Happy Valentine’s Day to Valentine, Nebraska

Before I get to the title question (“Why do you blog?”), I can’t let today go by without recognizing a town just across the state border from where I grew up in South Dakota: Valentine, Nebraska.

photo of Valentine, Nebraska

Main Street, Valentine, Nebraska

The story of the town’s name is not nearly as romantic as you might imagine (Edward K. Valentine was a Nebraska congressman), but Valentine’s reputation as “Heart City” lives on. For next year, keep in mind that you can send your addressed and stamped Valentine’s Day cards to the town’s post office, where they will be mailed with the postmark “Valentine, Nebraska.” Cool, huh?

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Why do you blog?

This isn’t a hypothetical (or, as our son said when he was very small, hypopothical) question. I really want to know.

Last night I watched The Social Network and realized that some people blog for revengeโ€”at least in the movies. Or, like Julie in Julie & Julia, they blog as a way to meet a personal goal.

If you are a writer, you might think you have to keep a blog, but Jane Friedman reminds us in her Writer’s Digest blog that if you don’t like or downright hate to blog, you don’t have to blog… or tweet… or be on Facebook in order to be published. I don’t think the issue is quite that simple these days (which she admits), but her main point is an important one. Blogging shouldn’t feel like a chore or punishment or hoop, at least not most of the time.

That’s why, if you like and want to blog, whether as a goal in itself or the means to a larger end, it’s good every once in awhile to ask yourself why you do it.ย  In addition to Jane Friedman’s list, here’s what I came up with so far, in no particular order (okay, I’m using more than five words total, but, hey, it’s my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ ):

  • To set goals
  • To meet goals
  • As a creative outlet
  • To built a writer’s platform
  • To practice writing
  • To work through ideas
  • To try out ideas
  • To make connections
  • To get feedback on ideas
  • For fun
  • To ameliorate perfectionism
  • To find one’s voice
  • To use one’s voice
  • To share ideas and resources
  • To gain writing momentum
  • To start one’s day
  • To wrap up one’s day
  • To prove something to oneself
  • To leave a mark
  • To persuade
  • To entertain
  • To ask questions
  • To seek answers
  • To feature others
  • To gain focus
  • To expand oneself
  • To take a risk
  • To claim a space
  • To relax
  • To provoke
  • To share family stories
  • To pay tribute
  • To say, I was here

What say you? Why do you blog?