Back in 2013, I talked about how I've been journaling on the regular since 1998. It's something I'm really proud of, and I don't think I will ever not chronicle my life's inane events.
Blogging publicly is newer to me. I started in 2006 when I found out I would be moving to Nunavut. I started the blog because in those days, there was very little information for people moving north. I chronicled our entire move north, our acclimatization into northern living, my subsequent move to Iqaluit alone, and what it was like to leave the north and move back to Ontario.
However, blogging has not been without its headaches. There was a period of time where I was receiving negative attention via blog comments from people who had personal, non-blog-related issues with me, and thought insulting me "anonymously" online was a good way to get back at me...or something. It was frustrating and I started to feel like I should stop blogging, because then I wouldn't be giving these people more ammo with which to insult me. In the end I decided to just keep on doing my thing and ignore the haters, so to speak.
Fortunately, the storm has passed and those people seem to have moved on.
These days, my life is a lot less interesting in that I am a stereotypical millennial living a stereotypical life in a stereotypical place. I like blogging about my daily life, and I think there is value in writing about various personal things that others may shy away from.
Here are the reason why I've continued to blog for 9.5 years:
1. To help others. This is really the main reason I blog. I get a lot of hits on my blog from people looking for information pertaining to jaw surgery. Likewise, I have read many jaw surgery and braces blogs in the past 2 years, and I am grateful for every person who shares their experience. I don't know what I would have done without these people, because it's through their stories that I could be better prepared for my own surgery.
Before the jaw surgery, I would get lots of hits pertaining to the Wilton classes I took, and long before that, my Nunavut blog was very popular on Google. I heard from several people when I lived up north that my Nunavut blog had helped them either decide or prepare to move north.
As far as the more personal entries I've written, I think it's important to talk about topics others might not be willing to write about. I am happy to see mental health become less taboo to discuss and I am happy to contribute to reducing the stigma. I understand and respect people's desire for privacy, but if no one is willing to discuss the gritty details of life, how can we ever grow as individuals and as a society? I personally lose nothing by talking about my issues with body image, anxiety, and other struggles. If it helps someone else realize they're not alone in whatever struggle we may share, I've done my (unpaid) job. We so closely guard our weaknesses in life, especially from friends and family, but I don't necessarily think that's a good thing.
2. To meet people. I've met a few people because of my public blogs, as well as my private Livejournal. My husband Anthony is one such person, as he found my Nunavut blog back in 2009 and added me to Twitter. I've met a few of my Livejournal friends from over the years as well as a few people who used to read my old Nunavut blog. I've also met some of the "original" Nunavut bloggers.
3. Because I have a need to write. I love to write for an audience, but I'm not at all interested in doing it professionally. Blogging is really the perfect way to write something people (might) read, and there are no deadlines, editors, or topics you have to mind. Also, I do so much private writing on my Livejournal that I enjoy flexing a different muscle by writing something meant for a wider audience. These entries are more work but I like taking my time and crafting something I can be proud of.
4. To help myself. The best thing about writing is that it makes it easy to organize and recognize your feelings about something. If it's something that's bothering me, I pretty much always feel better after I write about it. Seeing your thoughts and feeling written into words often has the ability to help you see more objectively, which can be beneficial. I can't tell you how many times I've written something in my Livejournal that was bugging me, only to read back on it and think, "Holy crap this is stupid/common/not a big deal."
5. Because hearing "I read your blog" is the freakin' best compliment ever.