When the term "blog" first began showing up, I had no idea what it was. I seemed to hear it usually on the news referring to some item of interest or controversy posted on the internet, but still did not really know what it was all about.
Then I heard that anyone could have a Blog. My question to myself was, "Why?" The second question was, "How would anyone know where it was or that it existed in order to start reading it?"
Then I heard that a grandniece had a blog. Then that her mother had a blog. Then that another niece had a blog. But I did not know how to find their blogs. Finally I asked my sister (the mother and grandmother of these bloggers) for the address of one of them, and that led me to the others.
While it still did not necessarily answer my question as to why someone would want to put so much personal information on the internet, I found that I very much enjoyed reading their posts. I learned to know them better. I loved the family photos. I found myself looking forward each day to reading their posts.
One day, when my niece who writes the Only the Manager blog was visiting her mother, we talked about blogging and she encouraged me to blog also. I thought about it. I even bought the Blogging for Dummies book and started to read it. Too Much Information! When it started talking about establishing your own domain and what the costs might be, I decided I really wasn't that interested.
Some time later my niece, Susan, nudged me again, and I learned that using Blogger was both easy and free.
Still, this doesn't answer the question of why I would want to blog.
Do I think I write such deathless prose that the world is waiting to read it? Well, no.
Do I think that the moment I post something hundreds, nay thousands, of people from around the world are going to be waiting to read it? Again, no. I do not suffer from delusions of grandeur.
Do I think my thoughts and opinions are so very, very important that people should have access to them? No. One of the reasons I hesitated to blog at all was the reluctance to expose my thoughts so publicly.
So, why? For me, I think it came down to two basic reasons. I don't know which is most important to me.
1) It is a way to keep in touch with family. I loved the family blogs I was reading daily.
2) I'm doing it for the mental exercise. Writing forces a person to focus, organize thought, and seek to express thought in a clear, concise, readable manner. It is so easy in these retirement days to be mentally lazy. Doing the daily Cryptoquote and crossword puzzles in the newspaper provides mental challenge, but not enough. Reading books is pleasure and learning, but not terribly demanding. Accepting the discipline of writing a blog is good for my brain!