Dorian at Scrutinies is examining what drives amateurs to blog, and has started a new meme: So You Don't Want To Be A Professional Blogger:
I’d like to know – if you blog for other reasons versus blogging intentionally to build a platform for your writing/your apostolate/your cat – and I am not saying that it’s bad to try to boost blog traffic:
1. If that’s not your primary focus, what enjoyment do you derive from blogging?
2. Do you consider yourself to be a “successful” blogger? In what sense?
3. If you could choose between having a post shared 500 times, or having one of your Internet Idols send you an email to say “I really enjoyed your post,” which would you choose?
1. We blog because we like to hear ourselves talk. DarwinCatholic is our journal, our magazine, our outlet, and our 1920s Party. Also, it's the perfect method of procrastination.
More importantly, we blog because we like to hear you talk. We keep writing not only because it's an outlet for our thoughts, but because we put such value on the conversations that arise from various posts. Some of our most delightful friendships have sprung from blog interactions, and one of the things that keeps us writing is the desire to preserve and strengthen those friendships.
2. Sure, by our own lights. We've been writing for seven years and have gained a fair amount of proficiency in pounding out verbiage regularly. We have the best commenters in the blogosphere. What's not to love?
3. I'd rather get an email, from anyone. High traffic (not the same as having one's post shared 500 times, but often related) is not a good to be wished unless it produces quality discussion. I have no desire to wade through trolls and abusive commenters, or fight the same endless combox battles, or wrangle with those who are Wrong On The Internet. Dear intelligent eloquent civilized readers, we value you more than you know.
Now here's a question that Dorian didn't pose, but which seems an obvious follow-up: Would we ever blog professionally? (This is purely academic, since no one has offered to pay us for writing.) For myself, I find it unlikely. I like the freedom of answering to no one and writing on no one's schedule. I'm happy not to have editorial oversight. I don't want to have to tailor my posts to specific external audiences. Also, from the way some of the larger portals structure their pay systems, I doubt we'd ever actually see any money out of it, so there's that.
Really, I just don't want anyone telling me I can't post Lonely Island videos.
I'm not part of your system! I'm an adult!