12/17/13

Why I Blog . . .

Why blogs first became a "thing" (please do not fact check me oh ye of the early adoption) in the late 1990s they seemed to me to be just a bizarre thing . . . why would you EVER want to share your personal life with the world?

I should clarify here that I'd kept a journal (no, no GIRLS have diaries - "men" journal (yeah - I just made it a verb)) since the mid-80s. I had 15 years of my thoughts in books and on scraps of paper. Doodles and promises, receipts, and napkins. This felt right to me. The only person to ever read the contents of these books would be me, my parents when I died prematurely, and the general public when my first memoirs were published (I'd call them The New York, Connecticut, and Early-DC Days)

I didn't dip a toe until my days working for IBM when my office mates and I decided it would be amazing fun to chronicle our office shenanigans. We made a total of five posts including one announcing why we were starting the blog and one explaining why we were stopping. It felt very awkward and forced in the middle.

My next attempt at blogging came several months later when I had gastric bypass surgery and was asked to share my journey with my peers. What came out of it was something that felt very, very personal and that lasted for years. I stopped blogging on that site right around the time I felt I might be gaining weight again and in the early moments of my realization that my marriage might be heading for trouble (long before it was confirmed). To continue on that blog would have felt very forced.

By this time I had Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Pay Attention to Me NOW, and several other social media platforms with which to graphically over-share my every thought and emotion. I think back to my first dip in blog pond and think . . . How QUAINT, fat man!

As my marriage tanked, my weight grew, and my general sense of focus and control diminished, I sorta stopped blogging (seven or eight posts in nearly two years after years of blogging daily). Things were just too chaotic in my brain to dump my feelings out there by the paragraph.

Then, about 14 months ago, my friend Walker asked a very simple question about . . . why I don't blog more often and that was all it took. I decided I would just figure out a way to elaborate on whatever stupid thought was in my head on any given day and they are STUPID thoughts.

If you read my blog regularly (and if you do WHY - ain't you got no friends or nothin' better to be doin' with yer time?) you can probably vouch that there is no rhyme or reason to the time we share here.

Some people blog about diets. Some about parenting. Some about sneakers, wine, girls, or sports. Some people blog about funny stuff. Some share tales of woe and despair. I can honestly say I've covered every one of those topics and many, many more.

Here's the thing (and forgive me for saying this) but I don't really blog for any reason at all. I don't want to collect readers (I appreciate the 100 or so of you that stop by every day), this is not a bridge to a writing career or an attempt to make money in the exciting, emerging, digital economy, and I don't want to be seen as an influencer, taste maker, or informed voice.

I am not (unless otherwise directly indicated in a post) looking to illicit emotion or action. I don't want to inspire or deflate you. I would like it if you laugh (at the funny-ish) stuff or shake your head in agreement or disdain. I'd like you to think about my posts at some similar moment. I guess I want the basic "response" that, much like a high school art show, implies an appreciation to the effort and the notion that it was time well spent to swing by and stare directly in to the Crack of Sean.

There is a lot going on in my brain these days. I have sadness, regret, hope, excitement, wants, needs, and questions. I'm exploring all that crap and more. I apologize if you read these posts and see something grand and/or yourself in them (I'll tell you, offline, when they are "about" or "for" you and will explain why I am sharing it with the masses) or if you think I'm judging or minimizing you or anyone but Elf on the Shelf owners in any way.

NEVER my intention . . . I keep all my truly petty gripes for my journals to be published a later date (The Kansas Years, by Kenneth Davis).