I was asked this yesterday. Not in a genuinely inquisitive tone. It was more dismissive, in the way that I myself might ask someone why they watch Glee or listen to Cheryl Cole. The disapproval was evident, the implication being that 'blogging', as it were, is pointless and rubbish.
So anyway it got me thinking. Why do I blog? Neither this blog nor it's writer denies the charge of being pointless and rubbish. You can't change the world with a couple of hundred words of ire and angst every once in a while. What you can do is try to entertain or persuade. It will seem unfathomable to the person asking me the question why, but there have been positive comments about this column from a number of people. Some of them are hopelessly biased, admittedly, but if even one person has gleaned a modicum of pleasure from these pages then it is a worthy pursuit.
And to be frank my questioner seems to enjoy very little. Very little created by anyone else but himself, at any rate. Even if he were to accept blogging as a worthwhile endeavour, you can be sure it would be something that he had done before. Ten times better with sugar on top. His is an approval I'm not going to gain. There's a queue of people who wish to express their disapproval of me, mate. Please join the back and wait your turn.
My answer to the question when it was originally posed was impossibly pompous, bordering on pretentious. 'Writing is it's own reward' I said, which is some arse-wash that I once heard that uber-pretentious warbler Sting say when accepting an award. In that sense I wasn't really helping myself. That happens a lot. My mouth opens before my brain engages and before you know it there's a perception of me which I don't think is particularly accurate, or pleasant. Getting back to Sting,I don't recommend 'Fields Of Gold' when it comes to shaping one's philosophy, but I understand where he is coming from here. Writing does help. It's at least partly cathartic. I enjoy this, whether you do or not. And actually I was slightly affronted that the person asking why couldn't see the value in the concept, even if the content is invariably poor. I can accept it if you think my rantings are abysmal, self-serving, even, but I can't see how you can question the intent.
I suppose I am pondering this at a bad time. Another crisis of confidence seems to have taken hold after what has been a pretty turbulent week. It's Wednesday, which is at once a shocking and bewildering thought. And it shouldn't be. It should just be Wednesday. Maybe at bettter times in my life I wouldn't accept the point that there needs to be a reason for blogging. At such times the question would just wash over me and I wouldn't feel any need to write dark responses such as this. Maybe blogging should just be like skiing or table tennis. There isn't any rational explanation other than that you might enjoy it. The only question might be whether it harms anyone else. But I think it's fair to say that this blog has reasonable restrictions. Nowhere will you find out that so and so is a so and so (except maybe Cheryl Cole in one of my less articulate rants). And she doesn't count because I don't know her and so the chances of her ever being offended by my words are zero. It's really not about trying to bad-mouth or name and shame anyone for any wrongs that I perceive. Not even bad pop music. Or even failing to see the value in blogging.
So really, where's the harm?
Why do I blog? Why not?