Why I keep a journal, or blog for that matterIt’s time to write again about why I bother keeping a blog.

I can’t speak for others, only for myself.

What got me started this early morning was looking at a recent blog I subscribe to, and that’s very few. The writer says she’s moved from WordPress to her own domain, WordPress no longer giving her the expansive options she needs.

She doesn’t, however, specify, those needs.

Anyway, I’m glad for her success.

But wait a minute!

What do we mean by success where blogging’s concerned?

Is it all about numbers?

How many followers or comments or likes or hits?

If that’s so, then I’ve failed dramatically and the gig is up. Hey, best be movin’ on.

But I don’t play it this way, or like a lot of people who build-up masses of friends in Facebook, for example. as its own end. If you don’t hear from them again, even on your birthday, what the hell!

Yeah, I like to know people are out there, reading me for sure.

But for me, blogging has simply replaced my manuscript journal, Echoes, into which I poured myself for thirty years.

Which is another way of saying I blog foremost for myself, my posts serving to filter issues entangling my thoughts.

Blogging gives them release, enables me to scrutinize and deal with them, and just maybe, and best, provides catharsis.

I don’t blog for validation.

I blog because I’m excited about life, though often it puzzles me, especially suffering, violence, and ill-will. I want to sort it out, find equilibrium through understanding and, with it, empathy and compassion.

I blog, too, because I’ve always had this love affair with the beauty and power of words, the cadence of sentences harmoniously patterned, the sweep of metaphor that makes abstraction palpable.

If you want to join me in the conversation, all the better drinking coffee with you, bridging time and space.

There are millions upon millions of us writing blogs. We just may be rivaling the stars for sheer plentitude.

And so I’m grateful for you who do manage to find and read me.

And especially for the more than two hundred of you who follow me.

But again, I blog not to advance a particular ideology, or to serve pecuniary interests, or to assure myself I’m likable, even lovable, or to shore up verbal sandbags against tidal waves of loneliness.

I blog because I like keeping company with myself, for only then, liking myself, can I connect meaningfully with you in this one journey each of us makes beneath the vast canopy of the silent stars.

–rj