I have been trying to figure out what exactly is so addictive about blogging. Ever since I began this blog several months ago, sitting down to write a daily post has been a treat I look forward to every morning, along with my first cup of coffee. I don't really feel like I've started my day until it's done.
I've talked to my daughter-in-law (herself a veteran blogger) about this, asking her why she thought it was such an addictive habit; and once she answered simply, "It's fun." That is so true--it really is fun! Another time when we were talking about it, she said she thought she liked to do it because she got enjoyment out of putting together a good sentence. When she said that, I thought, "Bingo!" I get the hugest sense of fulfillment out of putting thoughts down in writing, then editing them and re-working them until they convey just what I want to say in the best way I can figure out how to say it.
This love of the written word goes back to my college days. I began as a biology major in the fall of 1976; but by the end of my first semester, I realized I'd made a HUGE mistake (any "Arrested Development" fans out there?) and switched to English, because I knew it was the subject I would most enjoy studying. The fact that I couldn't wrap my brain around chemistry played into the decision, too, if I'm being honest. Either way, it was a good move for me. I was definitely a right-brainer, more at home writing papers than working out mathematical equations. I enjoyed the satisfaction I'd get when I'd labored over a paper and polished it up to the point where I felt it was ready to pass in to my professor. In those days, that often meant revising and re-typing a paper five, six, seven times before I was happy with it (how I would have loved to have a word processor--but alas, this was the Stone Age!); yet I never tired of slogging away at it until I thought I'd expressed my thoughts as well as I possibly could. I actually loved writing papers, which my husband--who was at the time my boyfriend, and was majoring in metallurgical engineering--couldn't relate to at all. My senior year, one English professor offered my class a choice at finals time: writing a 20-page paper that we could work on ahead of time and pass in on exam day, or taking the traditional blue book exam. I was shocked that I was the only one in the class who chose writing a paper over taking a test, but my left-brained boyfriend thought I was a lunatic!
So blogging gets those writing juices going and gives me the opportunity to, as my daughter-in-law so aptly put it, put together a good sentence (I hope, anyway). It also gives a frustrated novelist, a category into which so many former English majors certainly must fall, an opportunity to write something up, push the "publish" button, and see it magically appear on the computer screen, looking all professional--to live out the fantasy of being a published author.
I also love that blogging gives me the opportunity to tell stories that will amuse my family, and to create a written record of some of our family history. And it's a great forum for a shy, none-too-confident person (who's not much for speaking up in a crowd) to express herself. But I think that, above all, I blog for one simple reason: it's fun.