Are all bloggers egotists?

19 Apr

When i started writing this blog my husband kept saying to me “You’re doing it for yourself, why are you checking the stats?”.

For some reason i felt silly. Guilty even. Was i really just doing this for myself?

I starting blogging as a kind of therapy. Finding a voice again after feeling like i’d lost my identity making the transition from career girl to stay at home mum.

But does anyone really, ultimately blog for themselves? If it was all just about the writing, why blog at all? Why not keep a personal diary?

Writing is, in itself, a fairly narcissistic pastime. You have to believe you’ve got something to say, something that someone out there might be interested in reading. You’ve got to think that when you read your posts back to yourself that they sound pretty cool / funny / smart. Otherwise why would you publish them?

It’s a bit like facebook. Facebook polarises people. Either you do, or you wouldn’t be seen dead. The heaviest users of facebook are also the most self-absorbed. You know the ones. Post 50 updates a day all about what they’re doing, how they’re feeling, why you should laugh with them / cry with them / love them.

I count myself as a moderate facebook user. I definitely get a twinge of satisfaction when people respond positively to my comments. Pressing the “like” button feels like someone is saying they like me, not just what i’ve said. It affects my sense of self worth. Polishes my ego a bit. Sad, but true.

So there you go. I might tell you i write because i enjoy it. I might declare a love for the english language, the cute metaphor. And part of that is true. But the real truth is, mostly i blog so that people will be amused by me, admire my wit and intelligence, think i’m pretty cool.

And quite frankly, noone can tell me otherwise. It’s my blog after all. Right?!

23 Responses to “Are all bloggers egotists?”

  1. Deer baby April 19, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Interesting. I’m not sure why I blog at the moment. Probably cheaper than therapy! But yes, like you, I do want people to read and comment. I like the instant feedback. Whereas I only use Facebook for updating friends and keeping in touch with people who are overseas.

    It’s a funny old blogging world isn’t it?

  2. Simone April 19, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Hear hear! Yep, I think we are all pretty much the same. Otherwise our blogs would be private, we wouldn’t care how many followers we have and we wouldn’t keep checking the comments to see what people thought of our writings. Egotists all? Hmmmm. Could be.

  3. Lucy Sibbald April 19, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Great post! Think you’re totally right – and the best thing about blogging is you own that space and you can never be wrong!

  4. TheMadHouse April 19, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Yep blogging is cheaper than theraphy for me too. I gave up facebook it doesnt do anything for me. It all seems so childish, but yes I love twitter, but I dont look at my stats. Infact they havnt been working for the last 4 months!

  5. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak April 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    If no-one read my blog I would give it up in a heartbeat, and go back to living in self-protective delusion, pouring my angst into journals and pretending I will make it big posthumously when someone comes across my ramblings after I’m dead.

    I love to write, but I chose to write publicly because I’m all about the validation. Completely self-absorbed but hopefully lovable enough with it that it doesn’t totally turn people off from reading about it. Stats, not so much, but I am a complete comment junkie.

    At least we’re all in good company huh?

  6. Jude April 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    I started blogging, using twitter and facebook for business reasons, but while I would quite happily abandon the last two, I find I love blogging. I have several blogs. Two which are completely private, one which is personal, and one public. I only bother with stats for the public one. I don’t promote the personal one at all, and it doesn’t really bother me how many followers I do or don’t have there. It just acts as an outlet for me.

    In terms of comments, yes I like to get them, but again, I’m not all that bothered if people don’t comment. With my public blog, I do like to know that people are reading it though, which is why I watch the stats for it.

  7. jomiddleton April 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I’m with Josie – I wouldn’t blog if no one read it – what would be the point. I do admire people who say they never check their stats or even care if anyone is interested, but I just don’t get it. Like you say, if you didn’t want people to read it you’d just scrawl your thoughts into a diary wouldn’t you, which is what I do with the nonsense in my head I don’t want anyone else to read.

  8. jomiddleton April 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Oopps – am not SO self absorbed that I posted that twice on purpose! I was correcting an spelling mistake and you got it twice 🙂

  9. Claire (20somethingmum) April 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Very, very well said!

    I really don’t understand the people who blog saying its purely for them or their family and friends to read, and then they post their link at British Mummy Bloggers and Twitter. If its purely for you, why do that stuff!?

    I write because I am an egotistical cow and love to hear what randoms have to say about my writing, and its the best way for someone like myself- who wants to make a career out of writing -can get constructive criticism, instead of asking mates who will always tell me that what I write is great cos they feel a sense of loyalty to me!

