Friday, June 23, 2006

Five Reasons to Blog

Tuesday night: deadline for my newspaper column is only a few hours away. No ideas, no inspiration. Not enough thoughts to even pontificate about politics or whine about some social evil. So I poured myself a drink and wrote this:

A blogger often finds reasons for minor celebrations. Your blog, after all, is like your own home, where you can celebrate whatever or whenever you want to: 50th post, 100th post, first anniversary, second anniversary, and so on. I will soon be 100 posts old, and I will celebrate it by writing a post about touching the century-mark. And I can write whatever I want to. Whatever. It’s my home, after all.

But this is a home which has glass walls — as in, the whole world can see what is going on inside. That is the way one chooses it to be. Or else you would just keep a personal diary, about whose existence even your own family members might not be aware of till you have left this world. If you are lucky posthumously, your descendants will preserve the diary till the pages crumble into dust. If not, then someone will make paper packets out of those pages.

But technology now offers you a chance to save your precious written thoughts from descending into dust or to prevent someone having medu vadais off the pages of your diary. So why don’t you blog? I will give you five solid reasons why you should instantly sign up with one of the blog sites and start typing away:

Loneliness: You are a housewife who has a loving husband and a loving son. And perhaps a loving daughter too. But the daughter is married and away, and the son is studying in the US. The husband is there and not there — he is out of town 20 days a month on business trips. What to do you do? Well, there are many things you can do, but blogging is the noblest, for it not only brings out the creative side of you but also fills up the vacuum in your life with a range of people, albeit virtual. A virtual companion can be better than a flesh-and-blood family member who is never at home.

Anger: Potholes in the roads make you angry. Accumulating garbage on your street makes you angry. The hike in petrol prices makes you angry. The government makes you angry. The whole world makes you angry. But can you tell the government how angry you are with it? You can, however, share you anger online and feel relieved. And when fellow bloggers would agree with you, you will feel even more relieved. Life, suddenly, will be peaceful. You will soon be more concerned about the response your post is generating than the garbage on your street.

Anger can also be highly personal in nature. For example, you might be perpetually irritated with your spouse or your boss or a colleague. But giving vent to the irritation might cost you your marriage or job. The blog comes in handy here. That reminds me of a serial I had seen on Doordarshan in the 1980s. A man was hounded by his boss so much that he would take out the anger on his wife and kids. One day, though, the man began to come home in a pleasant mood. It turned out that he had found a cave where he had placed a portrait of his boss. Every evening, he would stop by the cave and hurl his shoes at the portrait and also shower it with abuses. Blogging is a cave-less way to let off steam.

Speaking out: Don’t like a movie? Don’t like a book? Don’t like a music album? Blogging lets you have your say. And you can be bold in your views: it is your blog after all. If fellow bloggers agree with your views, you will feel on top of the world. If they don’t, you still have made your point. The whole point of blogging, after all, is making a point.

Being published: There is no greater pleasure than seeing your name in print. And there can be no greater pain than getting a rejection slip. A layman wanting to see his name in print can at the most write a letter to the editor, and there can never be a guarantee that the letter will be published. But on a blog, you can get published instantly. So if you have a manuscript that has been rejected by publisher after publisher, you know where to put it.

Bathroom writing: Blogging can also be the equivalent of bathroom singing — you love writing but are shy to commit it to print. So if you have a bunch of poems sitting in your cupboard, publish them in your blog under a pseudonym. Once people start appreciating your craft, you might get the courage to come out of the hiding. Who knows, you can even go places. Blogging, after all, is the future of writing.


P.S. Suresh Kumar said...

Accidentally ended up reading ur posts, quite interesting. Just wanted to say that i enjoy ur writing. (Well professional na?)

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Suresh: Thanks, hope you keep coming back!

dazedandconfused said...

I went through all the 5 reasons, but couldn't figure out where I fit in. I am not lonely, angry, opinionated or wannabe author/poet.

Or maybe am just figuring things out...

By the way, did you meet your deadline?

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Dazedandconfused: Don't be confused -- my piece is aimed at people who are not aware of blogging or the benefits of blogging, and NOT at the professional blogger.

But come to think of it, we all blog because of one of these reasons, don't we? Or else we wouldn't be communicating in the first place.

Yes, I did meet my deadline. :)


Memoryking said...

Liked your blogs, a lot.You write in The Hindu,right? Here is my blog Damn Reservations! Comments expected,It's a bit controversial

Anonymous said...

I read your article in "The New Sunday Express". Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I read your article in the Indian express yesterday. I wrote a blog sometime last year, Please read it and let me know your views on it. You can read my blog at

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Annie: Your poem is very sensitive and well-crafted. Would like to read more. I can see you have a blog but it doesn't seem to be public, so there is no way I can access you. Hope you come back here to read my comment.