Blogs and the Creative Spirit.

I’ve been making more of a concerted effort to do something at least a little bit creative every day this week, and I think it’s been having the desired effect. Little by little I am regaining small portions of my soul I thought I had lost forever. I’d been fairly certain that all the stresses of working two jobs, planning a wedding, maintaining the 4.0 that is only important to me because I have never had one before, keeping a happy if not clean home, and generally maintaining my health would suck every last bit of pleasure from all the remaining years of my life. Luckily it appears I was wrong. As is generally the case when I have these kinds of dire thoughts.

One of the things I’ve done – and the six or eight people who still read this site may have noticed – is actually post here every day this week. This has proved both gratifying and disappointing. Gratifying because having the site gives me a reason to write. Disappointing because all the effort I put into what I write always seems to fall short of how I imagine it to be before I sit down to write.

It has gotten me wondering about websites and the act of blogging and what it all means. I know that Neil has mused about this more than once on his own site and even in person with me when we met a year or so back. How much is blogging a tool for creative stimulus, and how much does it hold me back from doing something even more important? I mean, as stimulating as it is to write about my Pinewood Derby car and the purpleness of its flames, is it so far-fetched to say that sitting around thinking of things to say to the half-dozen or so people who come by here might actually not be the best use of my creative time?

I think it comes down at least in part to the balance between virtual life and real life, and how the two actually and in fact intersect. If blogging really is a tool for achieving creative success (however we decide to define that, which is probably a whole other question entirely), how do we best utilize it to realize that success? I’m sure hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written about this, but does it really work for everyone? Can it really work for everyone? Should it work for everyone?

Some people think blogging is nothing more than an online journal. I suppose I could buy that, but for me even that is not entirely true. What I write (by hand, with a pen and piece of paper) in my own journals has never resembled anything I wrote on this site. Here I know there is an audience. It may be a small one, but it still exists. Of course what I would say in my own private world would be different from the public one.

I know I’m not the first to wonder this, and that my thoughts are far from original really, but I can’t help but wonder how much this site has helped me creatively, and how much it has kept me from doing something completely amazing in an entirely different way. I turn the question to you: For those who maintain your own sites, what do you think? What do you get out of blogging?


5 responses to “Blogs and the Creative Spirit.

  • Neil

    That is a really tough question. I love blogging. And I love it because I DO it. But sometimes I wonder whether I am so eager to do it because I get the instant gratification of writing something in a half hour and then getting people reading it. In the real writing world, you want to make your work as good as possible, and than takes time, rewriting, and a bit of loneliness… and you’re never sure if anyone will even see it. It is very easy to get hooked on blogging… with the comments and social connections. But is it more writing or more virtual friendship?

  • kat!

    Some people think blogging is nothing more than an online journal.

    this is SO true, and people go on thinking that even if you tell them it’s not. for me, blogging is really about trying to tell an interesting story, whether it’s mostly based on real life (firecraker), or mostly based on imagination (i hate kit kats). even when i am writing about my day, i try to make it a little more interesting, more compelling. i think ultimately i’m practicing for something bigger, but i think to actually tackle that i’d have to stop blogging entirely.

  • Karen

    Blogging allowed me to discover the storyteller in me. Having an audience made all the difference.

  • unfinishedperson

    Cait: For me, I think it’s a way to explore the different aspects of my personality. For example, I have five blogs, 1.) for running, 2). for reading, 3.) for spiritual matters 4.) for nothing in particular, just ramblings, and 5.) for a little bit of everything. I also hope that maybe others share in this exploration of the different aspects of their own personalities. What does it mean to be a finished person?

  • endlessdirection

    For me it’s one of the best ways to be creative. If I write something and it didn’t come across the way I pictured it would in my head, then I’ll delete it. Which would be why I hardly have any history on my blog. I think that’s okay though, as long as you are writing, even if part of the reason for the drive to write is the illusion/reality that people are reading.

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