There is a lengthy and wonderful conversation currently occurring about useless blogging and how useful it actually is. What constitutes a useful post? Should we really all be writing ’20 ways with kale’ type posts? What do you do when you come up empty? Or feel yourself falling short? Does anyone care anymore about posts that aren’t pinterest-worthy? Does every post need to solve a problem? Can’t we just get to know each other? Why does it feel like all people want to read is ’20 ways with kale’? Do you follow the path that seems to lead to more readers and advertisers? Or do you stay true to what makes your own heart sing?
I think all these questions about useless/useful blogging all come back to the central question — Why blog at all? Why do anything creative with our time?
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on this in her book, Big Magic. She says that the desire to pursue creativity is inherently useless, inherently essential and inherently human. The desire for connection with ourselves and with others. The desire to make things of beauty. A desire as old as humanity.
What I have loved reading within this conversation is how people came to blogging. And it’s never been with the desire to extol the virtues of kale. New mothers have needed an outlet and identity away from their darling children. People want a creative space to call their own. Bloggers seek connection with others through the expression of thoughts and ideas and passions.
Sometimes we rant and sometimes we ponder and sometimes the words fall in a beautiful order and sometimes they appear in a scrambled mess. But it’s all fulfilling a personal need.
My own blogging journey is a chequered one. I wrote a few little blog posts back in the early days but I didn’t know there were other bloggers out there to connect with. When my middle son died I turned to writing as a way to work through my grief. When my youngest was born, I felt brave enough to move those words into a public space – Chasing His Sunshine. That blog was the most useful thing I did to work through my grief. It gave me solace, it gave friends and family perspective and it gave other bereaved families comfort and hope. It was the complete opposite of useless blogging.
Eventually, I wanted a place to write that was separate to my grief and this blog was born when my friend Sarah also wanted to expand her blog. This niche-less space. This sand-pit that allows me to throw words around see how they land. This corner of the internet where I welcome visitors with open arms but I’m also quite content to fluff the cushions and put on the kettle just for myself. This place of comfort for my soul.
Back when I first started writing the little posts, I had no idea where this would take me or what it would become. I didn’t even know web hosting companies like Hostiserver existed! Now I know a little bit about the blogging world, I feel a little more confident in the content I create.
I think the question about useless blogging needs to be turned inward. Is the act of blogging useful to the blogger? Is it fulfilling a creative need? Because the other stuff is just jam in my opinion.
Which begs the question — is the pressure to only create useful posts stifling the original usefulness of blogging?