Why I Blog (or, what exactly is the point of this again?)

There are several reasons why I’m writing a blog — and, no, money isn’t it. Just to sum up the reasons that I am blogging — and more importantly, persisting with blogging — are as follows:

1. I think I have something to say. No, really. Australians have the largest houses in the world — even bigger than the Americans — and the strain of building six bedroom four bathroom McMansions way out in the ‘burbs is showing up in our cities. Melbourne has been voted the most livable city for several years, but even this city can’t endure people building mega-mansions 50km from the city centre and then demanding decent public transport links. Folks, it doesn’t work like that. If you have low density housing — really low density housing — you can’t expect trains at your doorstep every ten minutes. It’s just not viable. If you want to live with excellent public transport and road infrastructure, you have to compromise and accept higher density housing closer to the CBD.

And I strongly suspect that a large part of people buying massive houses is to fill it with stuff. Stuff is expensive: not only do you have to buy the stuff itself, you also have to buy the houses to put the stuff in, and big houses cost more money. And to afford a big house, you need to go way out to the back of Zone 2 (or whatever the equivalent is in your city) and spend hours and hours commuting, so now you have to factor in the time that it takes to get to your stuff-laded house in Narre Warren or South Morang or Pakenham or wherever.

See how expensive stuff is?

2. Writing practice. I blog to sharpen my writing skills. I also do volunteer work as a section sub-editor for the North and West Melbourne News, which gives me another outlet for my writing skills. Currently I’m finalising my first fictional novel, Sinister, set in a dystopic world that discriminates against left-handed people. I’ll let you know when it’s available. But blogging is helping me find my voice. I don’t think I’ve completely found it yet, but it’s on its way. I’m not yet writing epic shit, but I’m on the learning curve.

3. Discipline. I blog on a Tuesday — every Tuesday, without fail. This included Christmas Day, 2012; New Year’s Day, 2013; and the day after I had surgery a couple of weeks ago. I’ve made the commitment to writing every Tuesday, and every Tuesday this is exactly what I do. It all comes down to discipline. And I suspect that the discipline I exert here will strengthen my discipline in other areas, such as budgeting money, eating healthy foods, managing my time effectively, and regularly exercising. All of these activities require discipline to some degree, and building up my “discipline muscle” can only be a good thing.

4. Inspiration has to come. There’s no point in showing up at the computer on a Tuesday with nothing to write. I have to think of something. Forced inspiration, if you will. Closely related to the previous point about discipline, this is about moving from a passive “waiting for the muse to descend upon me” to just write something, dammit!

5. Familiarity with web tools. Confession time here: I am so not a geek! I wish I was. Over the next few weeks, I plan to take and upload some photos for this site — not random, meaningless ones, but ones that obviously relate to the content. And it means moving from my luddite technophobia to, well, if not entirely embracing technology, at least being a little more down with it than the Amish.

And that’s why I blog right now: it’s therapeutic, builds discipline, and hopefully I can contribute to reducing Australia’s housing obesity. 🙂

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