We at Carpe Juvenis have discussed how writing for pleasure can help you think. It can help you discern the intention behind your actions and the actions of others. It can lead you to invent new options and strategies for engaging in life. It can shape your self-perception and identity. In short, writing is cathartic and important.
Starting a blog can be a great way to get your own writing started. A blog is a regularly updated personal website that is typically written in a casual and informal style. Blogging is an excellent way to access the benefits of writing while transforming the world around you.
First, there is a moral case to be made for self-help through blogging. Living things – regardless of manifestation or ability – deserve an opportunity to achieve their potential. Humans are no different. By writing, we disentangle complex webs of thought, and thereby position ourselves in a way that better accommodates and utilizes our personal potential.
Contrary to what you might have thought, documenting and defining the moments in your own life isn’t necessarily pandering or egotistical. Writing is a tool our species invented for a reason: to communicate or document something of importance. And while musings and rantings often strike us as circular or pointless, they have their place too – they draw attention to potentially important topics, as well as invite discussion and allow for synergistic problem-solving.
Blogs make it easy to give opinions a public forum. In our globalized, mechanized, politicized world, having your voice heard is vital. Marginalized peoples everywhere are being swept under the rug by the ultra-powerful who line their pockets with cash and conflict diamonds. Blogs allow any and all of us to be advocates for social change, understanding, and justice in equality. Excellent examples include Dr. Marion Nestle’s Food Politics, personal favorite, Loving Language, and travel journal, Taking Route.
Blogging can teach us how to deal with adversity, acknowledge privilege, appreciate overlooked aspects of life, myth-bust, and dismantle stereotypes. In the hands of underrepresented groups, blogs can be an advocacy tool for greater rights and equality – speakers of native and endangered languages can share successes and struggles in passing down their heritage language to their children, women in the UK and globally can discuss how woman of color are portrayed in the media. Ultimately, blogs give bloggers space to express their experiences and insight in ways that positively contribute to the human understanding of the challenges and rewards of life.
The advantages to using blogs as a medium are obvious: they’re accessible and customizable. Free and easy blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are good tools to get started. Once you’ve tested it out, you might decide to move on to a purchased web domain. Blogging resources abound – check out these tips and tutorials on setting up and growing a blog, maintain a blog, and do it well.
There’s no pretension with a blog (there shouldn’t be, at least) because they’re not formal publications funded by shareholders with a stake in the status quo. Blogs cut through the disingenuousness of conventional media. Real people representing real grassroots interests are the authors of blogs. By leveraging their networks and imbuing their work with genuine passion and honesty, the authors of blogs can truly change the world.