So I was sitting in this publisher’s board room, and the executive editor-in-chief sits back in his chair. He’s this old-fashioned guy, white beard, grey eyed, all gruff, blunt and poker-faced -- perhaps a defense mechanism in compensation for the fact that his height in total doesn’t reach my eye level.
‘Tell me somethin’,’ says he. ‘Why the heck do people blog?’
‘I can't answer for other people. There are a million different reasons as there are reasons why people wake up each day.’
He seems to consider this. Nods. ‘Well, you blog. So, why?’
‘……..’ Yes for a few moments I’m stumped for words. How do I tell him that asking me that was dangerous? Something like asking a person with multiple disorders who the next person they’ll be is. Seriously.
‘Ok well going back to your first generalized question. People blog to express themselves.’
‘Express what? Who really wants to read about the life of other people?’
‘Some people enjoy doing so because it’s something they can relate to. Like reading a novel, perhaps. Some people just want to write just for the sake of writing. Or take why you’re asking me also; I write on the professional level to reach out to a specific audience to generate readership.
Don’t get the point of him asking this, but I’m still blabbing on.
‘Then again some people find it therapy to write. Like painters paint. Can you tell me why they do?’ Aha! I think to myself, the strongest defense is a strong offense!
'But who really wants to spend time out of their day to read about someone's else life?'
'You watch golf. Why would people sit and spend time watching some other man or woman whack around a ball for no productive reason?'
He chews on the end of his pen. ‘So you’re telling me you also blog personally.’
‘That is correct.’
‘So how many followers do you have?’
I pause. Man. I hate when they ask such cut and dry questions like that’s going to prove something. But here goes…
‘I…..well, probably not even 20 right now….I don’t blog for the purpose of gaining followers, to be honest. I like writing in a comfort zone, and that’s either for the sake of writing, therapeutically or just for my friends who’d naturally be inclined to care about what I write.’
He stares at the ceiling, creaking back and forth in his chair. ‘Well. I’m not your friend. I like how you think. I like how you write. Have you started writing your novel?’