  10. suburbanmummyuk April 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    I started blogging to keep family overseas up to date about us. this year as seen my blog become a little more popular which I love, but I mustn’t forget the reson why I started it!

  11. t April 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    great post

  12. Livi April 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    I understand that totally! Although my facebook use has taken a hit since a joined twitter, it does give me the warm fuzzies to get a nice comment on my blog or a “like” on my status update.
    Good to know I’m not alone!

  13. 1950s Housewife April 20, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    I would comment, but I am too busy massaging my blego. Can you see what I have done there? Its a combo of blog and ego. I’m still working on it…

    Good post!

    • marketingtomilk April 20, 2010 at 7:28 am #

      Hee hee. Love it!
      btw your email address must be wrong on your post.

  14. Kristin April 20, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    I think you’re witty, intelligent and pretty cool. So there.

  15. grit April 20, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    i agree it is a selfish pastime; i think women who are mixed mothers/people deserve to be selfish in anyway they want!

    i didn’t tell anyone about the blog for about a year and i wrote entirely to capture the days for myself – and in case anyone else home educating triplets found it useful, then we could share ideas and support! (i have not yet found that person, btw). now i blog a lot with the education communities in mind: it’s a way of sharing links, resources, ideas, places to go, projects to do, ways to survive. i try and make it fun as well for any non home ed readers.

    i’m not sure i do blog for ego. to do that i would be more private. for ego i would buy a knock-out expensive wardrobe, equip myself with smart shoes and handbags, and go out to be admired.

    • marketingtomilk April 20, 2010 at 7:47 am #

      I think it’s probably different when you are doing it for work, or in your case with a specific cause in mind. But it seems you are in a “egoless” minority. So congrats for that!

  16. bsouth April 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I do it for myself, to keep my family updated. Oh, and yes, most definitely for the stats. I’m a total comment tart.

  17. Rosie Scribble April 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    I started my blog to find my voice after a very difficult period in my life. Now, like Josie, if no-one read my blog I wouldn’t write it. I enjoy the writing process and the validation, being part of a community and having a small audience, truth be told. I’m definitely not blogging for my family and friends, they don’t know I blog. And I’m not on Facebook! I didn’t think I would get any readers when I started. I just had a go to see what happened and it evolved from there. Great post, great blog!

  18. Gappy May 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Yes! What you said!

    You’re absolutely right. If we were just doing it for ourselves then why would we self-publish our stuff on the internet? Why would we post links on Twitter?

    Of course I want people to read. And I love getting comments too. Best of all would be if blogging led to me being able to earn my living writing.

    I like a woman who’s prepared to tell it how it is! Well done you.

  19. Hesther - notes from lapland June 21, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    oh god yes!!! A thousand times yes. I have no problem admitting that i blog because I want to be read. I want billions and billions of readers. I’m pleased as punch at the ones I do get, and comments? comments make me feel all warm and fluffy inside.

    I kind of get that some people blog just for themselves, but what really does my head in is when they come over all sancitmonious and tell you that you should be blogging just for yourself! Grrrr.

    Great post.

    p.s have you done something to your feed because you’ve dropped off my google reader?

  20. Being Me June 21, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Hi! I feel a bit infamous now, being the subject of Notes From Lapland’s post.. but am SO very relieved to read posts like these because it’s rarely talked about. I felt like pulling my head in and giving myself a right talking-to for being so “big-headed” when I wrote about this last year. It was around the time my dad was going through surgery for cancer. And although my readership didn’t even drop, I barely got a response. It really made me rethink what I put there, and ever since, I have been more guarded (and expect very little).

    Love your writing style! Think you have found a new occasional reader (and commenter, promise!!) here. Cheers.

  21. Vegemitevix June 21, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    Hi there, I started blogging for three reasons 1)to find out about social media (I’m a marketer), 2)because I had something to say that I wanted people to hear, 3)to because I was restricted from working by the UK HOme Office and I needed to do some ‘work’ or I’d go nuts! That was in October last year and things have changed I know I don’t do it simply for myself because despite how it appears I dont’ write the very personal stuff, I leave that for my journal! Yes, I know writing about brazilians and how to make time for sex is kinda personal! As time has gone on however, I am hopeful that the blog has developed into something that people derive entertainment from. I hope it is ‘real’ for them. Asking me why I blog is like asking me why I write. The answer is the same. Does anyone else feel this way?

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