Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why I Blog

I’ve explained before, but people keep asking!
by Charlie Leck

I’ve been blogging steadily now for well over two years. Yup, I’ve written hundreds of these entries – from a paragraph long to 5 or 6 pages long. All types! Lots of subjects! Informational! Personal! Autobiographical! Sports! Politics! Human Relations! Theology! Interpersonal relations! Psychology! Literature! Movie reviews and reviews!

When I began, I thought I’d be writing for a half dozen friends who would faithfully come to the site to read my daily rants. Amazingly, now there are about 5,000 visitors to the blog site every week. I’m told you can assume about two-thirds will at least begin reading to see if they’re interested. Based on those projections, I am assuming about 3,300 people come to the blog each week and do some reading. These aren’t overwhelming numbers, but I never dreamed that even a fraction of that amount would visit.

Interestingly – at least to me – I’ve got a number of very regular readers who rarely miss a blog. They might not come every day, but they come regularly enough that they can catch up on all the blogs I’ve written since their last visit. Most of these folks are good friends and family from around the country, though a few are people I’ve never met, but now consider friends.

Why do I do this? Several of you keep asking. I answered that question in a blog just a bit over a year ago (13 January 2008). I won’t try to refine that answer because it still holds true; however, my motivation is much higher now, knowing I have so many faithful readers.

“One good, old friend from New Jersey posed an interesting question last week in response to my series of memories. “Why do you write?” He asked it sincerely. He wondered about the huge effort it must require to post a few essays each week.

“Certainly you are not driven by readership,” he stated bluntly.“I guess that comment brought me back to reality. I’m read regularly by somewhere between a few dozen and a few hundred people. I’ve been impressed by those numbers, though I clearly shouldn’t be.

“Why then do I do it? Why do I write?“I’m not sure how many people will understand this; however, I’ll try to explain it. Or, as Lucy’s husband used to say on that TV show we all liked so much: ‘Let me splain myself.’

“I write for those little ones up there – the ones in that photo. They are my grandchildren. I hope, someday, long after I am gone, they may have some urge to figure out just who their old grandfather really was.

“I’ve often wondered that about my grandparents. I barely knew them. Oh, I can remember times in their homes and sitting around the great, long Thanksgiving Day table with them, listening to them chatter away; yet, I really didn’t get to know
them. For that matter, I didn’t even get to know my parents very well. What was inside them? What made them tick? What did they like about life? What enraged them? What drove them? What were their hopes? Their fears? Their weaknesses? ow deeply did they love? Were they people of real faith?

“My grandchildren don’t live nearby. I don’t get to see them all that often. We don’t have much opportunity to get to know each other.

“One day, if they wonder about me, as I wonder so constantly about my grandparents, they will be able to pull this massive pile of papers from the boxes on a shelf, and read to their hearts content about dear, old Grandpa Charlie. Or, they’ll shove a disk or chip or some other wondrous device of the future into a computer and up will pop the strange writings of their odd, old grandfather.

“Am I being vain to think they will even care? Perhaps! I don’t know. I can only tell you how I’ve yearned to know more about my grandparents, and their grandparents, and I always feel sad that I can’t learn anything about them…

“…And, if some day my grandchildren’s grandchildren happen upon these papers, I’d like to say hello and let you know that I hope you are well and happy. I hope, too, that you are kind and caring people; for there is nothing in all of life more important than that. My daughter, Jennifer, has a computerized signature on all her email messages that quotes Kurt Vonnegut, one of the great authors of my time, saying this same thing: “Damn it, children, you’ve got to be kind!”

“So that’s why I write. It is because I don’t want to leave this world all together and completely. I want some little part of me to hang around and hang on just as long as possible. Is that ego driven? Does it reveal some base insecurity of mind? Have I an inflated sense of my own importance? Duh-know!

“I just want to write it for them. The blog is a perfect discipline for me. It’s hanging out there in the wonderful, spectacular Internet, and [several] times each week I post something on it and the stack of papers and materials left behind for my grandchildren keeps growing. Go figure!”
So, there you are! As we start another year – a new year in which to blog – you have the clearest possible answer I can give you about why I blog – along with a new set of photos of our grandchildren.

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