The question isn’t a rhetorical one. It’s one I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. I think bloggers (I still think of them as people other than me, but I guess I am a blogger by now right?) are prone to asking themselves this, especially if stats are low, or comments aren’t forthcoming, or your Tots100 score drops. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered about such things. I am a bit. But probably nowhere near as much as I should be if I want to call myself a blogger.
No. For me the trigger for the question was something altogether different: the end of another blog. A blog I have read avidly (I think every single post). since a few months after Boo’s birth. A blog that has got me through some pretty tough times. A blog that has given me hope and a blog that has made me feel less alone even though I have never met its author and she lives many thousands of miles away.
The blog is Ain’t No Roller Coaster and if you haven’t read it, stop reading this post and go find it now and read it. From start to finish. You won’t regret it. It’s a blog by the wonderful tell-it-like-it-is Tatum and her family, including her youngest and amazingly cute son Owen who was born extremely prematurely, has a PVL diagnosis (like Boo) and a CP diagnosis too. Owen’s journey – the family’s journey – is not over, of course. But the blog is. The last post on ANRC was published on the 31 July. The blog had achieved what it set out to do, Tatum wrote. Time to stop.
And this started me thinking. Why do I blog? What is it that this blog sets out to do? And how will I know when I have done it? And is the goal of blogging ultimately not to need to blog any more?
Of course people blog for all sorts of reasons. Some blog as a career or to set up businesses. Some blog as a kind of journal keeping (this wasn’t my intention but even I find it useful to look back at the blog and see when things happened and how far we have or haven’t moved on since). But I don’t blog primarily for any of these reasons. I’m much too selfish. For the most part I think my blogging is motivated by the things I struggled to explain in this blog’s first ever post: to connect with people; to feel less alone; to find my voice. I blog, in other words, for therapy.
And I suppose if these are the main reasons I blog then maybe the goal of blogging is perhaps not to need to blog any more. Maybe the goal is to be self-sufficient to the extent that talking to friends and family and healthcare professionals is enough. To be at peace.
Somehow I can’t ever see that happening.
And partly I don’t want it to. My disquiet with the way things are – not that Boo was born early or has CP, you understand, I love him for all he is – but that life is made so hard for him by all that comes with these things – the bureaucracy, the appointments, the endless therapies, the prejudice and so forth ,keeps me going. The challenges he faces make me determined to tell other people about what life is like this side of the SEN track, to try in my own limited and flawed and probably hopelessly idealistic way to try to make a difference.
I know Ain’t No Roller Coaster did that. I don’t think this blog has. Maybe if and when it does I can stop blogging. Maybe. I don’t know.
To be honest, I don’t really know exactly why I blog. All I know is for some reason, and despite my dissatisfaction with Premmeditations (that I don’t post enough or advertise posts well enough, that I don’t connect with as many bloggers as I should, that the blog is always at the bottom of the to do list), I can’t stop.
So maybe why blog is the wrong question. Maybe I should be asking myself why can’t stop.