I’m not a very prolific writer, as you’ve been able to tell. Writing, while one of the earliest things I remember loving (apart from horses), continues to be a challenge for me. I write slowly, the words rarely flow, and I spend a good deal of time just staring at the page. Because of how it’s challenging and sometimes exhausting, I find myself often wondering why I’m blogging at all. But each time I come to this point, I end up with some faith that, in time, writing will get easier.
As well, when I’m not trying to write for a blog, I’m reading one. I read them a lot! Why do I keep reading them? Really, when I’m not working or socializing, I’m reading blogs (yes my life is exciting and full of action and adventure 😐 ). And I don’t socialize a lot, being hermit-ish from way back. So, basically, I’m saying that I find blogs and blogging to be really addictive. It’s not really that surprising that a Gemini would find blogs addictive; there is always new content and it’s always at least somewhat mentally stimulating.
But there’s more to why blogs are addictive, I think. For myself there is definitely a search for community. As I’ve spent most of my life with this nagging feeling of isolation, going to blogs written by people who see the world as I do can be a tremendous relief. I long for feminist community, preferably lesbian separatist radical feminist community! (even though I’m mostly just a part-time separatist; I want my lesbian community but I want my male best friend and his partner to live across the street so we can visit!)
Is it common, this search for community? Certainly with feminists, I think it is. How often have I read someone’s comment describing how happy they are to have found other feminists and to not feel alone, or crazy? I think this a part of how the internet can be a means of consciousness raising as well. We have these vague, feminist feelings, we seek out feminists online (or come across them by accident), and we read what everyone has to say. Sometimes we’ll disagree, and sometimes we’ll have “aha!” moments. Other times the information will just sit there, percolating in our consciousnesses until it solidifies much later into a solid understanding of feminist theory. Of course, sometimes blogging is blatantly consciousness-raising where feminists will ask what our experiences are like, or discuss their own experiences that do not seem to be widely spoken of, much like eloriane did just recently. And of course, blogging can be a means of activism, whether in challenging the sexism that we encounter daily, or in calling other feminists to write letters, or as a means of networking to gather for actual protests. As a means of reaching a great number of people, the internet is unparalleled. Should a protest go viral, literally millions of people could read about it and participate. Has that happened? Maybe somewhat? I remember during the March for Women’s Lives on Washington that a lot of people were organizing and hearing about it online.
And, finally and personally, reading and writing blogs can also be a way of ignoring my life, instead of living it. I had said earlier that I wanted to foment a rebellion, but I can’t even get my shit together to get my Master’s! At the same time, I’ve made real-life friends via blogging, and have learned an immense amount, and feel less alone. I know now that I have a tribe to which I belong. It’s just that my tribe is scattered to the winds, rather than living in the same locale. So I continue to blog and to read blogs because I know that others are out there, like I was years ago, feeling profoundly isolated in my feminism (despite the nearness of loved ones), and if we can continue to reach out we can end up coming together.