Day 1: Why I Blog

by Janis Gaines

cropped-seal_v2-04I’m participating in Blogging University’s Blogging 101 course, sponsored by The Daily Post on WordPress. Each day they give a topic, along with blogging tips. I think I know how to use most of WordPress fairly well, but I’m always looking to refocus and learn new things.

Day 1: Introduce Yourself to the World

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Why do I blog?

Mainly for me. I grew up writing so many things that have been lost over the years, things I wish I still had today. I didn’t have a good way to preserve my work, nor was I ever really encouraged to. When I started this blog three years ago, my main purpose was to catalog all of the poems and songs I had written over the years. I was moving at the time, and as I was going through boxes and trying to get rid of stuff, I found lots of scraps of papers and old poems that I had forgotten about. I actually discovered through blogging that I was a POET. When I was finally able to look at all I had in one place, I could see it clearly, but I had never thought of myself that way before. And it inspires me to write more. The year I first started blogging I wrote twenty-two new songs and poems — 22!

Eventually, I’ve added other types of writing to my blog: memoir, inspirational quotes, random writing prompts. I like having a diary, of sorts, that can’t be lost. I want to have an online portfolio of my work, so that it can be honored — the good, the bad, the ugly; it’s all here, hehe. I try to encourage my students to do this as well. I want them to know that their writing matters, and I don’t want them to ever lose it, as I lost so much of mine. I want them to be proud of their work and enjoy the creative process, and to experience the online writing community and be encouraged to do more.

I also write for my kids. I hope someday that this will be a meaningful legacy for them. Right now, I think they don’t know and couldn’t care less, but someday when I’m gone, my hope is that my words will live on for them and the next generation. Truly, I wish I wrote more, like every day, but I usually don’t make the time when I’m working. So my writing comes in spurts. I’m not very disciplined; I tend to wait for the inspiration to hit me.

And I think every writer also writes for posterity. I’d love to try to publish and put my work out there for a larger audience, but I’ve never really tried. I always receive great feedback when I share my songs and poems. That’s a timing thing for me and something I hope to work on this summer. I don’t have a huge desire for fame, but maybe some for recognition, to feel like your work is respected and valued and makes an impact. My words get to be my true account of my own life. One of my goals is to go back and write the story behind each song and poem I’ve written. It takes a lot of vulnerability to be so transparent, but I know that can also be where the real magic happens.

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© June 10, 2015
Asheville, NC

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