Contributed by December Blogger of the Month, Rebekah Loper
I’ll be honest – this is probably the post I have struggled with the most. For two reasons, though: I am, perhaps surprisingly, a very quiet, private person by nature, and blogging is also something I’ve been struggling feeling a little lost about lately.
I’m an introvert. A very introverted-introvert, and in all honesty I could go weeks without talking to anyone and be perfectly happy. When we had the Blizzard of ’08, and we were snowed in for a week, Mr. Loper was antsy and ready to be back at work after three days, and I was about ready to cry after a week when I realized I had to be involved in the ‘real world’ again. So, yes. Introvert.
If I didn’t blog, I would have very little contact with the outside world beyond my family and my church. Well, NaNoWriMo helps, but that’s only once a year.
Blogging is a unique way to connect with people – even different than social media.
I’ve been blogging, in one form or another, since I was in my teens. First with Xanga (Yes, I had a Xanga. It’s long gone now.) then Livejournal, and then I took a break for a while before starting up with WordPress.com.
It’s been a learning curve, but ultimately there are two reasons why I blog: first, because evidently it’s a ‘thing’ that writers need to do these days. Second, because it’s a fantastic way to keep up connections with people who aren’t physically near me.
It’s more formal, and yet also more meaningful, than random status updates. A blog post says that time and effort went into it, while a status update is just a little bit of instant gratification.
Instant gratification has its time and place… but blogging is much more akin to the letter-writing days of old, where you had to think about what you were saying and why you were saying it, and how you wanted the recipient to understand it.
Also, I’m more comfortable communicating in writing, and blogging facilitates that for me quite easily!
Except when I don’t want to say anything at all. Because introvert.
I feel like I still have a long way to go, though, and these days I’m toying with the idea of going self-hosted, contemplating monetization (especially since Mr. Loper was just laid off and currently jobs in his field of experience are slim pickings), and how much time I actually want to devote to blogging outside of writing fiction.
But blogging has helped me grow in many ways. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer – mainly that I’m a slow drafter, both with blogging and fiction, and there’s no way I can keep up with daily blogging while still working on the writing I really want to do. I’ve connected with other homesteaders, both urban and rural, who I can turn to when something happens with my own animals and garden that have me stumped. I’ve made priceless connections in the writing world, including having the opportunity to contribute to the Fantasy-Faction blog on a regular basis, which paved the way for Del-Rey Spectra’s Facebook page to share the article series I wrote on worldbuilding religion for fantasy cultures. And this weekend, Fantasy-Faction shared their top 10 most-popular articles written in 2015 – and one of them was mine.
None of that would have been possible if I wasn’t a blogger.
So that’s at least a glimpse into why I blog – or at least why I think I blog.
Though I’m still figuring out a lot of it.
Rebekah Loper began creating fictional worlds as a child. Now, she is married, has a garden, keeps chickens, cats, and a dog, and is a NaNoWriMo ML. Read more about her on her blog Fantasia Hearth.