Why You Should Blog: A Legacy in Black and White

Lisa writes: There was a time, barely memorable, when we reflected upon our lives through letters and diaries, baby books, scrapbooks and photo albums. Committing our thoughts to paper documented them for both ourselves and posterity. The pace of writing encouraged introspection, but pens are obsolete and for most of us our thoughts remain in our heads or are shared through a stream of emails, texts, tweets and FB posts.

blogging, writing, blog

In my photo albums I have a second grader but in my home, a high school senior. Time has moved on, but until I started writing a blog, my chronicling had not. A blog is a point of personal retrospection, a way to leave something more lasting than a snap chat. This is why you should blog.

1. Socrates opined, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Just as true 2412 years later.

2. Social media is about being quick and clever. It demands that we are eye-catching and succinct. Subtlety and detail are often lost in the clamor for attention and humor. Blog posts are about the contemplation of our lives and thoughts in far more than 140 characters.

3. Eighty-one percent of Americans think they have a book inside them. Not all of them are wrong. A blog can be the first step on the way to writing an article, book or screenplay. It is a trial run for bigger writing projects that can look just a bit too daunting in their entirely but taken in blog size pieces come to life.

4. Becoming a better writer is good for your brain and there is only one way to improve. Maybe you have the self-discipline to hone your writing in your own little notebook. I don’t. The fear of just one other person reading my scribblings, pushes me to try to get better.

5. Writing makes us think more clearly as it forces a discipline that mere musings cannot. A decision becomes clearer when we write the pros and cons, a reflection becomes more tangible when we commit it to paper. Most of our communication is immediate and reactive and lacks any real thought, blogging forces us to think.

6. I wish I had blogged my kids’ babyhood and childhood. My photos would be in chronological order and I would remember more of those unbelievably cute things they said. I would plead with any young parent to create a digital record. Because life is more memorable when it is recorded, thus the power of photography, creating a blog celebrates your family’s experiences at any stage. Your kids will thank you and their children will as well.

7. Life can narrow as we age. We have our friends, we know our community and we can become just a little too settled. Quitting our jobs or pulling up roots and traveling the world is not an option for many. Blogging takes us into an ever-expanding world in constant contact with new people and new thoughts, our assumptions challenged, what we thought we knew, shaken.

8. In an interesting New York Times article Sunday the secret of slowing down time was revealed “It’s simple: if you want time to slow down, become a student again. Learn something that requires sustained effort; do something novel.” Coming up with new content, being forced to learn new things is what keeps us alive and young. Enter blogging.

9. Nothing makes you feel less alone in the world than 10 comments on your blog from perfect strangers saying that they are feeling the exact same thing you are.

10. Everyone should leave one indelible mark on the world, a legacy in black and white. Start a blog if you have not yet left yours.

11. We all have something to say.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Perfectly timed food for thought! Thank you for enumerating and explaining to me why I think I should continue what I’m doing … you brought me great clarity!

    Namaste ….
    Itty Bitty

  2. You’re right, Lisa. Blogging allows all of us to share our thoughts while at the same time bringing us in contact with those who share our views and maybe more importantly, those who offer us a new perspective. And it never hurts to have our minds opened up a little more, especially as we get older.

    • Some of the comments we have had, the not very nice ones, have got me thinking. They opened my mind in a way that those who agree with me never could.

  3. Well…I love writing and use my blog as a supplementary tool. There, I give myself permission to write about whatever I want and in a voice that’s terribly informal. I don’t write about my kids as much on my blog as I do in my essays which get published in two of our local magazines. I spend a lot more time fiddling with them – maybe because I get paid to write them. Not sure it would have been necessary to blog about them while they were growing up. And I never thought we needed a zillion pictures to document our family, either. (Mostly, because I’m a lazy picture-taker. :) ) Sometimes, it’s good to think they can use their own imagination, and interpretation, of how their family life was once they are old enough to reminisce. There’s a risk that maybe it won’t be as positive as we can make it out to be in pictures or blogs or essays. But that’s okay.

    • I would just love to have made a record for them, and me, of those early years. Would love to have it 10 and 30 years from now. Thanks for your thoughts Pam, you have me thinking.

