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.