I believe that it is derived from the longer web log, or weblog, meaning a web-based log, or journal, or diary.
You could call a blog an internet journal, but that would not be nearly as dashing a terminology as blog.
Of course, blogs have evolved significantly since the early days when they were mainly on-line diaries for angsty teenagers. These days, everybody has a blog, even mainstream newspapers whose blogs are authored by multiple professional journalists.
There are many reasons why people blog, probably about as many as there exist blogs. Money, of course, is one of the big ones.
Money is not one of my reasons for blogging. If I were blogging for money, I would have to write for an audience, things the audience wanted to read. I would have to court that audience and build up a readership, and then I would have to sell advertising after I had statistics to support the value of the advertising space.
Lucky for me, my husband has a job and I don't have to do those things, because those things are so totally not me that I think I would prefer to earn money waiting tables if that's what it came to. Not that there's anything wrong with waiting tables, just that I did it when I was young, and it was hard work.
So I dabble around and write things that I don't even link to Facebook, because for the most part it is private reflections, and I'm not sure that I really want to share my private reflections at large. However, writing them on Blogger and publishing them online serves two main purposes:
- The threat of possible readers protects me from delving utterly into selfish, narcissistic, unedited introspection. You may find this hard to believe, but it is true. There is an even deeper and darker heart in me than the one exposed here.
- It keeps a nice, orderly record of things. I used to write in notebooks, but I never wrote in them in order, or in the same ones. When we moved across the country, I probably threw out 50 different partial notebooks of writing with sporadic entries on random pages, as well as irregular entries on triangular scraps of paper tucked amongst the pages. When I write here, it miraculously mostly does not get lost, except for the occasional times when I inadvertently delete a post.
I am not a people pleaser. This makes me unhappy sometimes, because (obviously) if you don't go around pleasing people, then sometimes they are not pleased with you. I am often lonely, but I understand that I have no right to be upset about it. In the same way, I have only a sparse handful of blog readers, but I understand why, that it is my choice.
I am a loner, not because I don't like people, but because I do not like their rules, especially the unspoken ones. I will not jump through hoops to please someone: either you like me or you don't, and if you don't, I will be happy to move on, even if it means I am alone for awhile. My husband loves me for who I am, most of the time, and when my quirks test his devotion, we work through it. When people or organizations outside of my family present ultimatums that demand something from me, especially if it is something that I see as non-neutral and threatening, and most especially if it challenges my convictions, I move on to other--not necessarily greener--pastures.
I give up a lot for my convictions. Many years ago, I was a writer (aka copywriter) for an advertising agency. The senior copywriter told me that we were the great prostitutes of the writing trade, writing puffy rubbish for a regular salary while our art stagnated somewhere in the dim recesses of the basements of our consciousness. After giving birth to a baby, I stopped writing advertising material, which was a great relief, because although I enjoy a clever turn of phrase as much as anybody, I hate lying, especially about the meaning of life and how your dollars can attain this false and deluding "meaning" for you if you bestow them on my client.
In college, horrified by the empty meaninglessness of modern interpretations of literature, I made the decision to flee academia as soon as I had my first degree. Then, as I just described, I fled the degradation of hawking my words in a business setting. Finally, isolated in a little cape-cod house, I gave birth to babies, not books, and read them Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose desperately, grasping for words, rhythm, beauty, joy and meaning, amidst diaper disasters and temper tantrums and peanut butter between the toes.
The stories of life from those days only survived if they made it into the library of our oral tradition, the slimy folds of gray tissue that may or may not yield their treasures when called upon. The stories I remember, I repeat as often as I dare, trying to cement the memories and guard them in this fragile thing I call my brain. The hitch, of course, is that I only remember them at unpredictable intervals. If I am lucky enough to remember one when I am at home and have some time, I write it here. That is one of the main reasons why I keep this blog, although if you have read much of it, you know that those memories are precious few and far between.
Our family. Our life. My faith. My struggles. Sometimes joy. In the end, God. That is what this blog is about, and I am at peace.
I was hurting the other day. Ha. I think it was yesterday, but "the other day" sounds more poetic, doesn't it? I hurt so bad, I lay on my face on the floor in the doorway of my bedroom and sobbed for awhile. Then I was tired; the tears seemed to have dried at their source, so I got up and vacuumed for a good long time, and I felt better in heart if not in body. I walked into my bathroom and saw that I'd opened the blinds, which we usually keep closed for privacy.
The light shone in, bright and pure, sort of disinfecting.
Out the window, I saw the deck below, the yard, a pile of sticks Shawn and I had gathered on the weekend. I saw the mysterious cement block structure at at the edge of our yard near where the water flows into the lake, and I fantasized about taking the sticks, the leaves, the chopped down weeds that have been decomposing in the garden for the past eight months, taking all of this crud and piling it into that cement block structure and burning it up. When you burn stuff up, it is gone in the end, clean gone.
Clean gone. How beautiful.
In the end, everything is going to burn, the earth and everything on it, and there won't be anything anybody can do to stop it. It will all be gone except for God and the people He calls His own.
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:7, NIV)
God will start fresh with a new sky and a new earth, clean and fresh and perfect to fit the people He has purified for Himself. Called and justified, we will finally be glorified.
Nothing else matters.