      • I hear you. I guess I was just thinking our generation spent a lot of time “hovering” (me as well!) – maybe it’s good we didn’t have blogging available to us as another tool with which to hover or dissect what it means to be a mother or to talk about our kids (though I still enjoy honest posts). And my daughter has shared her annoyance at things I’ve shared on Facebook, so I’m careful to keep my Internet musings on them to a minimum. Anyway…I do think you wrote a great post.

  4. Well put. I love blogging. It keeps me disciplined about writing regularly, I get to share my thoughts and get feedback, and it’s where I chronicle the ins and outs of my daily life. Only wish I’d started it sooner.

  5. So true. Wonderful list.

  6. I was a blog skeptic. Even for a while when my only purpose in starting a blog was that elusive “writer’s platform.” Now I can relate to every reason on your list. Blogging is so many things — “thinking out loud,” connecting with others, sharing ideas, expressing opinions and viewpoints, advocating positions — and I appreciate that more every day.

    • It really is so much better that we could have known. “Everyone” might be stretching it, but many more people should jump on board!

  7. A blog is therapeutic also! I feel like I can work on some inner and outer turmoils by writing about them. Starting a blog was the best thing I’ve done in a while!

  8. And…because we have no choice! Those of us who are writers know the need to put down on (virtual) paper the things in our heads…for me, it’s a way of organizing my thoughts and feeling as though I’ve accomplished something at the same time.

    Great post and all true.

  9. You’re right: blogging is a wonderful outlet, and a valuable thing for the blogger. Thank you for listing so many of the things that make it so important to those of us who write using this vehicle.

    The most personally valuable thing I’ve gained from blogging is the tangible record of my children’s wit. They crack me up, and I sometimes chronicle the funny comments and conversations we have together. None of those posts are going to Change The World, make me An Internet Sensation, or start any sort of Meaningful Dialogue, or Get Me Published, but, when we’ve had a rough day, or when I’m down, going back through them makes me laugh, and that’s the best medicine.

  10. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    You are so right, Lisa! Your #3 is why I started, and I’m glad I did.

  11. Perfectly said! Thank you!

  12. What a lovely post. Your reasons to blog speak deeply to me. Thank you Lisa.

  13. I one hundred and ten percent agree with you, Lisa. What great reasons, what joy, what fun, what thinking and looking and especially – what great women (and the occasional man) I’ve “met” blogging. You – certainly included!

  14. I completely agree with your points! I didn’t blog their lives, but my children are in digital form, pics and movies. And in order! Very unlike me to be so organized!

  15. Hi Lisa! Great post and definitely all points that I am grateful for about my blogging! I particularly love #5 because it really is the foundation for my blog at this point. I purposely selected a theme for my writing that keeps me focused on things that I am curious and interested in–positive psychology and making the world a better place–and my commitment asks me to search out and then write about the very best of that I can find. Of course my intention is that my readers are more happy and informed because of my writing…but the real GIFT is that I am happier and more informed because of the blog. Thanks for the reminders! ~Kathy

    • This is all so true. I really relate to #7. Blogging has not only expanded my world but has also taught me how to Tweet, Facebook, Google+ 9 (maybe) Linkedin and I’m now becoming a photographer. Meeting so many bright, intelligent people. A real joy.

  16. I write better than I talk usually! And as many have mentioned…it brings clarity to our thoughts and ideas. This presentation was perfect for me to get my self motivated to keep writing and creating! Thanks, Sharon! As usual, your mentoring gives me both a smile and a push!

  17. This is a beautiful article and you make some great points. I blog about DIY and creative topics and sometimes I mention my children on occasion. I am reluctant to put their story out there because I don’t think their story is mine to tell. However, I did start journals for each of them starting at birth. Yes, the entries have dwindled as they got older but I continue to update them from time to time. To your point though a digital version would be invaluable in the event that handwritten versions are lost or destroyed. In any event, I am always encouraging others to connect with their personal stories and to realize the importance of documenting them as well.

  18. You are absolutely correct, constantly learning and writing our experiences does keep the mind young, if it does not do the same for the body as well. To blog I photograph and to photograph I blog if that makes sense. They are interdependent on one another for my site. But to capture what I have in mind often times I must research the subject and then seek it out. It is a lot of work at times but as you said when you go back and read the comments others leave, those comments that challenge you to grow even further as a writer and in my case as both a writer and photographer, the efforts are well worth it.

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