Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why Do I Blog?


Last night, a small conversation erupted on Twitter about how blogging can get you down sometimes, because the readers just aren't there and you feel like you've been talking to a brick wall. This is something I experienced for a year and a half. I look back on all that time and wonder, why did I keep going? Why did I think things were going to get better? Why didn't I give up? Those are some very good questions, come to think of it.

Part of the reason of why I didn't give up is the fact that I used to be taken over by this idea that my posts were actually worth something. I look back at them now and I honestly have to wonder what the hell I was doing. Of course, I can't go back in time and ask myself why I kept going, but I imagine most of the reason why was because I was writing for the local paper at the time, so I guess I needed a reason to keep writing. When I look back on those days, I also have to wonder how I could just blog 'off the cuff'. I would just post whenever - maybe four times a day, but then I'd leave the blogosphere for five days because I'd have to go back to my mothers where I didn't yet have internet access. Back in those days, I used to have so much time to do things that didn't really matter. Now I don't have any time to do things that matter.

Part of that is to do with the fact that I'm now a year 12 and this is pretty much like year 11 on steroids - the workload has been bumped up to 1000. Rarely is there a night that I don't have something school-like to do.  My weekends are usually filled up with school-work. Between all that, I play sport and I'm in the midst of helping direct a town production. Then I have to watch movies. And of course, that leads to blogging. Now I'd say that I'm pretty prolific, as I post at least six times a week. But I always feel guilty if I don't blog. Because now I have readers, who actually take the time to comment on my little silly thinklings. I actually feel lost without waking up in the morning and not having to check if my post got any comments. However, when I think about it, sometimes I think that blogging is so silly. When people ask me what I'm doing, and I say "blogging", I feel like some stupid teenager who is just spending a casual night on Tumblr. And I always have to wonder about why I have a deep desire to post every single night. I know a whole lot of blogs who manage just fine with sporadic posts. But I can't get that through my head.

Other people I know spend their nights on Facebook, or surfing the net, or watching TV. I barely ever have the time to do that. My night's are meticulously planned. I plan everything around my movies and my blogging, which leaves just enough time to do homework and absolutely no time to do normal things. Mind you, I don't mind that. I like to be busy. I can't remember what it is like to not be busy. In fact, in the holidays you would have to strap me to the couch in order to learn how to relax and actually not do anything for once. When I think of 'normal' people sitting down watching some TV program but not actually getting into it, it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

All of my other friends who are equally busy are that way because they attend sports and clubs and stuff like that. I'm busy because I sit down on my couch with my laptop and tap furiously at the keyboard. To everyone else, they don't seem equal, but to me, they take the same amount of time and you get the same rewards out of them. I don't mean to toot my own horn (because lord I do hate that), but my blog is rather popular. I think once blogs get popular, the writers tend to take for granted the readers that will come back, and the content kinda dwindles down. Not for me, though. I've worked so hard and for so long in order to get an audience, and once I did, I actually had to make my blog worthy of their attention. That's why I work tirelessly at it. Why I stay up sometimes quite late in order to get a post done, even though I have school the next day. Why I skip sitting down and watching a movie so I can write about another. Why I never really have enough time in a night to do normal things. I'm a perfectionist, so I know that my blog will never ever be  perfect, but I hope that when people come back time and time again they're not just being nice.

Through blogging, I've been opened up to this new, fantastic world where people actually share the same interests as me. Where people are willing to read something I write without being paid for it (poor teachers). Where other people have taught me so much. I feel like I can't ever give back enough because I barely ever have enough time to reply to the emails I receive, reply to the comments on my posts or comment on any other people's posts (although I do read them at breakfast on my iPod). There are two things I love most about blogging: seeing the way my writing and taste has developed and the people who make up the blogosphere. You're seriously all way too brilliant. I remember the days that I used to scour IMDb for hours in order to seek out opinions on a certain movie. Now I just need to turn to the blogosphere. It's a beautiful thing.

Blogging may be stupid to everyone else - and most definitely the time gods - but the way I see it, it is just as important as playing a sport. I enjoy it, I get rewarded. And the fact that you wonderful bloggers would remember a 16 year old girl from a small town in New Zealand for Best Blog at the LAMMYs (I'm actually the only non-American/Canadian based site in the race, I think) is reason enough for me to be proud and keep blogging. As long as I keep enjoying it, I'll keep doing it. And that's a motto that you bloggers that are feeling a little downtrodden need to keep in mind.

40 comments:

  1. This is a nice post. I needed to read it, and I'm glad I did. It's sort of given me inspiration. I like these in-depth, personal posts people write, because it really is sharing something the blogosphere doesn't generally ask you to share. Cinematic Paradox is one of my favourite blogs, and I always do marvel at how well and often you write posts despite obviously being a very busy person. Personally, I don't enjoy being busy, but I often find myself overloaded with work to do and it's nice to be able to turn to twitter or the blogging network to find inspiration and wonderful talent. Superb work Stevee, you truly are an enviable blogging queen!

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    1. I'm glad that it gave you inspiration! Thanks for the kind words, too.

