It always happens this way. A few days before the WordPress Blogging U course I’ve signed up for is about to start, I worry about whether I signed up correctly. I used to sign up a second time only to be reminded that I’d already signed up. Now I know to patiently wait until about 6 or 7 pm (my time – I live in North Carolina) the day before the course starts, for the welcome message, usually followed within an hour or two by the first assignment.
Next I go to the Commons and meet the people I’ll be getting to know over the next month. I comment, I read and then I get the itch to start writing my response even though there are so many more posts to read in the Commons.
So why do I write? It seems like I’ve answered this question before – recently in fact here and a few months ago in another Blogging U course here. So without looking back at those previous responses I can honestly say that my answer to this question is different now than when I began blogging in 2014.
I wrote for personal reasons – expression, creativity, escape, to capture family history, to sort out my thoughts, etc. But let’s be honest – anyone can do that on their own, in a journal, without sharing what they write with anyone. And I assume some people do and I appreciate that the instructions for Writing 101 make it clear that you should make it your own. So when I decided to blog – I wasn’t sure why I wanted to “go public” and I struggled with that at first.
I’m not sure I fully understood what it was about blogging that called to me. I still may not know the answer, but over time (and through the wonderful courses that WordPress offers) I’ve come to realize that the community is a huge part of why I write. Yes – it often feels burdensome to keep up with everyone’s posts in the Commons but over time I’ve learned that finding those people with whom I connect keeps me coming back. I enjoy the chime that my phone makes when I’ve gotten a comment on a recent post. It always makes me smile.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a lonely recluse hidden in the dark corner of a house stacked high with old newspapers – wearing three sweaters because I don’t want to turn the heat on yet. I have a full life – meaningful work, a loving, fun family, a faithful dog who adores me, friends and even book club! But I write, or more specifically, I blog, because I enjoy the people I meet through these courses.
Peter – the man who grew up in Germany but now lives in British Columbia and has done me the favor of commenting regularly on my posts, particularly my “life story segments” and has a fascinating story of his own.
Anne – who lives in North Carolina, probably not too far away from me, who follows my posts and writes about every day events in her life that I easily relate to.
And there are blogging friends that I really need to revisit because, as is often the case with blogging – I haven’t heard from them lately but I remember really enjoying their posts.
Okay – I’m getting off track and going on a bit too long, but that’s the effect these WordPress courses have on me. In a few weeks I’ll be wondering why I ever thought I could make a post every day. And then I’ll worry about who’s really reading this stuff anyway? But for now, I’ll be glad that a new course has started and I’ll be doubly glad that these posts are also fulfilling my NaBloPoMo requirements of a post a day.