I've had the Grumpy Old Bookman on my RSS reading list since even before he said all of those nice things about me, so I'm sorry to see that the old dear has gone on sabbatical.
At least, that's what he's calling it. But I've noticed that when established bloggers take more than a month off, they tend to recover from blogging fever--and they never come back.
Why do people blog? Common wisdom has it that it's all about ego: the blogger believes he has something to say to the world, and a blog of one's own makes a very handy soapbox. Perhaps that's true in the case of the folks who blog for a few months and then wander off, but as someone who will celebrate her three-year blogging anniversary less than a month from now, I reject that answer. Those of us who have been doing this for a while know there's a whole lot more to this obsession than getting people to look at us and listen to what we say. If that was all we wanted from blogging, we'd have said our pieces, repeated ourselves a few times for good measure, and then let our blogs go dark after just a few months.
I don't think I'm all that different from most other longtime bloggers, so I'm assuming that my primary reasons for blogging must be their reasons, too.
Some of us just like to write. And blogging on an almost-daily basis stretches the writer's imagination and creativity. Coming up with fresh ideas for blog posts week after week and month after month is enormously challenging--and some of us relish that challenge. We like the way it feels when we flex our brain muscles.
Oh, sure, we enjoy the attention we get when readers leave comments and other bloggers link to us. And those of us who have books to sell appreciate the opportunity blogging affords us to build name recognition. But I believe the best way to sell more books is simply to write more books and write them better--which means spending all this time here on the blog is more likely to hold me back as a romance author rather than make me famous. And that, I think, neatly answers the accusation that I blog primarily to get attention for my romance novels.
For me, blogging is fun. That's not to say that it's easy. It's just that I enjoy the challenge of hunting up something worthwhile to write about and then expressing myself as well as I can. I've written a lot of inane posts on this blog in the last three years, but I think I've also written quite a few clever, informative, and thought-provoking ones. I'm still here because I think I've got some more of those good posts in me somewhere--and it's incredibly satisfying to dig for them and find them and drag them out and hammer them into shape and then present them to you, the readers of this blog.
When blogging stops being fun, I'll stop blogging and look for some new ways to strain my brain. Maybe that's what Michael Allen, the Grumpy Old Bookman, is doing right now. Whatever the case, I wish him well.