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  2. Good post - I'm always interested why people blog. You've touched on the one aspect that always pulls me out of blogging, despite several attempts. I'm a very slow writer - sure, I could knock out a review or something in twenty minutes, but it wouldn't be very good. Instead, to be satisfied with a post, I have to spend a couple of hours on it. Then I begin to get agitated, because I feel that time could be better invested in getting more watched. It's a vicious cycle, and a shame because I do enjoy the blogosphere and the helpful folk within it.

    For now, since I have a 15,000 word dissertation to write, I'm settling with just reading blogs.

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    1. It is a vicious cycle, isn't it? If I didn't blog I'd have time to do some many things. But I like being busy.

      And there's nothing wrong with that! (unless you get in trouble, of course)

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  3. Great post Stevee! I kinda related to the first part of it about your twitter conversation with someone, especially the part about blogging getting you down cos the readers aren't there and you're basically talking to a brick wall. I feel like that quite a lot with my blog - so, I have thirty followers, but I'm pretty sure only about three or four actually take the time to read it. And usually the only person who comments is my mum.... :P So why do I still do it? I do it because I love the freedom of being able just to say whatever I want, put down lyrics I've written, or ones by other people which I can relate too, and just posting about life in general. When I've had a bad day, or a good day, it's just good to offload it all into a blog post and stick it up in the internet world. Even if no-one reads it, it's still there if anyone wants too.
    And it's always nice when I get comments/ feedback too.....
    Anyway, rants over. Just wanted to say congrats on how successful your blog is. But with the way you write, and your dedication to frequent posting, it really is no wonder. :)
    Jordan

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    1. Exactly. It's nice to have somewhere to offload everything that's happening. And if people read it, that's fine.
      And thank you!

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  4. 'When people ask me what I'm doing, and I say "blogging", I feel like some stupid teenager who is just spending a casual night on Tumblr.' This is exactly how I feel sometimes. The term 'blogging' has been soiled by people who use Tumblr on a regular basis (I mean every how of every day). I remember overlooking a girl in front of me in one of my lectures this semester and she was on Tumblr on her laptop. She was reblogging every single post she saw. I felt like asking her what she was accomplishing by doing that.

    This is how I feel a lot of the time. I don't have the time to blog all the time because of my studies, but when I publish a post I'd get very few views and zero comments. It doesn't help that I only have ten followers I guess.

    That's not to say I don't enjoy it because despite my the small amount of traffic to my blog, I still like doing it.

    What show are you co-directing?

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    1. I know, Tumblr people have ruined the term blogging. I must admit to going on it during school if I'm really bored, but I don't expect anything special to come out of it like most crazy teens do.

      Don't worry, you'll get more followers in the process! If you like doing it, then keep it up.

      And I'm co-directing Little Shop of Horrors :)

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  5. This was a lovely post, Stevee, thanks for sharing. I appreciate people who always find time for their hobby or passion or for things that most don't pay attention to, and I love the fact that you are so committed to this blog, I wish I was the same. My problem is I have the time, but rarely use it in the right direct- professional procrastinator. My mind always wanders around, day dreaming about the future or a guy I like and I forget to do what I was supposed to do. The fact that you are a 16-17 year old writing one of the best film blogs around is something you should be very proud of. Keep up the good work, I am sure it will pay off!

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    1. Haha, I'm always day dreaming. But I've learnt to stop procrastinating. Don't know how, but I have. And thank you :)

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  6. Really like this post, also good for me in terms of reevaluating a lot of things to do with blogging, as, I have literally ended up having NO time whatsoever to post anything/watch anything, but have been writing on the sides in hope I'll just have a fair few articles/reviews/etc. for the next few months so I can just post them with space-in-between.

    Haven't congratulated you on getting the directing job, either. Well done!

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    1. Don't you hate the time gods? They just never want to give us enough time :/

      Thanks!

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    2. Time is one of the worst 'inventions' (if it can be called that). If only we all had the time in the world to do things!

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    3. It totally is! There should be more of it, but there just never is!

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  7. Fabulous post, Stevee! I actually hate being busy but unfortunately that's what I always find myself being. Blogging can be time consuming, sometimes I have an idea but don't have the time so just think I'll write something in 15 minutes tops. Ends up being 2 and a half hours.

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    1. Haha, I know exactly how you feel. I always sit down to post things, thinking they'll only take 30 mins and I end up taking all night. It's annoying.

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  8. This was a really lovely post :) For me, blogging started with uni. We had to keep a blog as a 'reflective journal' and it was used as part of our self-assessment (oh yeah, my uni is big on that *eyeroll*), but one thing that struck me was a lecture where we were told that if you wanted to have a successful blog, or a fun time blogging, it was all about finding 'your own voice'. It's more authentic. My blog was in no way singularly about films when I started (a few of my really, really old posts show that!), but it developed into that as I found my voice.
    I know it'll probably be kinda pointless to say this, but don't feel guilty if you don't get time to blog! I used to, but then I realised that blogging was a way to enjoy myself, and if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. Your regular readers will understand this, and twitter has turned into such a good way for all of us to chat and keep in touch about films and such! Life demands attention, and we can't ignore it.

