Is Blogging Meant to be Therapy?

 

You know I haven’t been at this blogging stuff for very long – a few months – though it seems more like years. Or really it seems like something I’ve always done. Perhaps it is, in a way, as a writer I’ve always had these sort of running dialogues ripping through my mind and occasionally they ended up on paper or computer screen.

They are often seem endless. Non-stop, going at the speed of light thoughts that are questions, ponderings, annoyances, wonder, shock, stupor…you name it – it’s in there. Then suddenly…nothing. Yep, it all stops and I feel a kind of statis. As though my mind simply went on vacation and really I’ve said or thought every thing there is to say or think and well stick a fork in me cuz I’m done.

Still, even when I’m in that empty-headed state I still feel the urge to express thoughts, ideas, points of view. Is it arrogance on my part? That I believe that my thoughts are so important that I must commit them to paper and publish them on the Internet, or (so the dream goes) in books and magazines, newspapers? I mean, really, what is so special about me that I  have the irrepressible(sp) urge to force my views on others? Am I forcing or am I simply looking for a meeting of the minds across the great spatial divide of cyberspace? Am I looking for understanding, agreement or just a safe, warm place to rest my weary head? Could be all of the above or none of the above.

Are bloggers really just writers who have turned to technology to get their message out? Or are we all just a bunch of losers who need to air our problems, concerns, insecurities and little life tragedies just to feel okay about ourselves?

 I wonder, I really do wonder about this stuff. Particularly on days when I don’t feel especially funny or witty. See, in case you missed it that is my thing. Don’t know why but really I live to make people laugh. I would go through just about anything to put somebody in hysterics. Do you think that is a sterling quality or a character flaw? I don’t know. Do you?

During my short adventure as a blogger I have read and visited many blogs. Many more than I ever would have thought I could or would want to. Initially I think it was curiosity. Like, gee there are bagillions of blogs out there and there must be something to this stuff, you know? I mean jeez everybody seems to be doing it – maybe if I read enough of them, I’ll know why.

But despite my research and reading and following and discovering of the many blogs I’ve found and stumbled upon, I still am no closer to answering that curiosity than I was the day I started.

When it comes to blogging it seems there is something for everyone – knitters, political junkies, writers, poets, dancers, artists, musicians, geniuses and idiots alike. But in the greater scheme of things does it really contribute to the oneness of the allness of the human community? Or are we all just trying to vent enough to get through the day without committing murder and mayhem? Trying to get by the things in our lives that disappoint and baffle?

I know in my case sometimes the only thing I had to look forward to was blogging later in the day. Or at least responding to comments from readers. That little burst of joy I felt whenever I saw I had a comment on something I’d written. But why? Do I need that validation from readers? Is it important? Is it silly?

If I pulled the plug tomorrow on my blogs would it matter? I mean truly – would it change a thing other than for me? LOL – I’m just totally lost on this topic. Cuz I really don’t know.

And  honestly, I don’t have a big bang up ending for this entry – so I guess I’ll just leave you guys with the questions for now. Hopefully somebody has some insight or at least a couple of funny come-backs.

Later kids.

WC

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23 thoughts on “Is Blogging Meant to be Therapy?

  1. Sylvia Plath once said that writing is a way of life. I think we, as writers, can really only understand that– and blog, journal, scrap of paper, or a napkin…if we can write, we will.

    Oh my quoting Sylvia Plath in response to something I said? It doesn’t get any better than that. And yeah, I’d have to agree with her, my sage little friend.
    WC

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  2. PS You stop your blog, I will hunt you down and hit you with…um…a…swedish fish.

    Ohmigod, you mean you’d flounder me or toonah me? Yoiks! 😆
    WC

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  3. Then suddenly…nothing. Yep, it all stops and I feel a kind of statis. As though my mind simply went on vacation and really I’ve said or thought every thing there is to say or think and well stick a fork in me cuz I’m done.

