To Blog or Not To Blog

Last week, I was all set to pull the plug here. I didn't feel like I had anything to say, or a particularly compelling or interesting way of saying it, and was seriously questioning why I was bothering to write anything at all.

And it was my birthday, and I hate birthdays, and generally feel like everything I'm doing is futile and worthless for the week or so leading up to them. Usually I feel better once the cake has been cut, but I was still questioning my participation in the blogosphere (sorry, Dean) a few days later. I said as much to Dean, who asked if I was quitting because I wanted to quit, or because I felt I wasn't good enough to continue.

My first reaction was I'm quitting because I want to quit. I have always believed that I dislike writing - although I'm reasonably competent, I've never enjoyed it. But I realized that wasn't strictly true. What I dislike is actually the physical act of applying pen to paper - I had poor handwriting as a child (the only Needs Improvement I ever received on a report card was for penmanship, and I cried all the way home from school. I believe my mother laughed and told me it really wasn't that important) and handwriting has always been a physical hardship. In school, I never did a rough draft unless it had to be handed in along with the final copy, because I couldn't stand the thought of writing something out twice. But as I thought about it, I realized that I quite like composing at a keyboard - my hands can keep up with my thoughts (most of the time), I can correct as I go, and I even like the clickety-clack of the keyboard.

So I wasn't thinking of quitting because I didn't enjoy writing. I was quitting because I didn't think my work was good enough. Good enough for what? A very good question, and that's why I'm still here. I don't want fame or fortune, so I'm not trying to build up to a million hits a day. I'm not trying to influence anyone's opinion, or change the world, or really even make a difference. The only person I really write for, beside myself, is Dean, and he likes what I write. I don't think it's anything special, but it doesn't really have to be - it's not like I'm getting paid for this, or forcing people to read it.

Dean asked if anything I had written here had helped me in some way, given me some insight I might not have gained had I left the thoughts in my head, and I realized that there have been a couple of times when blogging has helped me clarify my feelings, or gain new understanding of my thought processes. And that seems to me, for the time being, sufficient reason to continue.