The answer to the question: Why do people blog? Is as varied as the blogs that people create. You could get ten bloggers in a room, ask them all that very same question, and all of them would have a different response.
Some people want to showcase a skill or talent that they have, some people just want to start a conversation, some people have excelled in their field and want to share their expertise, for some it’s a creative outlet, for some it’s a step towards writing for a living.
For me that’s the joy of blogging. It’s not any one fixed ‘thing’ it’s malleable, organic and easily personalised. I think that’s why it is so popular. It allows everyone to have an uncensored voice. That is an incredibly powerful and liberating idea.
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How many people out there actually blog?
When I started thinking about writing this post, the first question that popped into my head was; ‘I wonder how many blogs actually exist?’ Blogging as an industry has exploded in the last few years, so I figured that it would be quite a high number, but I never in a million years would have thought that it is as high as it is!
A quick google told me that there is an estimated 440 million blogs worldwide. Tumblr has over 360 million of these blogs! Mind blowing! WordPress, the platform I use has some unbelievable figures. Over 409 million people view more than 21.0 billion pages each month (that’s 2.76 pages for every person on earth!!) and Users of WordPress produce about 86.4 million new posts with 46.7 million new comments made on those posts each month.
So it’s clear that people are definitely feeling the love for blogging!
Why do I blog?
I have only been blogging for about two months now (you can find out more about the idea behind Challenge Clare here) , so my reasons for blogging are all still pretty fresh in my mind, and there are actually quite a few reasons why I started… Here they are!
Writing as therapy
Firstly, I’ve always loved writing. The process of putting words on a page is something I find strangely soothing. I think it’s because my mind has always been a whirlwind of ideas and getting some of that stuff out of my head and on to a piece of paper helps to quiet the noise in my head.
It’s not just the madness of ideas either. Sometimes it’s the madness of life. In my darkest times, pouring my heart out onto a piece of paper has been hugely therapeutic. Even if it’s just rambling, raging, whatever. It doesn’t matter. Because, it’s far better for it to be out of my head, written down. Than still in my mind torturing me!
I love the creativity of writing, the variety of what can be crafted and created just by linking letters and words into sentences and paragraphs. It sounds so easy when you put it like that!
So essentially, the blog is my opportunity to be creative and write for a purpose. To develop my writing style. Not only that, it’s an opportunity to collect together all of my random musings, thoughts and ideas. To record the minutiae of my life. The stuff you forget. As well as the landmark events and experiences in my life. To look back over and enjoy again and again.
I’ve always loved to reflect and look back. It helps me to propel myself forward, and attempt to avoid the mistakes of the past!! But mostly it gives me a sense of contentedness. It allows me to remind myself that actually in this life, although there are dark times, the majority of it is bloody brilliant. Even the mundane becomes awesome once it is lost.
Another reason for starting the blog is that actually, I genuinely feel that I have something worthwhile to share with people. I am a strong woman, through both choice and circumstance. With that strength comes a freedom that is truly liberating. I’ve become strong through embracing challenge and change, and I want to share how I’ve done that with others, so that they can shape their own lives so they feel as contented and free as I do right now.
I firmly believe, that with the right support, guidance and direction that it is possible to achieve whatever you want to. If it isn’t hard, then it isn’t worth having. I truly believe that. My experience has taught me that life’s hardest challenges are also the ones that bring the most joy. You just have to pick your hard ?
At a crossroads
However, really the main reason for starting the blog is the life crossroads I find myself at. I am 37 years old. All of my children have left school and are on their way to leaving home. My contemporaries are knee deep in child rearing and I’m screeching towards an early midlife crisis!
I wanted to create something that was mine and mine alone. That would open up opportunities to meet new people, try new things and achieve some life goals that I’ve set myself to fill the gap that mothering has left! So that I can survive my empty nest! (Sad as that sounds!!) I’m just really looking forward to embracing some new challenges, experiences and planning and building some more wonderful memories, and I thought that it would be fun to document and share that.
I also love tech, social media and learning new things. Blogging has given me the perfect opportunity to embrace all three.
Thinking about starting a blog?
I would say go for it! There is so much help, information and support out there to get you started. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just get set up on a free blogging platform like wordpress, blogger or tumblr and start writing. Then if you fall in love and want to keep going the you can think about more technical stuff like domain names and self hosting! Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also a mine of information for aspiring bloggers, and hugely supportive.