Why write?

I’ve been harping on about roleplaying games a lot recently and I’m aware that some people who follow this blog are probably far more interested in films, video games and other topics (I feel sorriest for anyone who followed me based on one of my rare food-related posts). In spite of this, today I’m going to be talking about something that probably doesn’t interest anyone at all; the subject of why I write this blog in the first place.

For starters, it’s certainly not for fame and fortune. Before this blog, when I used to have a website instead, I could fool myself into thinking that a decent portion of my friends read it. With WordPress’ helpful site stats, I now know exactly how few people read what I write. Similarly, my @DocChimpenstein twitter account, which chronicles the life of a fictional chimp scientist, has 7 followers… so I’m not exactly reaching the masses.

So, why expend the time and effort to write this blog if a bare handful of people are reading it? Why spend half an hour a week coming up with jokes and plot arcs for a fictional chimp that only 7 people will see? There are two reasons, which are oddly contradictory:

1) I do it for myself
2) I do it for my readers

Let’s face it, if I didn’t enjoy writing, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s all very well to have a job that you hate, but having a hobby that you hate is just plain ridiculous (unless you’re trying to impress a girl or something, in which case it is merely slightly idiotic). I love being creative, I love word play, I love taking an idea and expanding upon it until it becomes something better. When an idea pops into my head, I have to write it down; sometimes it’s an idea for my current roleplaying campaign and it gets included, sometimes it’s an idea for a blog and it gets written up, sometimes it’s a joke that can’t even be used immediately, but it gets noted down for the right moment (I know exactly how I’m going to announce my wife’s next pregnancy, even though it may not happen for months/years). Without the ability to put these things out there, I would quickly be overloaded with this stuff and it would drive me crazy; I don’t put it out there for other people, but for my own sanity.

On the other hand, once it’s out there, people can read it; not many people, as previously pointed out, but a small and measurable number. You’re one of them and I honestly hope you find something of interest here; a film that you’ve never heard of before, but that you check out and really enjoy; a recipe that becomes a family favourite; a idea that gets you thinking about something new.
I spend a lot of time on the internet and I’ve been influenced by a lot of famous names. However the thing that gave me most recommendations over the years (films, books, games, comics, websites) was a fairly obscure series of podcasts called Gin and Juices, which mainly involved two guys getting drunk and chatting about stuff. They weren’t being paid or anything; they were just putting themselves out there because they enjoyed doing it. Now, I’m not hitting anything like the same number of people as those guys, but if I can influence one person in the same way, I’ll be pretty happy with the result.

In conclusion, I’m going to keep writing until I stop thinking of things to write about, while you’re free to keep reading until you decide that I’m no longer interesting… and once again, apologies to any foodies.

Happy reading!

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