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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why I Blog

I just returned from a holiday with my family on the Amalfi coast, which was amazing, and suffered a bout of (not so amazing) food poisoning. That, and the kind of existential crisis that can only happen when your plane home is flying through the kind of severe turbulence that makes an otherwise sturdy machine seem about as fortified as an empty can of Pepsi.

The first patch of turbulence was scary.  The second was fucking terrifying.

So, as the plane rolled around in patches of grey cloud, I alternated between praying (no atheists in foxholes and all that...) and coming to terms with the fact that I have NO direction whatsoever career-wise.  This is unfortunate, because I have wanted to be a journalist since seeing April O'Neal prancing around and being generally inept in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a wee one.

Now though, it's a slightly different story.  I've worked in a staff capacity and as a freelancer for some papers and magazines and I love doing it, despite the lack of pizza, light bondage-esque kidnappings and anthropomorphic sidekicks.  Aside from that, I've got a few (writing) projects that I tool away on from the sidelines.  A bit of fiction, a bit of research, some scripts, none of which has yet seen the light of day (and might never, I'm not kidding myself that I'm the modern Renaissance woman of writing).  But I'm not a Journalist journalist, or broadly speaking, I don't earn enough money doing it and I don't have a formal media qualification.  You could forgo the qualification for work experience, but in the current economic climate and given the geography, even internships are beyond hard to get*

I have a finger in a lot of pies, but (apart from the journalism), it's largely half-arsed, or filled with ideas that might never, ever come to fruition.  I'm a dilettante, a total amateur who hopes one day to have just one finger wedged firmly into one pie**.

Thing is, I'm now constantly second-guessing myself.  Do I really want to be a journalist, or do I want to write something else?  And if I did, what if I was terrible at it and ended up going back to bartending (which is fun, but not something I'd spend my life doing)?

Alright.  Rant terminated.

I've veered off point slightly.  Whoops.  To recap, all that stuff I've complained about above, the lack of direction, the indecision, the fear for the future.  That's the first reason I like blogging.

Why I Blog

  1. None of that stuff matters when I blog.  It has little or no consequence or impact on my future.  I don't need a masters degree to blog.  I don't need to have previous experience.  All I need is a bit of enthusiasm and a Photobucket account.  Which is nice.
  2. I get to meet all kinds of nice bloggers and read comments from people who agree with me or have something to add or refine.  Blogging really encourages community feeling and a discourse between people with mutual hobbies and interests, and I really, really appreciate everyone who takes the time to follow my blog or leave a comment.
  3. Blogs are immediate.  My Google reader is a bit like the ticker on Sky Sports, except with shoes and bags instead of Raoul Moat.
  4. Even though blogging involves a lot of writing, it's still nothing like journalism.  Good journalism is based on getting your point across in the quickest, most entertaining way possible.  Blogging, not so much.  I can ramble on and talk about whatever I want, which is great.  I can even throw in the odd spelling mistake. 
  5. I get to share what I love and find out what other people love too.  I'm like a creepy fashion voyeur.
  6. Reading other people's blogs and blogging helps me to draw inspiration, to really think about personal style, or what style means to me.  Even though I'll only do outfit posts very rarely, blogging does help me to dress a little bit better

So here's the science bit.  If you've gotten through this incoherent ramble without chewing on some tinfoil for light relief and you feel like commenting, let me know why you blog and what you like about it.  I'd really love to know (creepy fashion voyeur lurking in again).

*Sorry if I sound bitter but I've just had a particularly crushing experience with an internship (or lack thereof).
**If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then you're a total smut merchant.