7 Reasons Why I Blog

Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, 7 reasons why I blog, writing, write, ancient typewriter
I decided to come up with a list of reasons as to why I blog. I had mentioned in a previous post that there were many reasons. So, why not elaborate on that? Sure, some of the reasons may be a bit of a stretch, but they are all legitimate reasons that have crossed my mind.

Even though it didn't make it on my list, I hope that my blog is entertaining. I know I'm not a stand-up comedian, a riveting author, or a terribly interesting person, but I do hope that all who visit and take the time to read what I write feel like it's worth the time spent.

Let's get to the list!

1. My Kids And Future Generations

I want my kids, their cousins, and everyone after them to know me. Well, to know me better than they might otherwise. This blog is intended to be a window into my life, even if it is dirty or cracked and visibility isn't the best. Regardless, the window lets light in and likewise will shine a light on my life and my thoughts.

My mother has been into family history, also known as genealogy, for most of her life. I've been able to learn about the history she's uncovered. Were it not for her and her enthusiasm, I would probably have no idea about those that came before me. I've always had a fondness for history in general for as long as I can remember. Throw in the familial ties and it makes for some pretty interesting information.

However, there's always one thing that gets missed, and the further back you go the more pronounced this absence is. Personality. It's great to know what war so-and-so fought in, or have a copy of a paper that shows how much grain they bought at a general store, or where they're buried, and so on. These things do create a picture of your family's roots—where you come from and how you got to here. They do not tell you who they were as people. There's no understanding of their humor or their inner frustrations and motivations.

I don't know my parents' full life story, and I probably never will. Hopefully, I'll learn more over time. I do know them and their personalities. Beyond them, my grandparents, it gets a little foggier. As much as I like hearing about my grandparents' life stories, learning about their personalities outshines the facts. It sticks with me a little more. It makes them human. Now that I'm well into adulthood, I can appreciate their humanity more than ever.

So, in part, this is an attempt to fill in some gaps for my people going forward. This really isn't that weird as social media has taken this aspect of documenting our lives to a level never seen before. I choose to write a blog in addition to the little I currently participate in social media.

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2. Family And Friends

Life is tough. We are all busy. Relationships suffer. Blah blah blah.

I do my best to stay in touch with family and friends and balance that with the rest of my life. I'm sure they all do the same as well... But, no offense to any of them, sometimes I'd rather sweat my ass off in the garage building something (or insert another activity here) than talk on the phone.

One way to keep in touch is through the "ancient art" of letter writing. One has the ability to sit down with their own thoughts and paint a one-sided dialogue. In the digital age, one tends to do so through email, blogs, and most social media. All of these have the ability to become a conversation in real time, but the lack of someone being present in bodily form or present in a phone conversation allows for any participant to leave the dialogue without the need for a "goodbye." I didn't mention texting because it really isn't used as a "long form" of communication like a letter. It's meant to be short and sweet and more like a conversation in real-time. That's how I view it, at least.

What am I getting at?

I have the ability to tell family and friends about something going on in my life or my thoughts in general. I write it on my time, and they read it on theirs'. I can only assume they read it. It opens up time for other topics of conversation on the phone or elsewhere. I'm able to talk about things that may never or most likely won't come up in conversation. It allows me to work out a complete thought or story without being interrupted, ridiculed, or second-guessed. What people do with it from there is up to them.

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3. Grammar And General Writing

I've written for most of my life to a certain extent. When I was a kid, I wrote stories for fun. Throughout school, there always seemed to be some type of writing assignment popping up, whether it involved research or was merely creative. More than fifty percent of my efforts in college went towards writing. This was EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING considering I went to college for recording engineering and technology in music. And lastly, you could throw in the countless hours I've spent writing lyrics over the past twenty-four years (as of 2018).

Blogging, to me at least, seems like a natural extension of my past and current writing. It allows me to pick any topic I'm inspired to write about and just go with the flow. Unlike an assignment, there aren't any deadlines set by someone else, and there isn't anything specific I'm supposed to write about. Ironically, perhaps, it's less stressful and easier than writing lyrics. Though writing lyrics isn't usually a tough and stressful activity. But, I guess it all depends on the moment.

Grammar could be a topic completely on its own. I've never had horrible grammar, though, it was certainly one of my least favorite things to study in school. My grammar has always been good enough to do well on papers and reports, but I'm sure they weren't stellar in this regard. I've always viewed lyrics as being outside of the rules of writing. It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to make you feel or think something. In my opinion, the melody and how you sing it has more to do with that than the actual words most of the time. It is part of the magic of music. If splashes of color on a canvas can be profound art, why can't splashes of words sung to music be just as profound?

Regardless, I would like to be a better writer and grammar goes along with that. One can write an amazing piece, but if everyone is focused on the poor grammar, then the impact of the writing suffers. I can attest to this as a reader. I should understand this when writing. So, over time, I have been and will be teaching myself the finer arts of grammar. And I'm not talking about simple conjugation, I'm talking about the whole deal. I don't want my writing to be able to be picked apart from a grammatical standpoint. The only thing I want left to pick at are the grammatical preferences people have and not incorrect grammar.

My grammar wasn't as good when I started Electric Feast (the first iteration of this blog), and it has improved with the relaunch of this blog. Has every post been perfect so far? No. But, it gets better. My wife serves as my editor, and she reads a post out loud to me twelve to twenty-four hours before I publish. It's nice having her there to see things that I've missed or question how I phrase something, etc. Sometimes, I stick with what I've written. Sometimes, I see her point and change it. She's pretty good with grammar and writing, and I'm always trying to challenge myself to do well enough that she finds no mistakes—other than preferential grammar usage.

