I haven’t been able to produce what I’d consider to be a “good” blog post in a while. And I hate to admit it bothers me a bit. When I first started blogging over the summer, it was because I had a decent amount of time to kill and I hoped that people would be at least a little entertained by the tumblr photo re-posts and random sarcastic quips about Ithaca (I blogged about the weather here at least three times in August). But when I started posting my actual opinions about things that mattered to me and people responded with positive and constructive comments, it made me surprisingly happy. And my motivation for blogging changed.
Now, the majority of my blog posts are about the important things on my mind. The things that bother me or confuse me or inspire me, or in some way or another merit consuming the (at least) 60 minutes of my time that it takes to compose a blog post. Sometimes I write about topics that make me particularly anxious, but I find to be tragically under-discussed. Other times it’s because I’ve just jumped on the bandwagon, reading about a “hot” or controversial topic, and while I’m not a specialist, I’ve formed an opinion and invite the discussion (whether agreement or disagreement) of others. And finally, sometimes I just enjoy preaching to the masses, when I vent my own anxieties and frustrations and take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone, reading the sympathetic and commiserating comments.
But besides the occasional light-hearted jokes and filler photos, everything I post is something important to me that I’ve thought long and hard about. When I write on this blog, I try to write from the heart. And so when I do get those positive comments, the constructive criticism and advice, any sign that someone has read my post and thought about what I said, I get a sense of satisfaction, some small bond of mutual understanding – that they “get me.” Someone recently said to me that they thought they learned more about me from reading my blog than from directly personally interacting with me. While the remark was a little disconcerting, I can understand where the person was coming from. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I can be awkward, a little socially strained, sometimes distant – I’ve even been described as cold. But when I blog, I don’t have to come up with witty or charming remarks on the spot. I can take all day or even all week to sound as eloquent as I want; to make sure that my arguments are clear and I say exactly what I mean to say. So yes, in a way WordPress has become like my therapist. I can take my time and tell it anything I want, it takes my words without judgement, and sometimes I get just the right feedback to make me feel a little better.
This blog post was loosely inspired by this NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/fashion/blogging-as-therapy-for-teenagers.html