For those of you who haven't seen it yet, Bête has been inviting bloggers to complete a blogging questionnaire. See his post here for further details.
While it will be interesting to see the results, I don't expect many surprises. I think the questionnaire findings could be condensed thusly:
Q: Why do people blog?
I mean, yes, there's attention seeking, yes, there's the desire to be discovered, published, yes there are those who write just for fun and those who are touting for cash. But the common element all blogs have is that they are the one place where the author can be an expert in their chosen field, even if only upon themselves. Blogs are where people are free to say "look at me! I know a lot about this! I am a good writer/wife/mother/artist/lover/cook/waiter/person" and have it backed up in comments. Even if what they are posting about is something "bad" they can rely on their readers to tell them it's ok really.
Still, it has made me think about it all. I was musing on the origins of my desire to blog and a far distant memory resurfaced. When I was a very young girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old, I was learning to swim in our village pool. It was a small outdoor pool so we only swam in the summer months. I could manage to stay afloat, but only with the use of my inflatable orange armbands. My mother had been slowly deflating the armbands a little at a time over the course of the summer, until I could swim without them, really, but needed the pyschological comfort of having them on my arms.
Then one day a classmate of mine managed her first width, unaided. She swam! There was a flurry of acivity when she reached the other side of the pool, the grown ups crowding round to tell her how clever she was, heaping praise upon her. There may have been talk of ice cream.
I watched this wonderful reaction, chest deep in water, from the other side and definitely wanted a piece of that. I tore off my armbands and launched myself across the pool, flailing and splashing, until I reached the other side, width completed.
I don't think my motivations have altered that much with time.