Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Why I Blog

(Cross-posted to Inkygirl and Blatherings recently; sorry, things got very busy this week.)

I was tagged by Katharine Swan in a meme that's been going around writers' blogs where the challenge is to answer "Five Reasons Why I Blog." I don't tend to do memes, but I feel compelled to answer this one because the topic (why people blog) has always fascinated me, especially since my friend Erin posted this entry.

So here's my answer:

1. Originally, I started my Blatherings for friends and family, especially to keep in touch with friends I don't tend to see too often because of geography. While this is still partly a reason I blog, it's no longer the main reason.

A Brilliant Idea

2. I blog because I'll forget things otherwise. There are times when I forget the name of a place or person I encountered years ago, and can look the info up in my archives. It's also fun for me to go through old posts about events I've enjoyed, sort of like flipping through an old photo album or scrapbook.

3. I blog because it improves my writing. Forcing oneself to write about something almost every day is a good exercise, I find. It has especially helped me in my nonfiction writing, and has also been good for self-discipline. I haven't had anything resembling writer's block in quite a few years.

4. I blog because it helps me get more work. While this wasn't a factor in the beginning and still is not the main reason I blog, I likely wouldn't be blogging as often as I do if it didn't have this added benefit. I've gotten both writing and illustration assignments because of Blatherings, Will Write For Chocolate, and Inkygirl.

The Blog Addict

I also make enough through Google Adsense to pay for my Publisher's Weekly subscription as well as memberships in various writers' organizations, and help cover my office expenses. I know the whole "blogging for money" is a thorny issue. Blatherings doesn't get as much traffic as Inkygirl, tho I do have ads in the lefthand column -- I figure every little bit helps. I don't let this influence what I write about.

For Inkygirl, I do blog in hopes of generating some Google Adsense income as well as the networking aspect (I've already met so many interesting writers as a result of starting that blog). I also use Inkygirl to challenge my comic creativity, coming up with several new comics a week. In a way, it's sort of my equivalent of Blatherings, but for my comics. Eventually I hope to publish a print collection of some of my comics, and it will help if I can tell potential publishers that I already have an established readership.

But back to the whole "blogging for money" controversy -- what's so evil and wrong about wanting to earn some income from my writing? I'm a WRITER, for pete's sake, and a freelancer at that. I write for enjoyment, and I write for money. If the two happen to overlap sometimes, then that just makes me happy.

Blog habits

5. And after ranting about how it's ok to blog for money, I have to confess -- even if blogging wasn't helping me in my work life, I'd still be blogging.

Blogging's fun. It's exciting to know that anyone can be reading what I write (and I'm careful in what I write about to make sure it's exciting and not terrifying). I love sitting down at the computer with a blank text screen in front of me and figuring out what I should write about that day. I love interacting with people who read my blogs, especially hearing about how something on my blogs has helped them personally or professionally. Those types of comments or e-mails always make my day.

I blog because I can't NOT blog.

I'm not going to tag anyone specifically -- feel free to post about this in your own blog if you'd like, and post the URL below.

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