As a follow-up to last week’s post on 4 reasons why I hate personal blogging, I wanted to spend some time discussing why I love personal blogging. Just for fun, here’s another listicle where the items are much longer than they should be.
1. I love to write
I’ve always loved writing and, for the most part, I’ve always written. As I said in last week’s post, I’ve kept some sort of personal blog for over 20 years now. Aside from that, I have written in many other formats: research papers, school newspaper articles, legal reports for probate courts, archival finding aids, essays, literary criticism, short stories, tip sheets and training materials, marketing materials, project plans, correspondence, and policies and procedures. There are probably a few more items in there, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Whether for personal, academic, or professional tasks, I have written a great deal over the course of my life. Writing is, without doubt, my preferred means of communication. Of course, some of that writing has been less fun to slog through, but if I’m working on a project that requires writing, that will probably be my favourite part. Essay and report writing, in particular, have always been the most fun types of writing for me. Though I have tried, I’ve never much liked writing fiction or poetry — I’ve never seen myself as a person with a great creative imagination. I’m best at reporting what I know, whether it be through research or personal experience.
2. Blogging allows me to keep my skills fresh and make improvements in my style
To be good at writing, you need to practice. My current job is quite writing heavy, as I need to produce some kind of reporting product for most of my research files; however, those reports are heavily templated and rigid in terms of language and formatting. Keeping a personal blog allows me to continue writing in a way that helps me get out of the formats I need to stick with at work. Personal blogging has also helped me to clean up some of my bad habits over the years. For example, I will probably always be a rambler and I will always use too many adverbs, but proofreading my blogs over the years has stopped me from writing “really” every few sentences (or more).
3. It provides me with a place to express my views and opinions, while providing me with a record of myself and my feelings during a particular time.
Even if reading through old posts later on often makes me cringe.
4. Blogging has helped me to become a more adaptable writer
At my current job, I have seen firsthand that many smart university graduates can struggle with transitioning their writing from a style that works for academia into a style that works in a professional setting. This has never been a problem for me, because I’ve always written outside of what was required of me at school. Even if it was just to rant about hassles or drama in my personal life, being able to structure and write something informal that wasn’t a research paper has always been useful.
I also believe that the more often you write and the more different types of writing projects you take on, the less attached you are to one particular style. Of course, all writers will have their own preferences in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure (hopefully they have a good grasp on both), but the best writers, in my opinion, are able to relax their own preferences and adapt to the task at hand.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this miniseries on what I love and hate about blogging. Do you enjoy writing in your free time? Is it one of your least favourite things to do? I’d love to hear about your experiences with writing or blogging!