Why Do I Blog?

 

It’s largely thanks to Mike over at MikesFIlmTalk, who’s recent post deals with a subject that all of us bloggers probably think about at least once; will it make us any money? So head over and have a look at that.

I went off on a tangent, like I do, and ended up thinking about why I blog and ultimately why anyone blogs. The likelihood is no, it won’t make you any money unless you happen to be extremely funny like Jenna Marbles and manage to become a celebrity from your blog(or in her case, vlog). But is it about that? Do we ever even think for a moment that itΒ willΒ make us money? I certainly didn’t.

For me blogging has been an extremely successful way to get my work out there, build a portfolio of examples of my written ability and most importantly, practice and hone my passion. I have no intention to be a blogger for a living, this is merely a pathway to becoming a successful writer. And we all know that practice makes perfect. Through this blog I’ve been approached by people asking me to write for their websites, used some of my posts as examples of my written work to land myself a couple of writing jobs (unpaid, unfortunately) and most recently I’ve been approached by an indie film director who’d found out about me through my blog and asked if he could post me a DVD copy of his film to review. There’s no doubt in my mind that any money I end up making in my writing career will be because of my blog; it’s how I became passionate about writing about films in the first place, and it’s how I developed and improved my writing skill until I was at a stage where, dare I say it for fear of sounding big headed, I’m pretty good at it.

I blog for fun, I blog because I like the interaction with likeminded people, I blog because I like to get my views, opinions and for want of a better word my two pence worth out into the open. I blog because it’s a way to talk excessively about my passion and not have to worry that the person I’m talking to might doze off halfway through my monologue, and I blog because it’s damn good fun! Actually, aside from all that I started this blog because I had to; it’s actually, first and foremost, meant to be where I put all my coursework for my degree, and where my lecturers keep up to date with and mark my work…I guess I got carried away and my blog became something else entirely!

I’ve blogged for almost two years now, starting off on Blogger with one follower, and heading over to WordPress where I now have over 300 followers and counting. For the first year, blogging with no readers at all, I did it because I loved it and I didn’t care that no one read it because I could still show people my labour of love and say ‘yeah, I made this, all by myself’. Now I’ve got the buzz for gaining followers, getting likes and responding to comments on my post, I now have to add to my list that I do it for you guys. Not because I think you need my posts or my opinion and not because I owe it to you to post every day, but because I like getting the views, the likes, the comments and the follows and I want my blog to continue to grow.

Do I care that I’ve never been ‘Freshly Pressed’ (whatever the hell that even is) No. Because thanks to this blog, and my constantly improving writing ability through blogging every day, I’ve landed a job writing for Planet Ivy, and I’m a writer for Coventry East Asian Film Society (an award winning society who’s patron is Herman Yau, director of Ip Man: The Legend is Born among other films) and I am now also the secretary. Without my blog I wouldn’t have been able to go to a film festival in Italy and write film reviews of films that premiered there and had hardly been seen by anyone, and I wouldn’t have had the chance to interview two directors; because if I hadn’t started blogging I wouldn’t have unlocked my passion for writing and my desire to do it as a career.

For me my blog is kind of like a diary. I don’t just watch a film, I sit and think about it as if I was reviewing it (which I am, since I do review every film I watch) but I struggle to voice my passion about anything, I don’t really know why I guess I’m just not good at expressing my feelings, so if the person I’m watching the film with says ‘did you like it?’ I’ll probably just say ‘yeah it’s ok’ when really I want to take to my blog and say ‘That was the most f*cking amazing thing I’ve ever seen!’ so that’s what I do; I take to my blog and I’m honest about my opinions on the films I watch, because I can feel all the things I want to say about it bubbling up inside but I’m completely useless when it comes to saying these to a person.

