Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Why Do You Continue Blogging?

At this point in your blogging “career,” what is your main motivation of keeping it up?

1) Friendship and connection to other like-minded people without having to leave the house to meet smelly “real people.”

2) Literary ambitions. Wanting to gain attention from agents and publishers and magazines and the Huffington Post so you can move to a higher level of friends, and stop reading the poorly-written blogs of most of the people who you used to call your friends.

3) Cheap therapy. You are mildly nuts. You know it, we know it. You might as well exploit it, and tell us all about it. Every day. Because it helps.

4) Blogging bigshot dreams. This is mostly relevant to mommybloggers. You fantasize becoming one of the Walmart 11 Mommybloggers or the Domino Pizza 12 Mommybloggers, so you can feel better than your friends, constantly reminding them about your power, even though you repeatedly say you are doing it all for “them.”

5) Financial Empire building. You want to turn your blog into a business, and hope to get a lot of free stuff from companies. You consider yourself a social media expert, and sell yourself as one. You pose as a blogging maven, telling others how to do it successfully, when basically — in your heart — you know it is mostly writing something with the keyboard and pressing publish, not much different that what we used to call “writing letters.” You have 15,000 friends on Twitter, but don’t know who any of them are. Or you take the opposite approach and follow 3 friends, using the old-fashioned “hard to get” technique so successful in dating. Your blog is basically a business card for your “real” endeavor, which is to take over the world.

6) Hopeless individual. You have no real idea why you are still blogging. It is a time waster, and you make no money doing it. You worry about the bad economy, and it scares you. You have not gotten laid by any of the female bloggers that you make believe that you care about, except for that sole sexy email chat a few months ago that never went anywhere. Married female bloggers don’t even want to give you their phone numbers because of their lame “husbands.” But you keep at it, at least until BlogHer in July. Because you are a dreamer.

87 Comments

  1. I fit pretty solidly in the camp of option number 3.

  2. I’ve been thinking of this over the past few weeks especially how my blog has changed from when I first started (21 fresh out of college, drunk) to now (25 with a career, drunk) and I gotta say, I feel like I’ve fallen more into my own and I like the narrative writing more than anything. I don’t continue for the ad revenue (or lack thereof) or fame but because sometimes it feels good to tell a story. And I hope that my site has evolved as such over the years from my need to complain about everything to just telling a story because it interests me.

    Anyway, that’s why I keep blogging because I like telling stories.

  3. Writing practice. That’s about it these days, and I don’t even do much of that, to tell the truth. I gave up on being a famous blogger long ago.

  4. I want to rule the world of course.

    Good post babe. I think about this from time to time. I started it for daily writing practice for my novel- but my blog has brought friends, jobs, and more. It means a lot to me. It is my therapy I think. It is my baby.

  5. Probably number 3, with just a touch of nubmer 1 thrown in. While I think I like the idea of having a bigger audience, I likely would buckle under the imagined pressure.

  6. Never in my lifetime has it been so easy to have a platform/soapbox, and I have things to SAY, brother.

    I also do it because yeah, after you’ve been doing it awhile *and* if people like what you have to say (or at least, the way you say it), it starts building some options for you. I can meet people, get information, and even promote myself as a business or “brand” (ugh) at a very low cost, although the time it takes is not inconsiderable.

    But I’d be doing it anyway, as I suspect most would who’ve stuck it out as long as we have. If third-party fame and fortune of whatever size come because of it, great, but I don’t count on it. I mean, it’s not, like, my strategy or anything.

    That’s passive, and the web ain’t a place to be passive.

  7. Neil,

    What’s this obsession about laying a married female blogger? Is it the forbidden fruit deal? The idea that they are probably so frustrated with being with the same man for years that they will think you are the stud of all studs? The possibility that they will cook you a nice meal and iron your shirt afterward?

    No wait, those are my reasons.

    Nevermind.

