The Vocation of Blogging

What does it mean to be a blogger? For many people, it is something they do occasionally for entertainment and in order to share some aspect of their lives, their convictions, or nuggets of valuable information gleaned in their daily journey through life. For some, blogging is even instrumental in the philosophical sense of the word, because they blog only in order to generate contacts and traffic they can drive to an external, commercial website where they expect to make money. Both of those are perfectly acceptable approaches to blogging, and I don’t question it when other people take them.

But blogging is neither of those things for me. My monthly handout from the disability people is secure for the next 18 years, and, although it’s a pittance that amounts to half of a poverty-line income, I’ve learned to be content with it. I have no motivation to start a small online business that would replace my stable and regular disability income with unstable, irregular and uncertain small online business income that would probably be even less than my disability check. You are free to judge me for that, but ask yourself whether I have a realistic chance of making money off a website. So many people open e-businesses every day, and the vast majority of them crash and burn. I have no head for business or marketing or sales and would be likely to end up starving on the street once my e-business failed and my disability check were permanently gone.

Also, the reason people blog part-time is because they have other demands on their day. They have jobs, spouses, children, hobbies and friends. I have none of those things–and I’m not whining about it, because I’m happy with not having them. To each their own, so to me, mine. But I have all day to do anything I want that my poverty permits, and, for the last 12 days, I have chosen to spend 15 hours a day in blog-related activities. It keeps me busy in a more constructive way than staring at a TV set, playing online games or watching YouTube videos would, because people have already started thanking me for the tiny but real contribution my blog has made to their lives, and I’ve gotten some praise for the quality of my writing and the content of my posts. Also, blogging is a community just like any other, and other people’s blogs help meet the social need I have just as everyone else does.

In the last few days, I’ve found myself moving ever-faster toward a state of true happiness because blogging not only fills my day, but is beginning to fill my life. I’m a writer and I’m writing, with the act of writing being what most writers, including me, find brings us the best life quality. But I’m also reading avidly–and reading some superbly written stuff by other bloggers that fully deserves to be commercially published, and would be if there weren’t 100 million publishable writers in the English-speaking world and only a puny commercial writing industry in existence to pay only a few of us. And I’ve made fulfilling contact with several people I’m glad to “know” online (because, let’s face it, you can’t really know someone online, but you can get to “know” them better than you “know” your own spouse on your silver wedding anniversary).

Overall, I’m delighted and proud to call myself a blogger-netizen, because it has turned out to be a legitimate vocation for a man who, after half a century of futile struggle to do what everyone else does, found his niche on a government handout that underwrites an unpaid writing career (pun intended). And I really owe it all to you, my small core of enthusiastic readers and wider, ever-growing circle of casual readers who devote as much time to my writing as their schedules and interest allow. I am declaring my loyalty to my readers, and making a promise never to betray you, because it is to you that I really owe everything that matters.

Thank you for reading.

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12 thoughts on “The Vocation of Blogging

  1. Well said. I started my blog about a year ago when I discovered I couldn’t work in the country I am living in ( long story) so finding a lot of time on my hands decided to write. It is a form of release for me by getting things off my chest and a vehicle to express my desire to tell stories. The internet has giving a lot of people this opportunity that only a few years back never existed.

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    1. Isn’t it funny, al? Because you’re not allowed even to operate a cash register at a hardware store, you’re forced to spend time doing what you really love. Who is really losing out here, you or the neo-fascist pencil-pushers who won’t permit you to work? My guess is it’s them.

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  2. I love this, it’s almost a love letter to your followers, no wait, it is. I am discovering how it is that people can go on line and some say and show very extreme behavior. Unfortunately some not so good. I say this now because I feel liberated somehow when I am on line. I can put my time to all that I find wonderful and just walk away from that I don’t like. Sooo easy. In person, face to face, people seem to be keeping themselves so guarded who can know anyone. I am guilty of that, very much. Kheleya I get so much out of reading your blogs. Keep it up, that is of course as long as it is good for you. I have had jobs I didn’t like, as so many have, and that effects me even depresses me. You write so beautifully it must be what you should be doing. It seems if I understand you that when you write it is bettering your emotional being. This should be your work.

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    1. It really _is_ my work, even though I don’t get paid for it. Actually, it’s kind of funny. I get free money for nothing from the government because I’m supposedly useless, but then i spend all day doing what I can to provide benefit to other people and earn that money. Our society is kind of silly sometimes.

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  3. Well, I can honestly say this: You probably have one of the best paid writing “gigs” in the world. You get paid to write, even though that is not what the “government” says it is paying you for.

    Because you are happy, keep it up. I know I enjoy seeing your thoughts as you assemble them for public consumption.

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    1. Nah, a well-paid wrting gig would enable me to afford my own private residence where I wouldn’t have housemates with whom I’m incompatible forcing me to eat green salad (which I despise) out of simple self-actualizing perversity. I’m more like a piece of furniture being kept in a storage locker because I’m not capable of pouring coffee at a donut shop, which causes society to consider me useless. But don’t let the honest words fool you into thinking I’m bitter. I’m actually laughing at the morons who choose to give me free money for nothing instead of compensating me for doing what would be of true value to them. Lfe is good.

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      1. ::Grins:: Just because it is a paid gig does not mean you aren’t a wonderful example of “starving artist.” The reason I qualify it as “best” is because you are paid regularly, where more writing is not.

        But, you have one of the best attitudes I have seen in a long time – you have managed to keep (or at least find) your sense of humor. Without that, things get ugly in a hurry. And, that applies to anyone in any situation – no humor means ugly outlook.

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        1. Aw, geez, Caff, I’m not starving! I’m actually okay. And the more I treat my body as just the unavoidable underpinning of the person I really want to be, the more comfortable my physical circumstances become. I guess I’m becoming a kind of odd ascetic.

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          1. ::Laughs:: I would have guessed you knew there were “starving” – surviving, but limited funds for extras besides surviving, and “Starving” – actually unable to earn enough to put a daily minimum amount of food into the body for maintenance.

            With the internet, I knew you fit into the first category. Somehow I do not think the second category would be concerned with keeping up with a blog.

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