Why blog?

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rivertrailIt’s funny how six months after starting my site, I’m thinking about the why of it.  It started out when I was working towards RVing full-time and at first, I thought that I wanted a place to share about my travels.  Even as I was first coming up with a blog name, I knew I wanted something with a larger scope than that. What if I stopped traveling some day?  Would my blog no longer be relevant?  What if I wanted to write about something else?  The truth is that half the RVers out there have a blog and I didn’t want just another travel blog.

When I went searching for the perfect domain name, I thought about Travel Hoppy.  I knew that was too limiting and soon switched to Live Hoppy- a name that would hopefully encompass anything I could find to write about.  A good thing too, since my RV plans haven’t gotten out of the driveway of my house.

I started analyzing the successful blogs that I was a fan of.  I was looking at how some of these people became real writers from blogging, going on to publish books that their followers wanted to buy.  Most of them seemed to have one thing in common: their blogs stuck to narrow topics- minimalism or cooking or finances.  I have a lot of passions, but I knew I didn’t want to be stuck writing about the same topic.  I realize that as a business decision, this might not be the smartest.  If the successful blogs all seem to have one thing in common and it’s not something I want to do, where does that leave me?

Do I even want to make money from blogging?  This is a complicated question for me.  I certainly see opportunities along that line.  What writer doesn’t dream of making money from their writing?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to leave the day job and just write for a living?  The thing is that when you do something for a living, it can stop being so much fun.  Would I want to have to write just to pay the bills?  Would I want the financial insecurity that comes for most people that try to make a living writing or doing art?  It would be nice to make some money from my blog some day and I want to keep that in mind as a possibility.  Still, that’s really not my motivation and I have other priorities.  I’d a hundred times over rather write what I want to and not get paid than write for the sake of trying to make money.

So why then do I write?  Is it for fame?  For notoriety?  I have mixed feelings about this too.  Maybe I want to leave my mark on the world, to say “I was here.”  But the truth is that I’m a private person.  I don’t have a Facebook account.  I don’t like having my picture taken.  I feel vulnerable sharing details about my life publicly online.  I don’t like to cause controversy.  I’m not really the sort to say what I want and not care what others think.  (I think maybe I’m not even supposed to admit that I care what other people think.)  Maybe I even have fears about opening up and blogging.  Maybe I think I’ll grow by working through those.

Maybe it’s just because when I go places, when I do things, I have a voice in my head narrating it, as if I’m telling a story.  I feel as though there is this writer within me that is thinking of what to write as I go through my every day life.  Like early this morning as I was walking down the river trail in Tulsa.  To set the scene, the Tulsa river trail is nice (by which I mean, very developed and also well-traveled).  There’s a side for foot traffic, and one for bikers that sometimes are joined and sometimes split apart like a divided highway with trees down the center.  There’s playgrounds and parking areas and restrooms and drinking fountains and streetlights and even park security that occasionally drives by in a little miniature car on the trail.


Everybody on the trail seemed somehow the same: bikers and joggers all out to get their exercise.  Some had nicer bikes, some had fancier workout clothes, some were skinnier or fatter, some of the men weren’t wearing shirts and I’d watch their fatty bits jiggle as they ran past secretly thinking they should wear a shirt and then thinking maybe there was some excuse for them considering how hot it was,  some would cheerily say ‘Good morning!’ as if it were a command and others wouldn’t.  But they all seemed the same, except one guy I came across.  He was jogging beside the trail rather than on it and he had his dog with him.  He didn’t have a standard leash, but rather a length of rope 20 feet long or so.  His dog ran along, but several feet off the trail, down where the weeds were tall.  I watched the rope dragging over the tall grass and weeds, pushing them down as it went over them before they’d pop back up behind the rope.  Then the dog ran over to the guy and he bent down, offering it water, pouring it straight into his hand for the dog to lap up.  And I thought, “This guy is authentic.  He’s real.  He’s not like the other people.”  He wasn’t like the people jogging on the trail with their dogs on short leashes to make sure they didn’t go off in the weeds.  He wasn’t like the people that watered their dogs at the little doggy bowls built into the drinking fountains.  I could see that he cared about his dog more- thinking not just about walking it, but about letting it explore where it wanted to.  He knew that was important to it.  He didn’t care if the dog slobbered on his hand when he lapped up his water.

And me?  I was thinking about how to put it into words, how to describe the scene.  Could I convey the feeling that I was left with?  Could I make somebody else feel the way watching this made me smile?  That’s the way I think much of the time.  That’s why I write.

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