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4. Shameless Self-Promotion

Do I really need to elaborate? The heading is pretty self-explanatory. But, this is me, and I can't help but elaborate. I do things. Seriously, that's kind of my catch phrase. Why not let people know about it? This blog provides a one-stop-shop, a conduit through which I flow. I would be spread too thin if I were to try and give equal attention to all of my projects on their respective websites. I would spend a lot of time and end up with nothing. That's not to say I won't or haven't given any time to those other sites, I just can't do it all of the time.

Though not necessarily intentional, I recognize that anytime I interact on the internet I am self-promoting. It could be a Like, a Retweet, a blog post, whatever—I'm promoting my thoughts, my views, my interests, my life, my music etc. Self-promotion is the way of the world and always has been and will always be. It's THE reason why social media works.

I can promote everything I do on the grahamsedam.com sites, while directing people to those more specific things if they want more of that specific thing. Yes, I can do that on social media as well, and I do. Same concept. Many pages and profiles etc. Through analogy, this may be a great way to explain how I see the internet. A social media profile is to renting an apartment as having a website is to owning a home. Renting an apartment is fine, but I'd rather own a home. Besides, any one particular social media site is not guaranteed to stick around, let alone stay popular with the public at large. A personal website is forever, and within reason, you can do whatever you want with it.

Believe it or not, there are people from around the world who read my blog! Due to search engine magic and Blogger's interconnected community, I don't have to do anything and I get exposure throughout the world. I still get the most hits from in the U.S. by far, but it's still pretty damn cool to know someone in another country is laughing at how dumb I am. Hello, not-American! I'm waving, by the way.

I am in no way saying that I am any good at self-promotion because I'm not. Quite frankly, I'm just putting myself out there and what happens, happens. I AM trying to the best of my ability, no doubt, but I can only put so much time into it or the rest of my efforts suffer. It still probably all suffers, but whatever.

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5. Process

I like to have structure in my life. I also like to mix it up now and then and create new structures to work from. Some of my hobbies, including music, have many steps involved to complete the project. What I like about having a blog is that the process for each post is pretty straight forward. I write it, reread and edit it, and publish. It sounds more simple than it is, but it's still pretty simple and doesn't require expensive equipment.

I enjoy the process of writing, and I've found that it flows the best in the morning. I've also found that I enjoy reading in the morning the most as well. I suppose it's not a big stretch that they would be tied together like that but interesting nonetheless. And, of course, I do write when I have time throughout the day. I have to take advantage of the time when I have it. However, I seem to enjoy it a little more in the morning when my mind is fresh. Also, if I start writing about something in the morning, it tends to stick with me through the day, and I'm more inclined to write as the day progresses.

While I don't want to pressure myself unnecessarily for a blog I freely choose to contribute to, I do want it to be worth my and others' time. When I started Electric Feast many years ago, I posted once a month. That's hardly often enough to keep anyone interested or even remember to check for a post. It also made it hard for myself to stay interested. Too much time in between posts made me not think about the blog much, and I also had issues trying to come up with what to share. I was more self-conscious with what I posted back then than I am now. For reasons, age and otherwise, I'm less self-conscious and have more going on in general to write about. Maybe I care a little less about whether anyone wants to hear it or not? I think posting once every week or two is a nice balance. Enough to keep me thinking about it but not go crazy. Regardless, I'm going to miss a week or a month once in a while.

One thing that has worried me about this blog is running out of ideas to write about. I have yet to experience this worry come to fruition. I strive to have multiple posts both done and in process. So that if I do get a week or two of writers block or life gets too hectic, I have posts to fall back on. It always feels good to be ahead, and some posts are longer or just take longer than others to come out how I want them to. This allows me to work on many posts at once, if I choose, and still have some saved in the bank. It doesn't always work out that way. Like anyone else, I get behind because of... life.

Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, 7 reasons why I blog, writing, write, Oscar Wilde quote, Be yourself everyone else is taken

6. Clarity Of Mind And Therefore Self

When I write, I'm forced to nail down a thought. It's easy for someone to understand how they feel or the generality of an idea forming in their head, but it isn't always easy to explain it clearly and concisely. It can take time to put thoughts into words, and even then, they can feel foreign and not what you had originally intended. When thoughts become words, gaps need to be filled, and that's when those thoughts really take form. Nothing is concrete until it lives outside of your head.

I have a better idea of who I am when I have to put my life and thoughts into a cohesive string of words. When I read what I have written at a later date, I remove myself from that moment and learn more about myself, good and bad. When it has been years later, I can judge how much I've grown since then, reflect upon life's changes, and appreciate where others are at in their lives, young and old. I like to read what I've written over the entire period of my life, even if it makes me cringe, even if I don't want anyone else to read it.

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7. I Want To Be Smart And Have A Healthy Brain

I think I'm an idiot because I am. I want to be smart and know everything, like my seven-year-old daughter (now nine). While it may be impossible to know everything, it sure doesn't hurt trying. Think about something you know about. Now try writing about it. Did it come easy? Maybe it did. Now keep writing about stuff you know. You'll probably come to a point where you get stuck. The only way forward may be to learn something new or to gain new experiences.

Writing is a great way to exercise the brain, and I can attest to that. If I want to keep the amazing memory I have and stay "sharp" into my older years, then I have to keep my brain working. There are plenty of ways to challenge and exercise the brain and writing is one of them. And, it's not just about the act of typing or writing out words you remember. If you are writing, you are being creative.

For the most part, and with the help of technology, one could write well into their golden years. Just take a look at Stephen Hawking and say that it can't be done! Whether or not I do write that long is another question and the answer can't be known. Maybe, I've only got a few months of writing left in me. Maybe, writing will be banned next January. Maybe, I'm done writing this post.

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