    Yes, exactly that. You’re speakin to the choir sistah. And don’t pull the plug – your blog is one of the few that makes me have to change my drawers after reading. .. in a umm . non-sexual kinda way, ya know ;]

    Hey Red! Welcome! And so sorry dear, I didn’t mean to make you pee your pants. Luckily, I keep a stash of Depends – down the hall, first door on your left. 😉
    WC

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  4. Many people would be sad if the plug got pulled but…
    Blogging has to be for the blogger.
    In terms of the big picture, we write for ourselves.
    Yeah, I love comments and reading what people think but my blog is the same today as it was over two years ago: for me.
    It gives me something to look forward to and is a creative extension of me.
    And I feel good telling my end of the story.
    And it keeps me writing.
    The neatest thing about this post is that I could post a gazillion comments.
    For you, WC, if you pulled the plug today, I like to think you’d open up a new shop tomorrow.
    Aside from that, you’d get really sick of the numerous whining emails from your truly.
    Just a few thoughts. . .
    Grrrrreat post.
    ~m

    You know, you and I my brotha have had this conversation (or versions thereof) a few times and I really feel I could debate you on some of this. Maybe we should do a point, counter-point thing some time? I don’t see how your blog could be the same as it was when you started. You aren’t the same, are you? I mean, I know that aliens haven’t come down and reprogrammed you or anything but – well we all change, every day – as we learn and hopefully grow, so do our views. Yes, we really will have to do some sort of in-depth debate on this some time soon.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t threatening to pull the plug on the blogs – it was just a thing I wondered about. And yeah, I guess in one way or another the shop will always be open whether by this name or any other.

    And nah, I’d never get tired of the whining emails. I actually kind of like them. 😉
    WC

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  5. btw- are you the cracked egg that’s running away? 😉

    Well, I suppose I am the cracked egg – but I thought it was a more of a pacing back and forth than a running away kind of thing. 😉
    WC

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  6. i have complete faith that you WILL NOT pull your blog, simply because you enjoy it so much. we all do too. i love reading your blog as well as the others on my blogroll, i love hearing about stories and doing memes, i LOVE evyl’s haikus, I love smith’s poems, DT’s weekly rants and thoughts. and red is my new sista from anotha mutha… you are all my FRIENDS. maybe we don’t have coffee at a table together or go shopping but we’re part of something, a little network. and sure, part of it’s ego, but another big part is human nature. we like to talk and we like to listen. i LOVE blogging and whoever thought to do it this way God bless you.

    We like to talk and we like to listen. What a great way to put it. Yeah, we are all buds and that’s a good thang. 😉
    WC

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  7. Good post.

    I, too, am new to blogging (less than a month). I named my blog “Necessary Therapy” because I realized I was writing just to get out of a funk. As it happened, I’m feeling the joy not only of writing but of being read. Imagine that.

    Thanks Pete and welcome to my humble abode and the blogosphere. It sounds like the writer inside you has managed to come out. Fun, ain’t it?
    WC

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  8. Hi WC,

    I suspect that blogging is driven by a combination of many desires, ranging from a need for validation of one’s opinions to whatever it is that makes us want to exchange gossip over the back yard fence. For me, the big kick is to be published. I tried the hard copy path, but found my legendary impatience a great hindrance.

    As to making people laugh and the lengths to which I will go: at one place of employment, one of my co-workers got into the habit of stacking his empty soda cans on the back of his desk. I decided to help him out. For three weeks I came in a half hour early so I could super glue the previous days additions to the existing display. He was so proud of his stacking ability. However, when it reached the point where he was having to stand on his desk to add to the pyramid, the boss made him take it down. You should have heard the laughter when the secret was discovered 😉

    the Grit

    Hi Grit. Dang, I’d love having you for a neighbor with whom I could gossip over the backyard fence with. And the can stunt is perfect. I’ll have to remember that. 😆
    WC

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  9. I find that I need to blog in order to reassure myself that what I’m feeling is not all that “crazy” — that is, if people keep coming back to my little stories, then there’s something in me that is “normal” . . .

    That or all us crazies have found our little island of paradise, yes? 😉
    WC

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  10. Hey, I think you misunderstood the comment.
    My blog has changed in content but its intent is still the same.
    I write first and foremost for me.
    Maybe that’s the wrong approach but I’m still writing. . . and writing alot.
    Anywhoo, great post.
    This one could go for a while…
    Shit, Evyl hasn’t commented yet!
    Have a groovy weekend.
    You around Sunday afternoon?
    I’m working.
    Cell.
    @5pm?
    MY TIME!!!!!! 😉
    Cryptic, I know.
    ~m

    Oh darn, I was hoping for a Dan Ackroid/Jane Curtain kinda thang. Oh well. Yes, I see now (petulant expression).

