Shovel and Bucket

A dear friend asked me about the point of blogging. Do people get paid for writing personal blogs? Do they act as a sort of online resume for writers to showcase their voice? How do you get people to read blogs? It was an intelligent procedural question about the nature of online writing in a technological era, but this entry will have no intersection with the intent of her question. A different query had burrowed into my stomach.

Why do I blog?

My initial response is a question: Why do people build sand castles? I have an immeasurable love for those who play in the sand. They build incredible things on temporary canvases. While all things are temporary and ephemeral, it is rarely so tangible. The tide is literally at your feet ready to erase your creation. High tide is coming and your projects are of no concern. The tide just comes. There is no fanfare or malice, the moon coming on for the late shift. Who among us is brave enough to create under those conditions? Do only children love the world naively enough to wield the shovel and bucket? I hope not.

This blog is not a sand castle. Its footprint remains on the digital beach. An absurd architect does not require Facebook Likes to encourage his work. Instead of being crafted on a beautiful beach with the warm sun on my back, this blog is crafted in my bed using pillows to prop up my back. Though I imagine our audiences are of similar size.

Fort Walton, FL
Some people have an unwavering ability to put effort into things that have no tangible reward. There's little chance I'll get paid to do this--and would probably hate doing it if somebody made me. No one will hire me because of this blog. Why am I sitting up at 03:30 and writing when I should be sleeping? Why is it this important to me?

And now I finally get to the answer I gave her. I blog because it helps me sort out my ideas about the world. It's a dialogue with a mirror. Seldom do I start a post knowing exactly how I feel about the subject. What thrills me is following the thread, seeing where I end up. More and more I've come to believe that values are revealed to us, not decided upon.

Though only a handful of you may ever visit my tiny kingdom, I hope you will think of me as a kind and benevolent king. I will be here fussing over the details long after you've moved along.  

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