  8. Mine has always been a way to get me to write everyday. I don’t have time to do any real writing, but I hope to take some of the posts I’ve written on my blog later and work them into stories once my girls are gone and I have that kind of time. It’s also a nice record of where I’ve been and what I thought about things every year.

    Lastly, It’s easier than e-mailing all my friends and telling them what’s going on in my life. I talk on the phone all day at work, so I’m not going to call people at night to catch up either.

  9. OK, so that means, so far, I am putting all the commenters in category three, correct?

  10. I am a 1, 2, 3 kind of blogger.

  11. TRO — I figured it they are married already, and they have kids — they probably know how to cook. And that’s what it is all about, right? The single babes just don’t have the experience making exotic dishes for dinner.

  12. You left out, “You are narcissistic and simply love to hear yourself talk or see your own thoughts in writing, fantasizing that anyone who reads your blog thinks you are a fantastic genius.” Clearly, this is the source of my blogging motivation, though I’d quickly jump camps and join #5 if anyone offered me money or free stuff.

  13. I’m with Amy. I want to rule the world. Unfortunately, there can be only one.

  14. …all that sizzles comment made me think about was that Friends episode..
    and a 1,2,3…5, 6. 7. 5.5.5, 234, 456, 7, 7, 7, 7!

  15. I’m a mix of 6 and 1. I think only three people read my site including me, and yet I feel obligated to continue writing, because I might let those three people down. So, is pointless guilt one of the options?

  16. Friendship, cheap therapy and the need to be creative. About the latter…I don’t want to write a book or get published or any of that stuff that half of the other bloggers want to do. I just want a place to stretch out my creative wings now and again.

  17. I have absolutely no idea.

  18. #1, #3 and #6….
    Closet #4 a little. πŸ™‚

  19. “The single babes just don’t have the experience making exotic dishes for dinner.”

    Maybe it’s just my family, but exotic cooking and kids don’t really go together. There is only so much anyone can do with mac and cheese.

  20. Never heard of the Walmart mommy bloggers? Sounds cool, like Ocean’s 11.

    I would put myself in category 1, but I would totally hook up with you at Blogher to get to #5 πŸ˜‰

  21. A combination of 1, 3, and 6. I have no literary aspirations, though I do like to flex my ocassionally creative muscles, puny as they are. Mostly I do it as a way of putting my thoughts out there for someone to tell me that no, I’m really not crazy. Because I wonder about that.

  22. Not to make friends. I was best friends with my computer screen before blogging was around. I go back to Usenet–and before that, BBSs. I’m hard core, yo.

    Not literary ambitions–I don’t have any. It’s not that I don’t think I write well–I do. It’s just that I don’t have anything particular to say.

    Not therapy. I don’t spill my guts. I’m in it for the humor. But not LOL-funny. I’m more into wry observations, exaggerations for humorous effect, literary allusions, witty remarks, puns, and parody. Also shitloads of swearing, which I include as a palette-cleanser.

    Not blogging bigshot dreams. (You know, those blogging bigshots aren’t as big as you’d think. I just heard of the WalMart Eleven for the first time today. And I say this as a BlogHer Contributing Editor who gets to go to BlogHer for free. I order you to be impressed.)

    Definitely not financial empire building. For one thing, I’m not willing to kiss that much ass. Let the other mommy bloggers be Britney. I’ll be Aimee Mann.

    So it must be 6. I’m in it for the sexually-frustrated male bloggers.

  23. Though maybe #3 covers it, I think you may have left out:

    #3.5 It’s a desperate cry for help.

    I’d say I’m a solid 3, 6, 1. Cause, dude, those mommybloggers are hot!

  24. I’m definitely a #1. As are many expat-bloggers.

    We get so little chance to chat, argue, speak in depth or at length in our own native language, that we resort to blogging like a lonely person resorts to talking to a stranger on a bus. Except, since you read his or her blog, you know in advance that he is a cool dude and not a dangerous loon, which one cannot guarantee on a bus. Especially buses in Berlin.

