Friday, October 19, 2007

Blogger: Its Part In My Downfall

Lynn threw me into a fit of navel-gazing existential anguish by asking me in the comments of the previous post: 'Why do you blog?'.

My first reaction was to assume Lynn was telling me that my blog is pointless rubbish and that I shouldn't bother, but after two cervezas, some execrable doo-wop music and a stomachful of popcorn, I became slightly more sanguine.

My reasons for blogging have changed a lot over the years. When I started, it was because I wanted to learn HTML, and blogging seemed like a good way to do it. I could learn HTML while writing about myself, which was irresistibly self-indulgent. Also, it was what all the uber-geeks you read about in Wired were doing, and I wanted to be an uber-geek and be in Wired too.

As it turned out, I failed the entry-level test for blogworld geekdom by a) not living in San Francisco's Mission District, and b) not being very good at HTML. You can tell this by the fact that my early posts have no titles - in those days Blogger didn't have a field for entering a blog post title; you had to code titles in by hand. There was no comment functionality, either - you had to use a little commenting plug-in built by someone else, usually a chap in a garage in Sacramento, and the comments used to crash every time the garage chap's server fell over due to MASSIVE WORLDWIDE DEMAND. Happy days.

Anyway, then Pyra Labs sold Blogger to Google, and Google fixed it so you didn't really need to know any HTML at all, so that plan went out of the window, although it turned out, much to no one's surprise, that I quite liked writing about myself, so on I went.

Or rather I didn't, because I moved to France and fell out of the blogosphere for a couple of years, before making my glorious return in April 2005 [hmm, I decided to take this bit out...]

Later [and this bit] I left the marital home in a desperate bid to retain my own sanity, and kept on blogging as a kind of outlet for all the things that I would have discussed with ex-Mr P had we still been together, and to try and make some kind of sense of my life, which seemed to have gone horribly, incomprehensibly wrong all of a sudden, and for the company of the readers and commenters, who are all lovely people and who saw me through some quite emotionally difficult times (thank you all, lovely blog readers and commenters).

Nowadays I'm terribly happy and emotionally quite calm, so these days I blog because I get to use words and writing styles that I can't get away with using at work, and because when I find something funny I like to write it down, and because I really, really like tiny mundane minutiae that might never get recorded otherwise. And if other people sometimes like reading it too, then even better.

Along the way I've met some wonderful, fascinating, interesting, lovely and gorgeous people, several of whom have become good friends in real life. And by reading other people's blogs I've learned lots of things - the blogosphere is a massive cornucopia of people and things and ideas that you would never have known about otherwise, and that's why I love it.

So I don't expect to stop blogging any time soon, and in fact I now have two blogs, one personal, one professional. All the better to write about myself with.

I'm still rubbish at HTML, though.

6 comments:

Pashmina said...

You've got a damn sight more blogging stamina than most of us, that's for sure, for which (amongst other things, not least your judicious editing skills) I salute you.

Sylvia said...

Hurray! Keep blogging foever...

DavetheF said...

You blog effortlessly, at least it appears that way. Keep on truckin'.

Valerie said...

I briefly read

I could learn HTML while writing about myself

as

I could write HTML while learning about myself

(which, come to think of it, is probably why *I* blog.)

Anyway, I think you have a permanent audience out here... if you go away, we'll be reduced to rereading your archives (reruns)...

Tim Footman said...

It's like that bit in one of the later Hitchhiker books (So Long, maybe?) where Arthur learns how to fly - essentially you have to forget that you can't.* If I start thinking too hard about why I blog, why I want to participate in this Big Conversation, I freeze. If I just treat it as writing, I'm OK. Maybe it's because I love writing but don't really like people very much (present company excluded, natch).


*Unfortunately this turns into probably the worst passage in Adams's oeuvre, with an aerial sex scene (I think his only contribution to the art of erotic fiction) and a hymn of praise to Dire Straits of all bloody people.

Tinsie said...

Who needs HTML anyway? It's the words that count ;-)

I hope you keep it up!