maybe the reason I feel like I have no real direction with this blog is that I don’t actually know what the purpose of it is! I suppose, if it came down to a life and death situation and I had to say (your challenge for today is to think what that life and death situation would be), then the purpose of this blog is to write out my thoughts to a) organize them and b) share them with people because, in spite of all attempts at humility or self-deprecation, I feel like I’m interesting and have interesting things to say. (Correct me if I’m wrong!)

So there it is: my thoughts for today. I don’t suppose this post is actually all that interesting; it is more to fulfill purpose a, organizing my thoughts. Oh, and satisfy the requirements of my challenge!