    BTW, Diane Mandy and I gossip about you from time to time, Neil. She thinks that the whole Neil Kramer schtick is just a schtick, whereas I think the whole Neil Kramer schtick is really you. What do you think? Do you let your schtick define you, Neil, or is there more than to you than just an avatar and jokes?

    HB8

    P.S. Haven’t forgotten your after-shave question.

  25. 1, 2, 3 and possibly 6.

  26. I’m a 1: it’s like having penpals, but without having to buy those strange blue airmail envelopes.

    Though I have a fair dash of literary ambition (i.e. I write stuff for money), that has precious little to do with my blog…

  27. considering the name of my site…i’d have to go with #3 πŸ˜‰

  28. Hmmm … I started blogging in an attempt to maintain my sanity thru the roughest patches of my car accident recovery. I’ve kept blogging because I’ve met so many great people through it. AND I love writing “casually.” I’ve done my share of writing for pay. Maybe I should care, but when I’m blogging I don’t care about perfecting it. I write as if I’m sitting on my couch talking to my best friend. It’s fun, it’s relaxing. And then … to spice it up I can twitpic my boobs out to the entire Internet once in awhile.

  29. My motivation for “keeping it up” seems to change weekly, occasionally teetering on quitting. I like the feedback part. Then I feel guilty and narcissistic.

    I’m sincerely interested in what your motivation is for “keeping it up.” You’re a real writer. You have enough readership to make money if you sold ads on your blog (I’m assuming). You seem to be very popular with a wide range of people as evident by the diversity of your commenters. I can’t imagine you not being plugged in socially in NY.

    So, why do you continue blogging?

  30. OH FINE … phone me then! BUT, if you think we’re spooning at blogher, you’ve got another thing coming!

    Mostly #3, a bit of #1 and #4 and #5.

  31. I’m mostly in it for the short sentences and the photos–kind of like an illustrated kid’s book without any lessons to impart.

  32. Blogging takes me places I’ve never been. I’m just an intellectual accidental tourist in life.

  33. Plus, I like to discuss my bra buying habits with strangers.

  34. Nos. 2 and 5. I hope I can parlay all of this into a screenwriting career. Also, I always hope I can quit the ol’ day job. But that requires an income from blogging.

  35. Definitely #3 (the name of my blog says it all). And because I love storytelling, and how stories mess with ideas about what’s “normal” or “crazy.”

    Also #1 (although I like leaving the house) and #2 (as much as I cringe to admit it).

  36. I blog so that my parents don’t worry about me.

  37. Chris —

    Thanks for the question. I like getting the same question thrown back at me. My answers are pretty much the same as everyone. I tend not to be that practical, so thinking of this blog in a practical manner is difficult for me, because once I start down that path, it all starts to crumble. If I really want to advance my writing career, I need to write more, blog less. If I want to be more social and meet more hot babes, I have to leave the house more, and blog less. I think the trick is to enjoy blogging, without it dominating your life — which is not easy. While I used to walk around thinking up story ideas to write, now I say, “hey that would be a good blog post.” Now, I don’t even get to write my good idea on blog posts. I just toss them off on Twitter in 140 characters, like sand in the wind.

    It is like Charles Dickens going on Twitter and saying, “Hey, imagine some grouchy guy gets visited by the ghost of Christmas past and changes! That would RAWK.” And loses all need to write A Christmas Carol.