    Evyl may not get by – he is busy boy.

    Groovy weekend to you too.

    Yup sunday, crypitc otay, me get it.

    Annie

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  11. As his glorious highness Kurt Vonnegut would say, we are integrated together. Like a family. Or the cast of Friends.

    I think blogging is a form of therapy, because telling someone your problems always seems to help. It’s an open forum for feelings, like the world’s largest pity party. The best part is, you always have people to complain to. Like, if you said “Oh man, I got shot in the kneecap yesterday” certain people will always be there to say things like “I feel so bad that you got shot in the kneecap yesterday.”

    So, if you stop blogging, you will be shot in the kneecap. Metaphorically, since you will have lost your special internet-fused connection with some strangers you’ve never met. You stopping blogging would feel like a bullet to the patella to all of us, because you’re gone for GOOD.

    So, in conclusion, if you value your kneecaps, or the kneecaps of others, please don’t stop blogging. We’re needy.

    Wow, I had no idea that Kurt Vonnegut watched Friends How cool is that?

    World’s largest pity party – a-yup.

    Yeah those kneecaps do come in handy…guess I’ll have to rethink things. 😉
    WC

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  12. Had about every single one of those thoughts myself.
    I am two weeks shy of my one year anniversary (you got to be kidding me, where has the year gone – ah right – blogging) and have already started to write what will probably be quite a long post in my head.
    I haven’t quite answered that whole question for myself but in two weeks is evaluation time and well, we’ll see.
    As for Joebec’s comment, I have to agree. I have carried so much from this screen back into the ‘real’ world, having your (meaning my blogging circle of friends) opinion take part in a conversations.
    I am lucky to have ‘train friends’ and ‘blog friends’ and although at times people laugh at me for where I find friends, I love it.
    And as long as something good comes out of it, for yourself and for others, who cares?
    I also agree with Michael, if you pull the plug on this, something else creative will blossom instantly. That’s just you.

    So, will you be writing an analysis post about blogging? I don’t know why but I find it a fascinating topic. Yeah, blogging does eat your time like nobody’s business but in a good way.

    I love my blogging friends too – how fun would it be if we could all meet for coffee one day? Maybe we could rent a ranch in Montana or something and have Starbuck’s cater it?

    LOL – I don’t know about instant blossoming but yes, I couldn’t do nothing – I would find another way. And again, it was not a threat that I was going to pull the plug – it was just a what if? You know? A sort of George Bailey scenario – what would the world be like without you? Would the world have noticed your absence? That sort of thing. Hmmm, that may be another post waiting to happen.

    Thanks Spaz.
    WC

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  13. I think one of us misunderstood what I was saying. The first sentence was referring to Kurt Vonnegut’s concept of a “karass”, or an intergrated group, but since not everyone religiously quotes his work, I changed it to “family.”

    Sorry DT, I was just kidding you. I got your point. Love you madly!
    WC

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  14. Those endless dialogs you mentioned in your post are continually running madly around in my brain like a pack of crazed circus clowns, and I need some way of cramming them all in a little car and getting them out.

    I guess, since I’m blogging, I pack the majority of my “mental writings” into a car and set them loose on the rest of humanity. The poor world.

    There’s something freeing about being able to write out what’s been percolating in the back of my mind and then share it with anyone who might happen to stumble across its path. It makes that thought feel like it’s come to a satisfactory end, and I can now move on to the next one.

    I love the “meeting of the minds” element of blogging, too, which happens whether you’re the author of the post, or one of the readers. It’s a great way to be able to express my thoughts without feeling bad for dominating an entire conversatio. And I also enjoy hearing hearing about the clowns that are running loss in other people’s brains.

    And it’s sure a lot cheaper than therapy! 😀

    ~Kelsey

    That’s so funny Kelsey, I got this image of you stuffing your thoughts into a little clown car. I liked your view of being able to express yourself without fearing that you were monopolizing the conversation too.

