Sunday, September 5, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog?

I have an irritating habit.

Every night, right around bedtime, I begin rambling to my wife about whatever random topic happened to be going through my head that day. It is as if my brain must purge itself of any unheard inner monologues in order to be in a condition ready for sleep. This means my wife gets to suffer through unsolicited rants on whatever movies I've seen recently, history topics I'm currently obsessed with, politicians that irk me, and any number of eclectic subjects.

Her response is usually a polite, "That's interesting, honey. Maybe you should start a blog."

Aside from sparing my wife from having to sit through late night ramblings, perhaps writing a blog would give me an ideal outlet for these random thoughts that need to escape my skull. However, I've always been skeptical of the Personal Blog. Blogs on specific topics by someone who actually has something worthwhile to say, for example a blog on history by a published historian, seem to make sense, but a personal blog always struck me as rather egotistical.

After all, if I type something and publish it, even if only via the internet, isn't there an implicit assumption that I expect someone to read it? And who am I to assume that my late night ramblings are worthy of being read by someone?

And so, I've decided to start this blog off first by offering a disclaimer: I don't assume anyone will/should read this, or that I will necessarily have anything noteworthy to say. Of course, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I hope to occasionally have something worthwhile to say, and perhaps even a follower or two. But that is not why I've chosen to blog.

My reasons are thus:

1) I need outlet for the ramblings of my overactive mind (or, to quote H.L. Mencken, "I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.").

2) The process of writing will hopefully help me organize my thoughts on topics I have been pondering.

3) I don't write very often since leaving school. Written communication being a necessary and valuable skill, and skills being something which improve with practice, than it follows that the more I practice writing (of any sort), the better.

4) Material that first appears in rough, unpolished form on this blog may perhaps be refined into something usable elsewhere. Good writing, after all, is good rewriting.

5) I used to write a LiveJournal a number of years ago, in the pre-Facebook era when such sites were much in vogue, and I actually found it quite cathartic and enjoyable. And no, I won't link to it; the posts were made by a younger, less mature, angrier and surprisingly profane version of my self and it is rather embarrassing to read now (as I'm sure this post will someday seem).

6) Perhaps, occasionally and accidentally, I may have something worthwhile to say.

And so without further adieu, I present the debut of my personal blog, North By NorthWeston (all the good blog titles were taken, and so I had to go with a pun. I seriously spent about forty minutes just thinking of great names, only to find them all unavailable. At least North By Northwest is one of my favorite movies, so it fits.)

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