Because it's there.
Why write a blog?
Blogging is like exercise — it's easy to find excuses to not do it. The time it confiscates from other writing; the commitment of keeping it up-to-date; the sheer, nerve-wracking exposure of it, are among the reasons that many writers are disinclined to blog. For years, I was one of them.
But like exercise makes sense for everyone, blogging makes sense for writers. A blog is an accessible showcase for a writer's craft. It connects us with readers in real-time, helps us expand our writing community, and — in giving something of value to the reader — it provides a platform for self-promotion that writers are likely to be comfortable with. A further spin-off is that prospective publishers like to see wannabe authors building a following thereby making their submissions a more attractive proposition. So, when you consider the benefits of blogging, it's got to be worth a punt.
I'm no stranger to risk-taking and don't mind putting in the work, yet the prospect of starting a blog from a keyboard Control 'n' is as daunting as an overhanging off-width crack. Will I be able to sustain the commitment of regular posts? Will anyone be interested in reading them? And will I have enough material to keep churning them out?
Such unknowns held me up for a decade. I was too busy writing to write a blog: a memoir published, another one close to completion, and a novel. My brain wasn't big enough to take on another kind of writing. I kept chipping away at my long-term projects, ignoring the debris of discarded scenes that crunched under my feet.
Then I joined a writing group. Each week, we read samples of our writing for honest feedback from fellow writers; it might be prose or poetry, a scene or a synopsis, a book review or a short story. Readings are limited to a thousand words, so I found myself scratching around for suitable material, eventually stooping down to the chippings, those discarded scenes, strewn across the floor. On reading some of them to my new writing group, I learned I'd found gold.
Finding a distinctive edge
With so many blogs out there, another challenge is originality. I need to differentiate my blog from others, to give it a distinctive edge. And besides, I'd like to bring something new to the form — or at least have a good crack at it. So what can I bring to the blogospherical party?
I can offer several things that add up to a powerful combination: a love of language; an eye for the ethereal; and my most precious possession: a deep well of life experience. I will endeavour to put these things together in posts that will be both entertaining and thought-provoking.
The power of metaphors
I'm excited (a cringe-worthy phrase, but it's true) about ideas for upcoming posts: life-threatening climbing epics, corporate fall-outs, the guilt of survival, the pain of divorce, a nation's first, an industry's embarrassment, the power of belief, and the shimmering edge of our vision where reality and imagination merge into one. Stories about ambition and greed, passion and gratitude; stories that are worthwhile in their own right, but their real power is in how they serve as metaphors for our existence.
When George Mallory, the ill-fated visionary who died on Everest nearly a century ago, was asked why he wanted to climb it, he famously answered, 'Because it's there.' This answer applies equally well to the question, 'Why blog?' So here I am, stepping into the world of blogging — because it's there.
It's all up from here.
Please join me on this upward journey. No experience is required to subscribe and share the view.