Friends to Blog With
A couple years back I did a 100 day writing challenge with a good friend. Each of us took to our Wordpress blog and posted each day in the ensuing months. I remember checking in each day to see what she'd written on her blog. We'd check in on the phone from time to time to see how the experience was going. At the end of the 100 days, she stopped frequently updating her Wordpress blog. I wish I gave her more encouragement to keep going.
Another recollection — my mom used to follow my old Wordpress blog by email subscription. Sometimes she'd call me out of the blue to discuss a post I'd written that day. It was a way for her to reach out & break through talking about mundane, day-to-day tings. Why don't I give her a way to follow my new blog? I always look back on those phone calls fondly.
Talking with a friend a couple weeks ago, he mentioned starting to write again on a blog. What drew him to do this? The blog served as an outlet for subjects that he rarely talked about even with his own friends or family. This was his way of getting those ideas out there. I read it regularly now. My hope is to talk about some of those posts with him on the phone — maybe even write a response to one or two on my blog or elsewhere.
These memories make me think of how blogging can act as another form of communication among friends — not only friends you make online but friends you've built connections with in person over years. It can be like exchanging public letters. But at other times it can be an arena for the person to think through ideas that have been stewing for days, weeks, months, years even.
What could a friend come up with if given this outlet? An interesting idea comes up during a conversation and I wish my friend had an outlet to develop that thought further. A blog could be such a vehicle. You get another glimpse of who a friend is — perhaps a side they are rarely able to express in normal conversation. Come to think of it, I rarely discuss what I write about on my blog with even my own friends or family! Nevertheless those ideas are a part of my identity, so I publish them here.
This isn't to say that you should share your blog with your friends and family. One of the virtues of writing online is that it can be an anonymous haven for reflection. But I wonder what having that other public outlet could mean. Not public in that other strangers read it. Public in that you selectively invite friends & family to read your blog. Then, your friends & family invite you to read their blogs. It could be a couple friends you do this with or, like me, you invite your mother to subscribe to your blog. What could happen from such small yet intentional exchanges of writing across the web?
Not a replacement of in-person interaction or Zoom or email or phone calls, but a hopefully positive augmentation to our standard modes of communication with the people we care about most.