    And I promise you, you don’t want to meet the clowns in my head. LOL.
    WC

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  15. My, my, aren’t WE just a little ray of sunshine today. 😉

    There are no simple answers to your questions. We all blog for different reasons. The one thing we all seem to have in common is the deep seated desire, once might even say need, for self-expression. Perhaps also the desire and need to create something that exists beyond ourselves, something that validates our existence on this planet.

    I blog, therefore I am.

    Personally, I rather enjoy inflicting my opinions on others, and part of the reason I started blogging was so I would have someone to rant at besides poor Michael. 🙂 I genuinely enjoy seeing the reactions I get from my posts. While I am not the most diligent blogger in the world, I can honestly say this has become an important part of my life.

    I’m afraid I have nothing terribly profound to impart here, but I would offer this: were you to pull the plug on your blog, your world would become a somewhat emptier place. And so would ours.

    -Smith

    Well you know me, Smith – I’m always a little ray of sunshine. 🙂

    Yes, inflicting one’s opinions on others is high on the list for blogging – I’m sure that is one of the basic appeals of doing it.

    I don’t really know what would happen to my world or anyone else’s if I were to stop blogging – truly, I don’t – but the point is moot since I don’t plan to pull the plug – it was just a hypothetical, you know? No worries, I’ve no plans to cut my
    blog-estential wrists and bleed into some swansong final post or anything. Just was something I was wondering about and thought I would inflict on y’all. 😉
    WC

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  16. Excellent post. I think blogging is whatever you want it to be…kind of like music, or the movies. They are all different things to different people. I like to think of blogging as my own free therapy/outlet/brainstorming board/network/anything else i think i need!
    Kelly
    p.s Oh, you pulling the plug on bloggin is like me saying that I’m not gonna drink coffee again…if we ever did the sky would come crashing down on all of us so don’t EVER mention it again OK?!!!

    Thanks hon. Yeah, blogging seems to be all things to all people. I was inspired to write the post by a blogger who seemed to be using it for therapy (truly) and it got me to thinking. Dangerous to get me thinking – you know?

    Oh and stop with the sky falling stuff – it was just a hypothetical. Don’t wet your nappies over it. 😆
    WC

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  17. I think it is a form a therapy. I think we’ve talked about this before to a degree, the whole validation thing. But at least for me, I have decided I that I will just write and write and write this thing only for myself. Sure, you are putting your ideas on things out there; but I think mostly people read certain blogs because they know what they are getting when they go to them, as with yours, it’s humor. And with things as hectic as they are and almost as stressful, a little humor goes a long way. anabelsmith

    You know, I wonder about that writing the blog for self thing…I’m not sure I do that. I think it’s a combination, I write for myself in that I cover the topics I want to cover – but I also want to make it an enjoyable read, so that must mean I’m writing for the readers too. Doesn’t it?

    So, I’m stuck with the humor thing then, huh? All this time I was shooting for cutting edge and provocative and it turns out it’s just funny. Who knew? 😯
    WC

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  18. Totally off comment “comment” here … I just LOVE that picture of the egg with legs. 🙂

    ~Ms CP

    I know, I’ve been dying to use the picture since I found it. Eggs with legs, funny.
    WC

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  19. You could be stuck with worst things if you know what I’m sayin’ :), but don’t listen to me, if I don’t sleep soon I fear I may spontaneously combust something, oh and will you please teach me how to make other faces besides the smile? I really like the glasses. Thank you, your very over-caffeinated friend, anabel

    I suppose – and of course I won’t listen to you. 😆 Why aren’t you sleeping?

    I’ll email you the codes for the faces.

    Have some herbal tea or something, otay? 😉
    WC

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  20. I have been blogging for nearly two years now. I have seen bloggers come and I have seen them go. In all of us there is a voice that is yearning to be heard. A blog is a perfect vehicle for that voice. Hopefully I can keep at it, my voice hasn’t quieted yet.

    Don’t seek understanding and it will come of it’s own accord. Just keep plugging away. You are doing an awesome job.

