As the global quarantine continues, it is truly heartwarming to see how the world comes together on social media and be reminded that bad situations tend to bring out the best in people. So many bloggers, youtubers and instagramers now use their platforms to offer compassion and positive energy. As I watch and read about how other people are handling their everyday lives, and receive their tips for getting through this unusual crisis, I feel like I’m surrounded by more friends than ever despite being isolated at home in a locked-down society. Through technology, we are invited into other peoples’ homes and are able to share their thoughts and emotions. For weeks, I have simply enjoyed being in this worldwide spirit of compassion, and it has inspired me to write a blogpost hoping to return some of the love.
Today, I want to write to you about the gifts and benefits that I have received through blogging. I have compiled a list of “5 reasons to blog”, none of which have anything to do with making money or getting more followers. Instead, these 5 bullet points offer tools for self development, tips on how to deepen and improve your character and quality of life in ways that cannot be measured in dollars and fame. If you’re interested in blogging, I will show you how it can be a fun and creative tool on your journey of self discovery.
5 Reasons to Blog
- Learn to commit
If you blog about your passion or lifestyle, your blog is both an artistic creation and a documentation of your journey. Staying committed to a long-term project is the only way to allow the evolution of your personality to unfold. The longer the journey, the greater the transformation.
Committing to a long-term project that you’re passionate about is no different from devoting yourself to a partner in a serious relationship. It is something that needs to be cultivated in order to grow, and that passes through different phases. You must learn to put in the effort even when you’re not full of lust and anticipation, when your creative work feels like a routine job. You must learn how to take pleasure in everyday routines, and how to create the motivation and joy to do hard work, instead of expecting that the work itself will generate the energy for you. In order to commit, you have to show up for yourself, and others, on a regular basis.
In short, by learning to commit to a project like a blog, you will discover more about yourself and your path, become trustworthy and take more responsibility for your own happiness. A key aspect of this process is to cultivate patience – a quality that you will most likely need in every area of your life.
- Educate yourself and become a better student
This goes without saying, if you want to have something to write about you must study. Whether you’re studying recipes, plants, software or Scripture, you have to study broadly and learn to expand your perception. The instructions for your third grade-school essay was simply to “write down what you have learned in your own words”. This pretty much goes for all non-fictional writing (and it applies to fiction as well). The reason why this is such a great method for learning is that when you formulate a thought in your head, and write it down, you are more likely to remember it. Writing regularly will increase the capacity of your memory, your sense of logic and clarity of thought. Blogging will make you a better, more disciplined student, which greatly enhance both the joy and the depth of learning about your interests, and about the world.
Since I began blogging I have been more productive than ever, reading about and trying out new things simply because I want to have something to document. In this process, I have been able to grow and evolve aspects of my personality that I don’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.
- Be creative
Technology is a medium, a tool, that have no meaning aside from that which we infuse it with. The term “content creator” illustrates this splendidly. The algorithms are floating in the ether, waiting to be interacted with, filled with the creations of people. Technology can be used for destructive or constructive purposes. Cultivate your artistic sensibilities by learning to take better pictures with your phone or camera, making illustrations and working on layout. Not to mention finding a voice by experimenting with different styles and genres of writing and learning about the intricate interplay of words and pictures.
- Become a better writer (and reader)
We live in a world of language, text and information, more so than in any historical era, and generation, that came before us. The digital culture is made up of text, speech and symbols. It takes a lot of skill to be able to read and write on the sophisticated level that our modern technological society requires. A text is not objective, it’s not just a representation of reality. It can’t be because words and concepts don’t exist in nature, they are abstract entities that we have created. Texts are crafted. Different genres are constructed from different patterns, carefully calculated rules and principles that are meant to create a certain type of response in the reader. If we are to be free and independent in a world that is made up of text, we need to master the art of reading and writing. What better way to do this then to practice writing about something you love?
- Cultivate community
Even without the pandemic, we live increasingly lonely lives. We have smaller families, less co-workers and experience less casual physical interactions with other people than previous generations. In theory, we can work from home, order everything we need online and never see a soul in our lives. In real life, this level of loneliness is a pathway to insanity. The internet is not a substitute for physical interaction, but it can be an amazingly rewarding addition. Social media offers an opportunity to restore a sense of community in our lives that transcend geographical borders. For almost 20 years now we have been dating, educating ourselves, playing games and participated in other forms of culture and casual conversations online. I discovered both my passion for yoga and cooking through Youtube, and my online yoga teacher helped me feel acknowledged and supported through a very tough and lonely period in my life. Blogging is an incredibly fun way to actively participate in our shared culture, and to contribute in shaping the content, language and values that define us as humans today.