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 Facebook posts and blogs.
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.