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Are You Blogging Your Passion or Blogging to Blog?

Articles about blogging tipsWatching a recent episode of Battlestar Galactica called “Dirty Hands”, I was struck by the wonderful portrayal of a class society, one ruled by hierarchy and tradition rather than by freedom and passion.

I have many friends raised within countries which still play by these rules, where you are and do what your father or mother did, and maybe your grandparents before you, not what you want to do. Where apprenticeship programs are the only way into a trade. Where you are tested and found competent for a specific job, not because your heart leads the way.

While many get preoccupied with how to make money blogging, we forget that online journaling and blogging began as a way to share our lives with others. To teach. To share as we learn. But most of all, to share our passions through our words, images, and sounds.

Over the years, I’ve been honored to meet a car mechanic who loved knitting and decided to share his passion for knitting through an online journal, allowing his passion to overcome the naysayers, which became a blog, then became his life. I’ve met artists who felt isolated and alone with their art, disconnected from the world, find friends and compatriots through their blogs. Others felt isolated by geographical location, stuck in towns and villages where they felt different and alone, unable to connect with those around them.

Through their blogs, they not only found friends, but they found their voice and the strength to keep going, turning their thoughts around to embrace their community rather than run from it.

In online friendships, race, culture, color, religion – none of it mattered as they found new mentors and supportive networks to help them find a place in the world through virtual relationships.

When a friend turned 80, she announced that she was going to buy her first computer. I asked her what she was going to do with it. She didn’t know. “Everyone was talking about it, so I thought I should get one to see what all the fuss is about. Now that I have one…” I could see her mind grinding away at the possibilities as she confronted this more-than-a-television thing.

A week later she told me that she was going to scan all of the photographs of her family’s history and write up the stories to go with the photographs and make books for her family. Two weeks later, she called me and told me that she was going to convert her videos into digital media so she could also share those. A week later, she bought a digital video camera and was reading her stories and recording herself with the new video camera on her computer. Two weeks later, she came to me and asked, “What’s all this blogging thing I’m hearing about?” A few days later, she had a blog, and all of those images and recordings found a home.

In the last three years of her life, she recorded tons of stories and brought her life and family to her blog, leaving a record and memorial to treasure. Her family asked me not to share the blog, as much of it is very personal and private, but they told me how happy she was during these precious years, expressing herself without limits.

Her great granddaughter said, “She spent so many years sad and unhappy with her life. The last three years she came alive and lived her passion fully.” A woman who once traveled by horse and buggy and lived the first 10 years of her life without electricity wasn’t going to let anything stop her now, not even the learning curve of new technology.

What about you? Are you stuck in your life? Are you blogging what someone told you to blog? Is your blog a way out?

More importantly, are you blogging your passion?

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20 Comments

  1. Posted June 4, 2007 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Great post Lorelle sometimes I get sick of reading all the “How to make money with your blog” Posts. for me blogging is a hobby I write or post only stuff that interests me ..

  2. Posted June 4, 2007 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    I wonder – how can you not blog your passion? (if you’re not in it for the money that is)

  3. Posted June 4, 2007 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Great post. Last weekend I was mailing with a other blogger. I asked him what was best. Blogging on 1 subject or on more subjects on 1 blog. Or use more blogs.
    He said it was better to do it on 1 blog and do a good blog. I desided to blog on my blog on more subjects I like. It gave me a better feeling. Now I’m more blogging on the thinks I like and not thinking about that I shouldn’t post something because it doen’t fit on my blog.

    But blogging for money is nice. Because if you like it you make a living on your hobby.

  4. Posted June 4, 2007 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I have blogged for money in the past and it took the fun away. The only blog I have now is one I do because I want to. I mostly blog about web design related matters; although other things of interest slip in from time to time. There are no adverts and I make no money from it.

    Adverts on a blog generally make me question the intentions of the writer and it takes a lot longer for me to trust what they are writing, especially if they are writing top 10 posts every day of the week.

  5. Posted June 4, 2007 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I just cannot wait to watch Battlestar Galactica tonight! Although we get to see older episodes, it is one amazing series. And I completely agree with you. Blogging is a means of unleashing your creativity and thoughts and opinions. It’s a way to keep track of your growth.
    I would love to share this article I read on ALA long back. It’s called – ‘Writing a better weblog‘.

  6. Posted June 4, 2007 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I blog to express myself and it was before it became the in-thing we know it now. Don’t know what I’d do without it.

  7. Posted June 4, 2007 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I’m with you 100%, and just wrote about how I dislike ads and blogging for money on my own blog. Sure do wish I could see the blog you mentioned! It sounds fascinating! But I understand the family’s wishes.

  8. Kim
    Posted June 4, 2007 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the great article. I agree with the others – and don’t blog because you feel pressured to do so to keep readers, your passion will not show through in your posts. While I am envious of the blog that I just stumbled on that makes enough money to support her entire family, I won’t read it because it is so laden with ads (even the RSS Feeds) that you can’t see the content – which wasn’t that great. I will just keep my ad free site (with the exception of my amazon associates link – it doesn’t make me any money anyway) and be passionate about blogging.

  9. J.T Dabbagian
    Posted June 4, 2007 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    My passion is my blog, but I do want to make some additional money. I’m not some butthead who’s just spitting out content for dough, but I’m a writer, I like to write, and I figure I can do what I like for a little money on the side.