I’ve no interest in writing if I can’t write about film. If I can’t be successful as a film reviewer/critic, or as a writer for a website/magazine writing articles about film and media, then I’ve no interest in writing for a career. I have set pretty high standards for myself when it comes to writing and journalism because I have some pretty strong beliefs about it. For instance, celebrity gossip gets my back up, I can’t stand paparazzi type news where a celeb has walked to the shops in tracksuit bottoms and somehow that makes front page news. I’ve promised myself I won’t write that kind of stuff no matter how much money I’m offered because I would do a shitty job because I’m not passionate about it, and I just know I wouldn’t enjoy doing it. My aim in life is to love whatever I end up doing, so I’m probably going to be a bit picky about what I write and who I write for in the future, as time’s gone on, and the more I’ve seen of people hating their jobs and struggling through life just to make ends meet, I’ve no interest in doing anything I hate for the sake of money, there are more important things like, you know, being happy (life is short, after all)

In short, I blog because I love it, I’m passionate about what I write, I like the interaction and it’s good practice for a career in writing. I blog because I have to, it’s a requirement for my course (although I did blog before I started uni so I would probably be doing it now regardless) and I blog because I can express myself in a way I can’t verbally, not without sending whoever I’m talking to into a coma. Blogging does pay, maybe not directly, but if you want to write, then a blog is a good way to hone your talent, get your name out there, gain contacts and have something as an example of your writing ability. Plus this blog is mine, I made it from scratched, chose the layout, added the pictures everything; and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing something you’ve made from scratch do so well.

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25 thoughts on “Why Do I Blog?

  1. Good post. I’m in a similar boat to you as to why I do this, insofar as using it as a way to share my writing on my CV, hopefully to help garner some pro work, but so far it’s been for nought. It also doesn’t go down well with the Job Centre as a I found out in a harsh back down to earth crash landing session yesterday.. But I digress

    The great thing about blogging is that it gives is all an outlet for our creativity and if necessary, a platform for us to be rant. I am genuinely not sure how many or who reads my posts outside of a few regulars, but I am very grateful to those that do and if we can hold the attention of just one person then we must be doing something right.

    So, you keep going girl! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

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    1. Thanks πŸ™‚
      Yeah I know what you mean! My choice of degree course is constantly scrutinised as if it were worthless, the looks on people’s faces when they ask what I study and I say ‘media production’, seriously, you’d think I’d told them I was a prostitute the way they turn their noses up! But sometimes you’ve gotta do what you love in the hopes it’ll work out one day πŸ™‚ From what I’ve read your writing is great AND you review some awesome films! All it takes is for the right person to stumble across your blog πŸ˜€ and there are sites that are always looking for writers (most of it’s unpaid though sadly, everyone wants their pound of flesh for nothing at the moment) but they’re a good way to get more experience πŸ˜€

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      1. Thanks for the kind words. I just wish I had this opportunity and discovered this path in life twenty years ago, then things might be different for me. This is why I kind of envy you young un’s but gladly encourage you to give it your all so you don’t end up like me.

        Just remember us little people when your name is up in lights! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

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  2. This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot! i certainly don’t have any answer anywhere near as coherent and thoughtful as yours …yet. Originally my blog was just a way of expressing thoughts that my friends and partner were tired of me inflicting upon them, but I love the growing sense of community and the simple process of writing. I’m now considering trying to eventually shift into some freelance writing, but i certainly don’ t have as lofty goals as you (my day job – teaching – comes first). This was an interesting read, thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks πŸ™‚
      I had the same reasons, I didn’t want to bore either my boyfriend, friends or family senseless with my ramblings xD The community feel to WordPress is definitely a great bonus, makes it much more fun and satisfying.
      Freelance writing would be awesome πŸ™‚ I wish I could do some of that for money to be honest..the websites I write for don’t pay, typical!

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      1. Well, you are doing some freelance writing – I figure it’s freelance whether or not you get paid (of course, getting paid is preferable!). At the moment my writing is only on my blog, but I’d like to shift into writing elsewhere – even unpaid – once I feel my writing is good enough and then …maybe one day get some money for it!

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      2. True, true πŸ™‚ Would be great to get paid eventually, especially as a broke student with a part time job haha It’s pretty easy to get into unpaid freelancing, lots of websites are always looking for writers πŸ™‚ Hope you find something, it’s good fun to do πŸ˜€

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      3. I’m sure with persistence you’ll get some money out of it eventually – probably when you’re working a great job and it won’t be as meaningful as it would be on a student wage!

