Your ‘why’ dictates the format

Blogging for 28 days straight has been a little tough. There have been days that if I was not doing this challenge, I would not have created a post. I would have let myself get by with the excuse that I was too busy or too tired to blog.

But there is another reason. Sometimes you simply have nothing to say. Or like in real life, somedays you just don’t feel like talking to people. And to me, personal blogging is a conversation with others. So the days that I really struggled are the days where I just wanted to be inside my own head and not have to extend myself to talk to anyone one. When I blog, I imagine I’m speaking to someone. So if I’m not in the mood to “talk” it makes it hard for me to blog.

It’s like not wanting to go to the party that your friend is throwing but you feel like you have to go out of obligation to your friend!

The other thing is this: blogging or to blog is generally associated with writing. And in the current climate usually involves writing on a narrow topic or niche and generally to solve a particular problem unless it’s a news-oriented site then the point is to report the news. Whereas for me, I see blogging as a medium for self-expression and a vehicle for documenting your life. To me, a blog is like a public journal or diary where you capture your thoughts and observations about life in general and your own life in particular and share it with others. Personal blogs are like the watercoolers of the Internet – a place to gather to share stories about what you’ve been up to.

Stylistically, I’m partial to stream of consciousness, juxtapositions, and lyrical flow. And I’m also partial to using whichever medium feels best at the time, whether it’s writing, audio, video, drawing or photos and any combination thereof.

I like the idea of and the fluidity of microblogging with platforms like Twitter,, Mastodon, or Tumblr. The IndieWeb Movement, of course, is encouraging people to use their blogs in the same way as you would Twitter or Tumblr. If you’re using WordPress I’d recommend the indieAuth plugin which enable your blog with up 20 different post formats.

This creates a real sense of using your blog as a documentary tool.

I guess the best tip I can offer is to understand why you blog? Your ‘why’ will dictate the format most appropriate to use to achieve your why. I suspect it’s also about your perception of blogging, whether it’s a formal tool, or informal tool and whether you believe people will fnd what you have to say interesting or not. As a blogger, these are things you’ll have to recocile with yourself.

I just bought one of Hugh Macleod’s old books, Blogging in Your Underwear. It’s not his best work, but he makes some good motivational points about blogging and what it stands for or could stand for. He tells a little story about an interview he watched of Henry Rollins, the punk rocker and performance artist:

I was wtaching Henry Rollins being interviewed on TV by some clever media twinkie. Twinkie was criticising Rollins about his new work, saying something like, why did you do it this way, why didn’t you do it your old, normal way, will your fans approve of this new direction, yada yada, yada…Rollins just looked at Twinkie and said, ‘I thought rock ‘n’ roll was about Freedom…?

And that’s exactly what the Internet and blogging in about – Freedom, and using your computer instead of a guitar to share your truth!


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