To Blog or Not to Blog – What are the Boundaries?

I’ve been a little MIA lately, went home and visited with family and friends and then came back to a new school year filled with way more to-do lists than I remembered. Sometimes, reality calls and the internet must wait.

So.

When you go to start any piece of writing, you are supposed to have a thesis statement.  Who am I writing this for? What is its purpose? A blog is no different – and should include a purpose.

So why do I blog? It’s not the world’s most original idea. Anyone can have a blog, purporting any ideals they wish. I know I’m not reaching a large mass of people – so why bother?
Basically, there are 3 main reasons I blog.

1) Community

The internet has its negative impacts, but it also has the wonderful ability to bring people together for similar passions, values, and thoughts despite geographical location. For example, the NFP community is very small. No way could I have found the types of writing and anecdotes from fellow NFP users without the internet. Blogging allows me to read about other’s journeys that may or may not be similar to mine. It creates a forum for discussion and sharing of experiences that is invaluable to me. I have connected with like-minded people, which is incredibly rewarding.

2) Therapy

I’ve always written. By written, I mean muse and reflect my thoughts into words on paper – or the computer screen, you get the idea. There’s a distinct difference, however when you write for an audience verses for your own therapeutic reasons. You have to be much more careful what, or more importantly, how you say things when you write for an audience. But it can be incredibly rewarding when someone comments (either in real life or on the actual website) about a post. It feels real and good.

3) Learning

I place a high value on learning. And blogging allows me to learn more about myself, others, and society at large. There have been times I’ve had to go back and edit things because I didn’t quite come across with the message I wanted. Or I have learned something since posting and need to modify what I previously wrote. I make a goal to always be open to hearing criticism about my posts – I could be wrong, or maybe haven’t considered another viewpoint. And that’s where the growth and learning occurs.

So now that I have outlined the reasons I do blog – I should cover what I DON’T hope to blog for.

1) Convincing, Converting, or Condemning

While I hope people can read my experiences and gain a certain sympathy for my journey, I don’t need to convince, convert, or condemn anyone. I hope to be, rather, a source of information. These are my experiences, how I reacted to it, how I feel – all a reflection and an analyzation of my environment. My mom has a saying, “Take what you like. Leave the rest.” In other words, if you read my stuff because you’re 20-something Catholic – cool. If not, but you find some inspiration or value to what I say, you can take the parts you like and leave the religious stuff out. I won’t be offended, I promise.

2) Vent

Ok. Sometimes I fall prey to this. But I really, really try not to make a habit of it. This isn’t a diary, it is a public forum. Whatever I write on here, I have to pretend it will be written in stone for the rest of my life attached to my name. Alright, realistically, I know my readers are small in number, but I must remember that my boss, my boyfriend’s parents, or my priest can read this blog. They better not be disappointed.

3) To get followers

Sure, it feels nice to know people are reading. But in all honesty – this is not my job. I do it for the reasons mentioned above. It’s not a popularity contest. And sometimes, that takes a healthy dose of humility from the Universe to remember.

With all of that being said, please send me your blogs if you’d like to share! I love to read them and find much gratification in other’s journeys.
“My peace I give to you and let us give peace to others.”

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