Posted by: whirlabout | December 22, 2008

What is the Purpose of a Blog?

whirlaboutpostI was asked this very question at a Christmas party last night — a glass of red wine in one hand and a chocolate fondue-dipped gingerbread man in the other.

“Just what is it you’re trying to accomplish?,” my friend asked.

“For me…” I replied, “It’s about getting support from friends who are going through the same thing. By writing down what we’re doing, we’re forcing ourselves to take action. We can’t get away with just dreaming about it anymore. We have to hunker down and make a move. Plus, we’re writing this blog together –- so we’re encouraging each other emotionally along the way.”

“That all sounds great,” he said,”but what happens when the blog becomes the focus? When all you think about is what you’ll write next? Isn’t it, then, steering you away from what you’re really trying to accomplish?”

Good question.. But I hope that’s now how it goes.

I tried to explain that we, the writers at Blog of the Butterfly, remind ourselves not to worry about what to write. Instead, we should just jot down what’s truly going on in our daily lives – the steps we’re taking towards new, more meaningful careers – even if it means writing about the distractions that keep us from it.

“Then it’s just a journal,” he said. “Personally, I would get bored with that.”

Well, OK. Maybe it is a journal. This blog certainly isn’t a how-to manual. I don’t even know how to get from point A to point B! And if I did, this probably wouldn’t be such a huge journey for me.

This particular blog – The Blog of the Butterfly – is about four women transitioning from one phase of life to another.

We’ve already gone through one transition, from successful career women to stay-at-home mothers. Now, fully focused on our families and raising our children, we can see another phase coming. A phase that welcomes the opportunity to create new work with meaning. And even though we don’t know exactly know how to get there, we hope that writing about our processes will help us achieve our goals (with a few toddler tantrums, spills, laughs, and sleepless nights mixed in). And maybe, just maybe, our stories will help some other women along the way.

Isn’t that what a blog is about? A place to take time to enjoy life’s minutia that you won’t find in a how-to manual? To relate to a subject in a way that no other medium allows? I may be a newbie at this, but I thought a blog was whatever you wanted it to be. And that makes it a more personal, more true to life kind of communication.

That’s what I thought anyway. How would you define it?

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