I stumbled upon a posting with a title that caught my eye. You Should Blog Even If You Have No Readers. Catchy title and it seemed to mirror my own ideas. But reading this excellent posting, I realized that I was clearly blogging for very different reasons than the writer suggests.
My apologies to Nathan Marz, the writer of the posting, if I have failed to capture the essence of what he wrote. I encourage you to follow the link and read the posting in his own words.
Mr. Marz espouses that writing makes you a better reader. Through writing you learn to organize your own thoughts and find holes in your reasoning. Writing allows your thoughts become words on a paper where they are more easily examined rather than ideas floating in your mind. And through the writing process you are better able to see the strengths and flaws of your own work as well as the work of others. He makes several other points, but in short, writing makes you a smarter and a better person.
Early in my blogging journey, I discovered that writing was a reward in itself, but I wasn't sure why. I don't have a product to sell. There is no religious or political message I want to deliver. I don't even have a creative talent like art, music or photography I wish to share. And while I agree with the ideas in Mr Marz's post, I don't do this to be a smarter or a better person.
Over time writing has helped me sort out why I enjoy blogging. There are so few times in life where you can have the total flexibility and freedom of self expression. Selecting topics, expressing thoughts and ideas, sharing fun experiences or life's difficulties, publishing on your own schedule, capturing the right pictures ... all these are rewards for me.
But there is more. The blogging process slows me down. It gives me time to think and write about things that are important just to me. It forces me to find joy in the everyday occurrences of life and sometimes even in bad situations. It houses the memories of the large and the small events of living.
Mr. Marz would probably see my reasons for blogging as "side benefits". And maybe they are, but if it wasn't for the side benefits, I would close this blog down.
And as for writing even if you don't have readers? The idea of a readership has grown and sprouted legs with me. I am not sure why. It has been fun to reconnect with some people who I seldom see. I love the idea that someone just might be reading what I write and have taken the time to write a comment. Would I stop writing if everyone went away ... absolutely not. The blogging process is for me. The reader interaction is icing on the cake. But I like cake more.
I blog as if someone is reading, or not.