From one of The Post a Day prompts:
What do you want to accomplish with your blog? What is it for?
Bonus: Many blogs I see never explain to readers what the goal for the blog is, which makes it hard for people who stop by to know if they should come back. Write a post about your 3 goals for the blog, who you think the readers are, and what you’re offering them in terms of topics or themes.
This post was inspired by another blog you should check out – Knotrune.
This strikes me as a very Western ideal . . . why does a blog have to accomplish something in particular? Why must we always be driven, while writing or producing anything else, to some sort of predetermined outcome?
I started this blog to participate in Reverb10 – my goal at the time was simply to do writing that wasn’t related to my dissertation research and my pursuit of my Ph.D. I needed to escape and this is where I came. It helped a lot and I think I was able to finish on time partly because I had a place to put all those extra words in my head.
At the time, I didn’t know that much about blogging or what motivated people to, essentially, keep online journals full of personal thoughts. Then I saw themes emerge, people writing about what they were going through and finding other blogs, other people, talking about the same kinds of issues. I found several blogs that I wished I had known about earlier, one of the most important being The Thesis Whisperer and I’m thankful for several of their posts that helped me maintain my sanity through the defense.
After I finished Reverb 10, I found the Word Press guide to blogging which provides a lot of excellent advice (including don’t be worried about linking away from your blog, people will come back!) In that tutorial, they mentioned that each blog needs a focus, essentially a purpose or motivation or theme, a controlling idea that keeps the readers coming back for more.
So I’ve played around with some thoughts and ideas I’ve had about how to focus or generate a theme for this blog based on what I tend to write about the most: teaching, writing, grad school, literature, and gaming. But I just refuse to do it. As it says at the top, this is the place where I am thinking out loud to myself. I am not all that worried about other people reading it and that’s not to say that I’m not excited when I see my site stats go up or I get a comment from a new person. I publish this for a reason. I’ve kept countless journals in my life – I have dusty boxes full of them in my closet – and I know what it feels like to solely write for myself.
So in keeping these thoughts in a blog I am putting them out in the world for other people to see and if someone is motivated to comment or come back because they enjoyed it, then that is wonderful. But for now, the main motivation or theme of this blog is just me reflecting on my weird and wonderful life.