    I like blogging. It is fun. You can write whatever you want. I write about my can opener, and people read it. What could be more gratifying and insane! I get tears in my eyes from people caring about that shit, because I never would had expected — in a million years — that what I find interesting, anyone else would. Other than maybe my mother. You meet cool people. I find people amusing. I like reading about people different than me, and meeting those I would probably never meet in real life — religious Mormons, people in Oklahoma, hunters in Alaska! And they are actually interesting! Who knew that there were cool people outside of New York? And my personal life has been chaotic, so it is nice to have companionship without the real life tensions — and let’s be honest — I interact with a lot of funny women, which is pretty sexy to me…

    But —

    1) The economy.
    2) Seeing other using their blogs for more legitimate reasons
    3) And being a male and trained to have a practical purpose for everything, and sometimes feeling that personal blogging is more for “the girls” and hitting on mommybloggers is not a very professional way to brand myself
    4) Wanting to be something “more” with this

    I think about this subject — but then, again, maybe that is MY BRAND.

  38. Connecting with people so that someday I can eat their brains.

    Is that 9?

  39. Headbang — no, it is not that much schtick. Sometimes. More serious in real life I guess. But I think this stuff in head even when I am serious.

  40. You forgot to include the McDonald’s Moms. They’ll be taking over the country soon enough.

    I stopped blogging, as you know. I’ll keep my commentary to myself, because there were a few reasons that make me mad just thinking about!

    Really, it just took too much time reading to keep up with everyone, commenting to make sure I was paying attention to everyone, writing the occasional post, hoping people might read, reading and commenting some more to make sure I was paying attention to everyone.

    Then I realized I wasn’t paying as much attention to my sweet little girls as I wanted to. So I stopped.

    At least I made some nice long-distance friends out of it.

  41. LVGurl — Yeah, but you exercise as a hobby. Most bloggers don’t have the time.

  42. I’d say a little of #1, #2 and #3. Especially the part about smelly people.

  43. Mostly 2 and 3, 1 seems to be just an added benefit. I am a horrible friend in real life, but a decent one in the cyber world.

  44. Neil, this is EXACTLY what I wrote about today. I mostly write so that I can look back and remember where I’m from. And also because I feel like I’m more than mildly nuts, and it’s refreshing to realize that other people relate to that.

  45. 1 and other…i’m not a great writer by any means, but it’s like a journal in that i can remember some of my day to day life through my blog.

  46. Too old to give up; too young to rest.

  47. I’m probably nestled in that small, tiny space between 6 and 1. I’m hopeless but I still think I have to blog (or at least blog once in a while) to maintain my superficial bloggy friendships.

  48. IF I don’t stop eating tuna, people are going to smell me through my blog.

    Wait, maybe they already do.

  49. #6. With the exception of BlogHer in July.

  50. This is fascinating.

    I’ve only been doing it a month. I started because I found my abrupt transition from corporate life to stay-at-home motherhood a little tough, and I thought it might help to focus on some outside-world stuff for a little while each day. Also, I am eventually hoping to make enough money to pay for, like, groceries and whatnot, so that I can continue to stay home with my kids after my unemployment runs out.

    My blog isn’t as personal as most of you though, so I’m not sure my reasons are as relevant.

  51. 1 and 3

    And I meant schtick in only the most positive way. πŸ™‚ I’d like to know the more serious Neil, even though this one is so very entertaining.

  52. I’d say #’s 1 and 3 apply to me.

  53. #7: You enjoy writing but don’t get to do it in your everyday life. Blogging gives you an excuse to write something every day, and the impetus to keep it up because of the misconception that there are people who will care if you don’t.

  54. why? there is no why.

    but #2, all the way. once i hit the bigtime, it’s so long, suckers!

    it’s too bad i’ve been waiting 20 years for the bigtime.

  55. i have no idea. i don’t think i fit into any of those.

  56. i’m a 1, 3 and 6 girl as well. i like to write, but i don’t have writing ambitions. i also like to have fun and for me blogging is fun…most of the time!

  57. After 60 comments, why do I bother leaving one? I am compulsive that is why. I love the people from around the world that I get to interact with and I am hoping to sell a few paintings as well, also it is writing practice.

  58. My blog doesn’t really fit any of those criteria. It’s a readily accessible place to to keep people updated on a project. I’ve been slacking lately, so, the hopeless part matches.

