In a couple of recent friendly exchanges I've been challenged with the question (actually, the conversations led me to ask myself), "Why the blogging?"
I was explaining to my daughter that blogging ties into two great interests of mine: the essay and the conversation. "And," she said, "maybe a little vanity, Dad." Well, maybe... a little. (It could have been worse; she could have said "megalomania." It has occurred to me that someone who thinks he can deliver a sermon about life and faith and the way of the world to hundreds of people every week has to be touched with just a little bit of megalomania.)
I'm as vain as the next guy, but, actually, I plead innocent. I understand the blog to be a modern version of something that's been around since the dawn of the written word: the journal. I've always been one of those frustrated journal-keepers, and somehow the blog seems to work for me. Now I grant that not all journal-writers do so with the intention that others will read their thoughts. But I think many do -- not so much out of vanity, but because of the impulse to carry on a conversation -- or to impart something to the next generation. Most of us would love to have, for example, a grandfather's journal -- whether to read his thoughts on politics and the world around him, or just which crop he planted that week.
A journal is involved in a sort of implied conversation; a blog invites a real-time exchange of opinions and ideas. I am grateful, dear reader, for yours.
(By the way, I think "blog" is a clever but ugly word. I much prefer "journal." But I don't think "bjournal" is going to catch on.)