I know my blog numbers. Few readers, few comments. It would be kind to call my numbers low. I know that not a lot of people read this blog. I know that not a lot of people know this blog exists. Heck, my own father doesn't read it unless I post a link on Facebook (which is why I post a link on Facebook - I'm not trying to be irritating, I'm just trying to stay in touch with my father).
So every now and then, I consider why I'm even bothering to write the thing, why I bother to religiously post once a week on not one, but two separate blogs, neither of which gets much attention. Why do I keep yelling into the overcrowded void? At this stage of my writing life, a blog is entirely unnecessary.
One reason is practice. I've been keeping this thing up for two years now. Entries that at first only averaged once a week, before I decided to keep it strictly to once a week. For me, that decision made staying on top of the entries easier. I had a deadline, and I could, when spurts of creativity struck, schedule some out in advance. I do keep hoping that I'll be constantly scheduled out, but I've not gotten to that point yet. I'm stuck on the last minute tactic, the heat of the deadline pushing me to write something even when I'm not sure what I want to write.
And when I separated my hiking and exercise blog entries from my writing and opinionated blog entries, I found myself keeping up two blogs, though still at the once a week pace. I managed to schedule the hiking blog out more easily by splitting my backpacking trip write-ups into day by day accounts instead of spitting them out all at once in a single large entry. And I've been doing that for about 9 months less than the original blog.
The blogs have provided good practice for writing to a deadline, and for writing in general. I haven't written much fiction for the blogs themselves, but there have been some efforts published here, and others that were created after I got my fingers flying over the keyboard on a blog entry.
I don't really know what utility these blogs might have in the long run, but they help me articulate my thoughts. They help me share what I'm thinking with my family, both those who are close and those who are far away. They are a body of work, proof at least to myself that I can stick with a project and keep myself motivated.
It doesn't matter how many other people see these words, because I know that they can be, and are, seen by more than just me. The words for me alone are in my personal journal. I know better than to inflict that on the public.
I hope that the hiking blog acts as a somewhat of an advertisement for what I do with my Hike with Me books, but since I'm not actively promoting it as such, I'm content that my blogs are mainly the art that I make for me.