    Oh Fuzzy, I’m always seeking understanding – good or bad, it’s my nature. I don’t mind most of the time though. Thanks for the kudos – and gee big guy don’t make yourself such a stranger around these parts, eh? 😉
    WC

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  21. I was just doing a search on “need for validation” when i found this blog

    http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Paries51.html

    Since i am only 30 minutes into this new thought i dont have much to add at the moment

    Hi Andrew and welcome. I’m not sure my blog is going to help you with this issue. I usually just write about what is on my mind whether it’s deep and meaningful, silly, annoying or completely without merit. I wonder too, if we all don’t take ourselves just a little too seriously most of the time. Personally, I think that if a person is feeling the need for validation they should just go out and do for others until they stop feeling that way. It really is a good and general cure-all for just about anything that ails you.

    Good luck in your search.

    WC

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  22. WC

    I suppose i was responding to what seemed your own enquiry?

    “I know in my case sometimes the only thing I had to look forward to was blogging later in the day. Or at least responding to comments from readers. That little burst of joy I felt whenever I saw I had a comment on something I’d written. But why? Do I need that validation from readers? Is it important? Is it silly?”

    Recognising a need for validation, when perhaps a need for validation might not be helpful to us and can easily be resolved once we become conscious of it and are accepting of where we are now, might be a useful thing to become aware of?

    So i suppose i was wondering if you were on a similar wavelength to me in terms of developing self awareness……..rather than seeking some kind of therapy or aide as such:-)

    By the way the name “worried” is related to a financial site i am blogging with related to subprime meltdown rather than me being a person of nervous disposition as such!

    Regards

    Hey Worried,
    Welcome back. Yes, I do agree with you – self awareness is key to resolving many if not most of life’s problems. To some degree, this post was a bit tongue in cheek, although the response was a bit more serious than that. I don’t think there is anything wrong with introspection, because if you don’t look in sometimes, you can’t really gain that self-awareness, can you?

    And no, I’m not the type who’d be going to get some kind of therapy or meds to solve my problems. In comparison, my problems are tiny to those of the world.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    WC

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  23. WC

    Well developing this theme from a cultural perspective rather than a personal perspective what you say is interesting

    “I don’t think there is anything wrong with introspection, because if you don’t look in sometimes, you can’t really gain that self-awareness, can you?”

    Well strangely if you look in you might only tend to use the tools you already know to reconfirm what you already believe……so in that sense you might not become any more self aware than when you began, but you would get better at self analysis and even get better at other people analysis.

    On the other hand maybe the best way to become self aware is to ask another person what they think of you. You then get their view looking in to you. Indeed if you resist the view from outside looking in as if somehow your own view is more important then you end up with a kind of self preoccupation and self appreciation and might even feel that self esteem is a very valuable quality to have to the exclusion of self denial or self control and so forth.

    As you might guess i have spent a few decades looking within! But in the final analysis i am coming to realise that no answers at all are contained there. The answers and solutions to my minor life problems are in fact outside of me in the writings of others and in the accumulated wisdom of those who have lived now and before me.

    Just a few more cents to this theme!

    Hi Worried,
    Well it seems you have spent much time considering this topic.

    But I’ll tell you how I feel and then I think we can leave it at that.

    To me, there is a difference between looking inward and self-love. Looking inward is contemplating the things about yourself that you question, need to reflect on, and likely change. Getting someone else’s opinion on these things, I believe is more dangerous than it is helpful. Other’s love to tell people what’s wrong with them. I don’t know why, but they do. I would no more invite someone to tell me what’s wrong with me, than I would ask the aliens on the XFiles to abduct me.

    Intentional introspection is good for the soul – it does enable a person to right themselves and to change – it at least offers that possibility. Having another introvert you, however, is another matter and I think no real good comes from it.

    While, I’ll agree that life is ‘out there’ and we are better off for the most part looking outward and engaging in life – a little self imposed introspection is not a bad thing.

    Of course there will always be wisdom outside of oneself – and there are certainly people out there who are far wiser than I – but one can only use the wisdom of others if they understand themselves first. Otherwise, it is the proverbial taking of the horse to water.

    All of this aside, this was not the point of the post at all.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    WC

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