    I can’t believe no one else has called you on your passive aggressive attempt at getting single bloggers to make you dinner just to prove they garnish mac and cheese

  59. I started blogging to document the amazing, transformative trip I embarked upon in 2008… a friend clued me in about blogs (didn’t know a thing) and I was off and running. I’ve written all my life and yes, there’s a bit of a hope that these stories might add up to something in the future.

    The immediate gratification of blogging is selfishly addictive. I had a pretty quick response to my theme, and also have met some fellow bloggers who have either started a similar journey or want to and thus interact with me.

    Blogging to me is part creative flexing, part therapeutic, part rant outlet … with a sprinkling of vanity and pipe dreams tossed in.

    Dreams becoming reality.

  60. ps-I’m also trying very hard (but not to successfully) to overlook that ridiculous blogging is for girls comment.

  61. #3, for sure. Also, I do it for writing practice, so I guess I fall into the #2 writing whore category as well.

  62. I’m definitely number 3. And I’m OK with that. πŸ™‚

  63. Uh, #3, considering the interweebs know more about my ovaries than my most intimate friends…

  64. How about: Because I am surrounded by people who could not care less what I think about anything, and having a readership, tiny though it may be, let’s me indulge my fantasy of being relevant.

    Also, I blog because I hope to be the Blog Crush of the Day some day.

  65. My motivation for blogging is to try to get 70 comments as you have (so far) on this post. Not that I’m jealous (!) but I couldn’t get that if I announced who really killed JFK and posted nude photos of the entire Obama Cabinet. I guess I’m a #1 and #3 guy also. I would have said #2 years ago but that’s pretty unrealistic (although I did get on Huffington and one gig for a food magazine from my blog). I keep mine going because I have a desperate need to write about whatever the hell I want to without having to listen to others as I do in my writing for hire life.

  66. Because the blog world can’t plug it’s ears when I’m trying to talk. Oh and it makes me keep writing. Oh and then strangers can read about how f’ed up I am rather than my friends and family!

    Katie Lauren

  67. How come all the Hopeless individuals are guys or Lesbians?

    There ought to be equal time and space for women, heterosexual, hopeless individuals.

    I’m just saying.

  68. I am a sell out! I started out with #1, but lately it’s become #5.

    Also blogging is a way to “test drive” some possible topics for paying assignments…so variation on #2.

  69. That was a joke…I haven’t REALLY had any sexy conversations with mommybloggers πŸ™‚

    I really can’t choose any of those options because while I desperately aspire with every fiber of my being to be a Walmart blogger *snort* I mostly do it for fun and friendship.

  70. wait, nothing about me liking to hear myself talk? damn.

  71. Put me down for the trifecta 1,3,6

  72. could you BE any cuter?

    i blog for none of the reasons you listed.

  73. After 5 years of blogging I am not sure I could stop.

  74. I didn’t click hard with any of your six options. I think I just like having a place to express myself and I like the idea that someone might read it and enjoy it.

    Hello, Neil.

  75. I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. When it feels right, I blog, when it doesnt’…I facebook.

    Or neither.

    Or both.

  76. #4 made me laugh and laugh, because I have a particular vendetta against a couple of those vipers.

  77. Why am I still blogging?

    ‘Cuz I didn’t have a freakin’ choice!
    All the other sweet clubs were filled up!
    Gosh!

  78. A little late here but a little bit of 1-6 for me.:)

  79. I realize this comment is like, almost a year old, but… why do you blog? Clearly, you’re a great writer and you love to write – is that it? I love writing and I can’t shut up sometimes… I also love stumbling across a new awesome blog – like yours – and just reading.

    By the way, I’m married, with two kids, but I can’t really cook. Oopsie. I love going out for dinner, though! Especially with smart and sassy people. Who are good writers. And have great blogs πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial