Friday, 27 January 2012

Blogging : Is It Just for Us Narcissists?

Ah Facebook, the land of milk and honey . . . or not so much . . . however it did get me thinking once again about this whole blogging thing and why others blog.

I blog because I needed an outlet.  I needed a way to deal with the darkness and to try and find my voice again.  I blog because it was a way to release the thoughts that filled my brain.  I blog because through it I have made some amazing connections.

Now back to Facebook.  The other day a friend posted that she had decided to become a blogger.  That peaked my interest for a couple of reasons.  The first being that very few people in my real life know about this space so it was interesting that she had decided to take up something so close to my heart.  The other reason being that I love finding out why others start their blogs.

Well her little announcement brought about some interesting, and I suspect somewhat accurate, opinions concerning the whole blogging thing.  It was mentioned that perhaps blogging was kinda narcissistic and that, rather than traditional journaling, the writing becomes for the audience rather than for the writer.

I get it, I can see how it can seem entirely self-centred and that we pander to an audience . . . because sometimes we are and sometimes we do.  See how I am totally writing for the audience right now . . . mostly cause I have had a rough day and writing how my blog can be a wee bit self-centred and audience focused just makes me feel like a heel so I am dragging you down with me.

From the outside looking in blogging must seem so strange . . . sharing personal thoughts, feelings and events for strangers world-wide to read and comment on.  However, once you immerse yourself in this world the reasons for it become clear . . . blogging is truly a community of amazingly supportive people who not only understand and empathise with the thoughts and feelings that you are pouring out . . . many of them are experiencing something similar.

My words here have led me to connecting with some fantastic people . . .  people I would never have had the opportunity to get to know if it wasn't for blogging.  My words here have allowed me to find my voice again and clear the negative thoughts that plagued my brain for so long.  My words here helped me to finally say that I survived PPD. 

Personal blogging is not for everyone.  Personal blogs are not everyone's cup of tea.  However, this space, the words contained within, along with the words of so many other amazing bloggers are my cup of tea.  I am a blogger and I am pretty proud of it.   Now that being said I am not planning on linking up to my personal Facebook page anytime soon and I kept my thoughts on blogging to myself and I will let my friend find her own way . . .

What about you?  Why did you start blogging? 
Jenn




26 comments:

  1. Jenn, you you had to know I would totally relate to this considering my New Year's Day post.

    I think ppl need to tweek their thinking about blogging away from being about narcissism, to being about validation.

    Also, I don't pander to my audience. Rather, knowing that ppl will come and read only pushes me to try and write better.

    Anyway, I could say lots about this, and i imagine I probably will write more on my own blog sometime!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that blogging is not necessarily about narcissism . . . I mean there certainly are some blogs out there that are . . . but the vast majority are about connecting, sharing and release.
      Jenn

      Delete
  2. Well, as a self proclaimed narcissist...ahem...name of my blog..ahem...I still find myself a little insulted when I am called self absorbed. I agree, I think blogging is an outlet, and I never knew it would be such a supportive community. I often contemplate quitting, but then I think, "But my bloggy friends! I love them!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree . . . I do love my bloggy friends and would be much worse off without them!
      On behalf of the bloggers out there that love what you do dear Sandra . . . don't quit . . . PLEASE!
      Jenn

      Delete
  3. So many people in my personal life do not understand why I blog and they have no interest in finding out.
    They think it's silly and a waste of time.
    They don't understand that it has helped me understand my mental illness, my PPD, and my struggles with depression.
    They don't understand that there is a community of people who will go to the ends of the earth to support and encourage me and other bloggers.
    They don't get it and never will... unless they have the passion themselves.
    I'm so glad you are part of this unique group.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As one of the people I'd never have "met" if it wasnt for blogging I say thank God for this little community :)

    My blog honestly started as an outlet as well but at the back of my mind my writing aspirations always lingered. Its given me the confidence to branch out into other forms of writing so I'll always be grateful for having started my little slice of cyber space, whether I get readers or not :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, without our little blogs how would I have ever gotten to know my most adorable Aussie friend . . . my kindred spirit!

      I never actually expected to get any readers when I started it . . . I remember how shocked I was when I got my first. Now, out of this I have made some amazing friendships that I truly cherish.
      Jenn

      Delete
  5. I never knew how cathartic blogging would be when I started, or how many amazing people I'd "meet" and form such awesome relationships with. I share all kinds of crazy personal stuff on my blog, but I don't keep a diary cuz I think, "OMG what if I died and people read my journal? so embarrassing!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha, I love it! I am so with you on how cathartic it can be . . . the amazing release and then the wonderful support . . . wow, that really did sound a wee bit dirty . . . sorry about that! ;)
      Jenn

      Delete
  6. People really have some strange ideas about blogging. I've had very mixed reactions myself.
    It is about finding your voice, connecting, sharing. What is self centred about that?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love blogs. I only wish I had them long ago. I think it is important to be able to reach out to others who you may not normally be able to. Sure we share a lot about ourselves, but it's not about competion here or boasting, it's about discovery and learning. Not to mention, it's just super fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, it is not about boasting . . . it is about sharing the highs and the lows . . . connecting and supporting.
      Jenn

      Delete
  8. So well said, Jenn. I can completely relate (to pretty much all of it!)

    Why did I start? I literally outgrew the forum I had been frequenting while trying to simultaneously recover from my daughter's death, learn about IVF and connect with others doing the same. I had more to say than a forum post format would allow.... I also thought a blog would offer me somewhat more privacy to express myself and, as you so eloquently put it, find my voice again. Wrong! I was followed. Now, in my 7th year of blogging, I'm not so freaked by the thought of people logging on to see what I've written today, cause I do it to so many people I've come to care about myself! :) I love that our blogging community has so many diverse people and yet we have this one thing in common: a need to connect (whether we admit to it or not).

    Thanks for being you! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks! I totally admit that part of my reason is a need to connect with people . . . to understand and be understood! xx
      Jenn

      Delete
  9. I started blogging just for me. But as time goes on its become something more, and sometimes I hope I can make money out of it grow it into a business. Other times, I would rather it stays small. So I just play with it. I do know that I still find it therapeutic, that it's connected me with such a rich community of wonderful people who entertain me and encourage me ... sometimes I blog more, sometimes I blog less. But I can do that because it's mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, it is your litle space and there is something about having something just for yourself that is so therapeutic. xx
      Jenn

      Delete
  10. I started my blog when I was almost one year into the thick of my PPD. I wrote in a journal and my husband said to me "You can help a lot of people if you wrote your story"....so I did.
    My posts come from my soul. If people like it, cool. If they don't, that's cool. I write for me. I do write for others in mind when I blog about my personal battles with PPD and bipolar and self mutilation, but it's only to inspire hope or to give people who have never experienced it a window into our minds.
    For me, I've opened a door to a support system that I could have never gotten if I stayed silent. My readers mean more to me than they'll ever know. They've encouraged me and held me.
    I hope to give that back to a soul who needs it.
    You can never go wrong when you write from your soul ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that you may have stated my point better than I did! I agree, blogging has brought with it a support system beyond my imagination . . . I feel grateful to each and everyone of you who have helped hold me up during some of my darkest days.
      Jenn

      Delete
  11. I started blogging both as simply a creative outlet, and a place for me to be open and honest about my bipolar depression. I don't announce on facebook when I've written a new post. I didn't even tell any one about my blog for the first month or so, it was a blog just for me. I don't know what that says about me. I've met a lot of wonderful people through blogging, and building these connection is just another reason for me to continue blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm glad I decided to start blogging, otherwise I would have never met you, Jenn!

    I have always been better at communicating things written than verbally. I enjoy sitting down and just write to my heart's content. My dear friend, Ms. Lips was the one who told me to create my own blog; she told me might as well put your writing out there for others to see. So yeah, maybe it started with a tad of narcissism in my part (uh huh, I'm totally assuming others would want to read what comes out of my head lol), but after having been at it for a while, it's evolved into something more--a mixture of a journal chronicling my life, my thoughts, and also my attempts at helping others know that they're not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just came across your lovely blog but I felt compelled to comment here. I blog about a very specific topic, but I enjoy reading blogs about all sorts of issues. Personal blogs written by fellow mommas or women are interesting to read because you get to read the words inside someone's mind and heart. Each of us has a unique voice and something to contribute, and blogging is a way to get that message out to the masses. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Ah connecting is a grand thing!