        Derailing the discussion a little – how did you get started writing for websites? I’m really interested in looking into that in the near future but don’t really have any idea how I’d get started. Was it something you actively looked for or was it born of conversations on your blog?

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      4. Yeah hopefully! Although I’ve no idea what job I’ll even have, at the moment I’m part time in a shoe shop and if I have to do any retail work full time I think I’d probably top myself xD haha
        It was something I looked for, Movie Ramblings is one of the sites I write for although I don’t any more because I have too many other things to do, but on their website there’s a contact form asking for new writers. I applied for an unpaid job writing for Planet Ivy and got it, they’re quite a big deal and they’re growing all the time so I stopped what I was doing for other websites to focus on that…but I found that one just browsing for writing jobs on job search sites πŸ™‚

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  3. Interesting piece Natasha. Originally I blogged to keep my writing skills sharp as I looked for a job in which I could use them on a daily basis. However, I now blog simply because I enjoy being so passionate about something and learning new things. I learn something new pretty much every day on here and I chat to some really interesting people. If my blog somehow manages to land me a job then all the better! Although I know that’s quite a rare thing to happen, I’ve not really had any opportunities thus far.

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    1. Agreed, I do it to keep my writing skills up but it’s become a hobby now too, I can’t see me every stopping blogging, even if I decide I don’t want to write for a living πŸ™‚

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  4. Does it make me a complete fool for writing a blog because I love talking about films – even though I have no desire to be paid or to even work as a writer. I see it as a hobby, a creative release from the 9-5 (which is actually turning into quite a good career) and love the blogging community. That’s my only motivation!
    PS. I did Digital Media and Communications at University and got the same unimpressed responses from certain people. Apparently learning about the worlds leading and fastest growing industry isn’t as important as the likes of History or English Literature… πŸ™‚

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    1. Not at all, that’s how I started with my first blog, before I found that I wanted to write…I just did it because I liked to natter about the films I’d seen haha
      That is largely why I still keep this blog, mainly because I just like to talk and express opinions on films when I watch them, but I kind of uncovered a desire to write as a job whilst doing it, which was a bonus because I genuinely didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do before that!
      Yeah it really winds me up when people give that unimpressed response to studying media, I’m glad I wasn’t just imagining it though, I was starting to think I’d just got paranoid haha xD

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  5. Nice read. I just rolled into it and stuck to it because the interaction with others is awesome and it has lead to some cool stuff (like interviewing Paul Verhoeven earlier this year).

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    1. Thanks πŸ™‚
      Yeah I gotta admit as soon as I started on WordPress after being on Blogger, the interaction and the opportunity to do other things (I’ve only done one interview so far with Robert Cuffley, but looking to do some more πŸ™‚ ) definitely got me hooked! πŸ˜€

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    2. Thanks πŸ™‚
      Yeah I gotta admit as soon as I started on WordPress after being on Blogger, the interaction and the opportunity to do other things (I’ve only done one interview so far with Robert Cuffley, but looking to do some more πŸ™‚ ) definitely got me hooked! πŸ˜€

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      1. I always have been on WordPress so don’t know much about how it works on Blogger, but one thing I like better on WordPress is the ability to automatically get emails if someone replies which makes it easier to get conversations going. I often forget to revisit blogger sites just to check if someone replied.

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  6. You have to love it. There is no other reason in the end. But really, writing is always about love. Good writing, every kind of good writing, if a piece of our soul. No one can teach someone to write. It’s a gift and you have it. You write well. You may discover other loves as you ramble along the twisting roads of life. Don’t close the door or shut the blinds quite yet. Life will always surprise you. Always.

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  7. Natasha, my oldest son went to a university that is known for its architects, engineers, and scientists. His major was construction management and tolerated years of snubs and remarks.
    Graduation was a Saturday and he went to work on a Monday. Other parents were in awe wondering if their child would ever get a job offer.
    You go girl, chin up and the jobs/money will be there.

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