    Also, I know stupid teenagers, and have little tolerance for them. You're allllll good, don't worry about that!

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    1. It is great to find your voice, isn't it? I'm glad that I finally did, even though it took FOREVER.

      Life does demand attention a lot these days, but sometimes I can't help but post something every night. It is addictive.

      And yay, I'm not a stupid teenager!

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  9. Great post as usual. (Let's be honest, it's posts like this that got you nominated for Best Blog.) As for me when it comes to blogging, I only started doing it to give something to do every day. Not much, but that's what happened. (Also, I carry around a notebook to write down my thoughts for a post. Helpful piece of advice, just to let you know.)

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    1. Thanks. I do like having something to do every day - I've always been a project person. And I usually type it in on my iPod. I should start using one of the many notebooks I own for that, though!

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  10. Really great post! I'm veyr impressed that you take your site and blogging so seriously - I myself to it more for fun, to relax, since in studies and work I do things that do not interest me too much, sitting down and writing about things I love really relax me. I completely agree that blogosphere is the great way to expand movie horizons, there are so many opinions and recommendations flying around I think we all will always have films to watch.

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    1. Blogging relaxes me, too. Especially after a hard day of learning things that won't mean anything to me later in life (ahem, biology, calculus...).

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  11. I like your blog. It's enthusiastic, intelligent, non-waffling, and doesn't hurt my eyes. Keep up the good work.

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  12. It's a lovely post and you're a lovely blogger, Steeve. I just wish you could rid yourself of your hang-up about ages. Your blogging voice is what makes you special. Not being 16 years old. As little as my being 44 years old is a reason to judge my blog posts in a certain way. I'm so sick and tired of the age fixaction in our time. I think we should try to keep the blogosphere like a sanctuary, where our looks, our age, our gender, our position on the status ladder in real life DOES NOT MATTER.

    What matters is our ideas and the way we express them. Nothing else.

    Don't let the age thing become an obsession. In the long run it's just bound to make you miserable.

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    1. Thank you. I wish I could rid myself of the age hang-ups, too, but I've been told time and time again by my father and other members of the community that I'm just a kid who doesn't know anything. So that's where all that comes from! I do agree, though, the blogosphere SHOULD be a sanctuary.

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  13. You're doing great Stevee!
    Thanks for all your dedication to the blog. You know I love Cinematic Paradox.

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    1. Thank you for being one of my number one supporters in the past years!

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  14. What an inspiring post.
    I think it's great that you do what you want to do - I'm not as prolific as you, but I'm fine with that. So if you're fine with being prolific, you shouldn't try to write sporadically.

    I also got a big surprise when I read this and noticed my blog as the blog of the month on the sidebar - this is so cool! Thank you so much!!!

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    1. I am fine with being prolific - most of the time, anyway.

      And you're welcome! Your blog is so preeeeeeeeeeeety

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  15. Ahh I just love personal posts like these, especially when they are as heartfelt and articulate as yours. I'm like you: I like staying busy, in fact, I kind of have to. It's hard to explain, but I'm better off when I have something to do. Also, like you, my free time is based entirely around my film habit. Whether I'm watching them, writing about them or making them, my life revolves around film, and it is great to read similar thoughts like that.

    Blogging is, indeed a beautiful thing. I'm so glad I discovered your sight and its limitless inspiration. You are really quite talented and I'm glad you spend some of your day sharing your film thoughts with us here. I hope school eases up for you soon and you're able to do more things for you. Until then, keep coming back and writing. We're all listening.

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    1. I'm glad that someone else likes to stay busy! And also someone who just bases their life around film. I'm definitely like that, all the time.

      Awwwww, thanks Alex. Truly kind words like that are definitely appreciated!

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  16. Wonderful Stevee! I LOVE this post, thanks for eloquently writing this, you've inspired me to keep going. "My night's are meticulously planned. I plan everything around my movies and my blogging..." WOW, me too! That's so cool to hear that someone on the other side of the world who's as passionate about movie blogging. I actually blog more than I have time to watch movies sometimes, ahah, but like you, I enjoyed it. Obviously your love for blogging shows girl, your blog and your writing is awesome. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you - and I'm glad that someone else plans things like I do! I definitely thought I was alone with that one. You keep up the great work, too!

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  17. Always enjoy reading your stuff, Stevee, even if I don't always comment! I too often find myself hitting a blank wall with ideas - writers block hits at the worst times, doesn't it? - and have to take a week or so off from blogging to recharge. While I don't post as often, and family commitments often cause me to go a few days or weeks without watching a movie to write about, that'll change once the kids leave home in..... 18 years.... dammit!!!

    Nice work.

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    1. Thanks! Writers block always hits at the worst times. It is nice to be able to recharge. And hey, there'll still be people around in 18 years!

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  18. Great post. I suffered disillusion at the start but now I get more hits in a day than I did in the entire first month. Perseverance pays off :)

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    1. Perseverance definitely does pay off!

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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