  10. Posted June 4, 2007 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I started blogging (like so many others) as a way to express myself, a journal of sorts while trying to include aspects of my job as a Behavior Specialist. Somewhere along the way, my interests, my passions, and my career became intertwined.

    Now, I blog about classroom management, school crisis response, crisis intervention, traumatic stress, counseling, and mental health. I absolutely LOVE it and spend most of my waking time reading, researching, learning, absorbing, teaching/lecturing, and blogging about these things.

    I find that the more I blog and share, the more I learn.

  11. Posted June 4, 2007 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I actually started blogging because it was something new to learn. I love the challenge of learning new things and blogging provides a LOT of new things to learn i.e. designing, writing, marketing, SEO, etc. (I’m hoping it wards off Alzheimers, too ;-))

    I’ve never cared much for a structured educational environment so networking and communicating with other bloggers is how I’m learning the ins and outs of blogging. The networking has introduced me to a lot of interesting people that I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know.

    Another blogging plus for me is socializing. I had to relocate to a town (SE USA) several years ago that I consider to be about 15-20 yrs behind in many ways (appears to have been no growth here in about that long). It’s kind of a tight-knit town where most of the population’s families have been here for generations so getting to know others hasn’t been that easy. Fortunately I have the freedom to travel and socialize face-to-face outside of my local areas, too.

    Monetization? Well, we’ve all heard we should find a way to produce income doing something we enjoy.

    BTW, the “experience” was so dang good I had a dream about you. }:-}

  12. Posted June 5, 2007 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I just felt like I had to comment — thank you for sharing that wonderful anecdote. That’s a wonderful reminder of what blogging, writing, should really be about — sharing your passion. One thinks that it should be a given, but I’ve seen a lot of blogs containing haphazard entries, probably because they’re blogging just to blog.

    Frankly, it was that way as well with me for a while until I decided to ditch the blog and go for an online journal; it’s only relatively recent when I started to want to blog again, as another means to separate my tech-related posts and writing-related posts that I wanted to write, which not a lot of my friends are interested in (hence it’s just clutter on their watch page in livejournal!).

  13. psymon101
    Posted June 5, 2007 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I started my blog to provide technology news for everyone, its fine telling everyone the latest and greatest how can I use it in my life? How can anyone use it? So I point out the new technology that everyone can use…

  14. Posted June 5, 2007 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I blog because I like to share about what is going on in my life. To spit it out on paper and i find that it helps me to keep clear.

    I read somewhere of a chinese female doctor that began a blog to share stories about aids I think it was. Such a courageous thing to do with all the banning going on thre. She gave away pamflets and lots of info too. People had to be aware of aids and that it was also present in China. I could not find her blog, sadly enough.

  15. Posted June 6, 2007 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Great post. I don’t normally comment, but I do read your blog quite regularly. One of those numbers in your feedburner stats is me. ;) This post was just too inviting for me to pass up.

    I started blogging partly because some friends had mentioned the idea to me. I had already been a participant in many tech communities around the net, but I thought a personal site/blog would be nice to keep a living journal of sorts. I started towards the end of my last year in high school and I’m very glad I did. Every once in a while I still peruse back in my archives and relive some of those memories. At that point, everything I wrote about was me – I even tried to do the once-a-day update on the random happenings in my life. I’d put something down even if nothing terribly exciting occurred that day. It got a bit tedious and all of a sudden the evil thing known as money crept into my field of view.

    Yeah, there was a lapse in judgment/momentary weakness as I started posting stuff not because I had something of my own to say, but to appeal to readers and hopefully make some money off ads. In the end, I did end up making some money, but the original reason for my blog disappeared. Instead of writing things I wanted to, I was writing things to please others.

    So I stopped doing that probably half a year ago now. I’m pretty much back to my original goal of blogging, although I will admit, I’ve been posting less random day to day things now. Of course, if there’s something significant, I’ll write about it. That way it’ll probably be easier for me to glance at when I’m older as well; I won’t have to dig through crap to get to the significant bits.

    The only thing I regret is the fact that I haven’t been my absolute inner-most thoughts out there. Chalk that up to privacy concerns or whatnot though. It seems like anyone can find everyone else on the web these days with just a bit of searching.

  16. Posted June 7, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I blog for money :)

  17. bloggomatic
    Posted June 7, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I always struggled when it comes to expression and writing. I just started blogging because I wanted to improve my writing and imagination skills. After a week of blogging I have seen a sea change in my writing and blogging skills. I think that blogging bug had bit me. Now i regret that why didn’t I get into blogging an year back. Better Late than Never. :). I am learning lot a lot out here.

  18. Posted June 8, 2007 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    This is a beautiful blog post, Lorelle, I’m so glad you shared this. I’m happy to say that after a few false starts I am blogging my passion, writing. My focus is to learn and share and to meet and hang out with other writers.

  19. Posted June 9, 2007 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    A mi me encanta escribir. Y realmente descubrí con mi blog que despiuerta una gran pasión en mi.
    Es realmente fabuloso. Me gustaron mucho sus artículos.
    Mis disculpas por escribir en español, leo perfecto pero me cuesta escribir.
    y es pero que les guste también…

  20. schank
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What a great story! Thanks for that. It’s amazing how blogging changed the last few years of her life


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