Someone asked me a while back what my goals for this blog were, in the sense of what I hoped to accomplish by putting my thoughts and experiences on the web. I didn’t really have a clear answer for that person, and I still don’t really have one, but I’m going to try to articulate what motivated me to start this blog, and also some of why I’ve stuck with it.
The main reason is that I think the things I write about are important. I want the world to change in the ways that I talk about wanting it to change. And while my corner of the internet is small, and doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight really, it is at the very least one more drop in bucket on the side of social justice and social good. It is one more voice in the cacophony of the internet, and it is on what I see as the right side, the side that I want to be louder and clearer than other sides. And so I am contributing what I have to contribute to that, both with my own voice and by sharing other people’s experiences with things like Gender Perspectives.
At the same time, though, a big a part of what I have actually gotten *out* of blogging has been a sense of community with other bloggers who write on similar topics to me. Being on this platform has helped me find and read about other people’s lives and experiences, some of which resonates with me and helps me understand myself better. I also know that I’ve had an impact on other people’s lives, that sometimes things I’ve written resonate strongly with others and make them feel less alone in their experiences. And that is incredibly important to me, each and every time it happens.
And of course this is a sort of effect I was aware of before I was blogging myself. I discovered the extent and awesomeness of feminism and especially intersectional social justice by reading people’s thoughts and ideas on the internet. I learned about myself, and about the world I’m living in. And it was also the power of this experience that inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I was, at the time, working through my feelings about the borderline abusive dynamics in an earlier relationship, and I had only just recently come out to myself (let alone other people!) about being genderqueer. I had lots of thoughts, and writing them down helped me to articulate them and put them into a form that I was able to actually get a good look at and evaluate and remember and understand.
I started by writing about this stuff in a more private online journal that only friends could see. But eventually I wrote some things that felt more appropriate for a general audience. That felt important, and worth putting out there for other people to find. That I thought might do some good.
And so I set up Valprehension one day when I was simultaneously super bored at my work of the time, and also just had a head full of swirling thoughts that neeeded to get out. I had no idea at the time whether I would get past two or three posts. I wasn’t sure that I had much to say, really, or whether I would get anywhere at all. But I started it anyway. I decided to give it a shot, basically, without any real expectations or goals beyond the feeling that I wanted to be a part of the internet conversation.
And now it’s nearly three years – and going on 200 posts – later, and I still have so many ideas about things I want to write about, and I no longer feel like I might just stop any time now. I go through phases where ideas temporarily dry up, but I’ve never felt like I was walking away for good. And that is so super cool to me. I’m proud I’ve made it this far, and I hope to keep on rolling for years to come.
The thing is, I know now that regardless of how much or little of a reach I may ever have, my voice is important. My experiences are important and meaningful, and so are everyone else’s.
So tell me, why do you blog?