Self Published

We live in this age now where we are able to be published writers at a click of a button and this is the most freeing feeling. It allows us to be uncensored and raw. Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” resonated with me because it made me think about why I blog.

Sullivan presents blogging as an engaging and connective piece of writing between the author and the writer. Blogging allows the writer to grow and be more knowledgeable than ever because readers will critique and correct their pieces. This is in contrast to normal, pen to the paper writing since the author does not always receive feedback unless it is in the form of peer editing. Blogging allows me to connect with people who I would normally never see. It is nice to know other people are going through the similar things as me or feel the same way and I feel a connection between them. My blog allows them to get a glimpse into my mind that some of my even closest friends do not have access to.

Sullivan mentions that the subject of a blog post comes from what is familiar which often leads to ourselves: our thoughts, feelings, and reactions. I agree. People start from their own interests and these passions translate into something special that the audience sees which keeps them reading. George Orwell said that one of the reasons he writes is because of his ego; I think this point applies more to bloggers than traditional writers. There is that gratifying moment when someone likes my post, and I think about what I could possibly write about that someone else can’t. I can be honest and not feel apologetic for it because this blog is my own space. Blogging is a platform for people to feel like individuals and a platform for people to be praised.

Sullivan says that bloggers’ deadlines are now, and while that is true that does not mean that some bloggers do not spend hours a day thinking about what the best topic to write about is or what the best image to post is. Another post aching for another reader. Bloggers are always thinking about how to attract more readers, more comments, more shares; I know sometimes I am. Back to ego.

It always come back to the first person pronoun. I think that… I want… What is in it for me? I can’t believe it. If anything blogging allows people to really focus on themselves. People are raised to believe that they are individuals, but in writing they are presented with a bunch of rules about not using first person. Blogging breaks these rules and relieves this need of feeding our egos and allows us to focus on ourselves.

The question to why I blog is still not that simple to answer. Sullivan talks about this interaction between readers and writers as a friendship. I think what blogging ultimately allows us to do is be a little less lonely in the world. We are fighting for our piece of attention on the internet, social networks, life, and a blog is our chance to finally have that spotlight. The best part is that it is open to anyone and there isn’t a need for competition. Since I know there is a chance that someone will stumble upon my blog, I know that there is some sort of audience out there and there is that focus on me even if it is for only 30 seconds. As I click “publish,” I know that someone is reading this and I know that there is a possibility of a new friendship in the horizon.

Melody Ng

Melody is currently a senior studying business.

3 thoughts to “Self Published”

  1. Great, great closing line (and title!).

    For someone who hasn’t blogged before, your piece resonated with me perhaps more than Sullivan’s did. First, it is clear that blogging has given you a strong voice in your writing, and provides a refreshing level of clarity and personality. Despite Sullivan’s mention of friendship in his piece, your conclusion opened my mind to the idea that blogging isn’t just for the individual, but for an audience that chooses. Much like journalism, there is an audience as soon as you hit publish, whether it be on a column or a tweet. But when you say that the blogging audience is one that stumbles upon and stays for interest, whether they leave critical or positive replies, makes me think that blogging is the best environment for me to write in to sort of break out of journalism.

    Well done.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, as you were able to give a second, qualifying stance on Sullivan’s piece. I cannot recall the last time I had the chance to write for my own enjoyment, and your description of blogging as both a way to explore your thoughts and views as well as a way to form friendships has really opened my eyes to practicing this form of writing more. My post about the “Why I Write” essays was my first blog post ever, and frankly, I’m very upset I didn’t have the chance to read your piece before creating my own. It left me feeling inspired to post more about my own reactions than my own analyses, so to speak.

    Also, I liked your line about how ego factors into people liking your posts and the gratification it brings. I feel like this was extremely relatable even as a non-blogger, from any form of social media or positive feedback on any academic work.

    Also, as Erin said…great title!

  3. Hey Melody,

    I definitely agree with your views on blogging. I think blogging allows us to be real and gives us that leeway to have our egos fed and acknowledged. It makes us feel important and valued, as if people that are reading really take the time to understand our thoughts and our views. Whenever I blog and somebody reads my post and likes it, it only further drives me to blog even more, even when I don’t necessarily have a topic to write about. So I agree that blogging fuels this motivation of ego even more than writing on a traditional platform such as books. But I like the idea that ego isn’t the only thing that’s motivating people. In a society where everyone is connected through the internet, blogging gives people and opportunity to bond parasocially and intellectually by sharing thoughts and ideas. I really liked your points that its not about fighting for attention because its open to everyone. Perhaps it is through blogging that people can connect on a deeper level other than Facebook.

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