It is a question that you will face, should you deign to start a blog (or column, journal, etc.).

EUTHYPHRO: Why do you have a blog?

YOU: Because it exercises my urchin mind and I want to share my meager kibbles with SearchEngineGod.

Weak answer. Too cliché. We must find a better answer.

10 weeks later…

YOU: Friend, ask me “Why do you have a blog?” again!

EUTHYPHRO: You still have a blog?

YOU: —Yes. I implore you, repeat your question of ten weeks heretofore.

EUTHYPHRO: Why do you have a blog?

YOU: I wrote a blog post to answer that thoroughly.

EUTHYPHRO: [flees]

Why write a blog:

  • If it isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist. Content that is difficult to find will reach very few people.
  • Publishing has never been easier. The printing press afforded the unordained voice an audience beyond the town square, disturbing the Church¹, and later the Crown², as digital media disturb the Press now.
  • Documentation matters.
    • Fred Brooks elucidates: “Only when one writes do the gaps appear and the inconsistencies protrude. The act of writing turns out to require hundreds of mini-decisions, and it is the existence of these that distinguishes clear, exact policies from fuzzy ones.”
  • Writing is a mnemonic (and error-correction) device: writing = grokking.
    • Ed Boyden pontificates: “Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Annotate, model, think, and synthesize while you read… Document everything obsessively. … Much of creativity is learning how to see things properly…”
  • Publishing—even informally—forces you to finish thoughts/tasks/experiments/projects, whereby to put them in a form that is presentable to an audience.
  • Writing answers questions that even you may struggle to answer, such as:
    • What have you been up to?
    • What did you do last year?
    • What’s new in your fabulous life?
  • Production. You have studied, and pondered, and mastered difficult concepts–but what have you produced? What is the result of these ministrations, beyond erudite ether? Are you boiling your experiences and annealing your thoughts into a tangible form?

  1. Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. The printing press as an agent of change: communications and cultural transformations in early-modern Europe, Volumes 1-2. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 330-331. “Partly because religious dissent was implemented by print, it could leave a much more indelible and far-reaching impression than dissent had ever left before.”
  2. Emerson, Everett H. American literature, 1764-1789: the Revolutionary years. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1977. 19. “pamphlets were a major literary weapon.”