a wandering woman writes

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tagged: Why do I blog?


I've been tagged.
Laura passed me this question: why do you blog?

My first answer, considering how little time I've spent at this blog lately, was sad and sheepish: ummm..lately? I don't.

But as always, Laura set my pen to scribbling, even at 2 AM. I'd climbed out of bed and booted up the laptop, a jetlagged stupor and legendarily bad eyesight conspiring to convince me it was 6:45 AM and time to start my day. Good time for a good question. Perfect time for this question, since I've been hankering to get here more often and more than hankering to give this blog a long overdue makeover.

Why do I blog? The tag asked for 5 reasons. I'll give you 6:

1. Blogging helps me pay attention.

I look at life like a writer when I blog. I notice what's around me, find myself catching things I would have missed in my bazillion mile per hour past. Just knowing I'll be heading here pricks the ears, opens the eyes...keeps me awake and scribbling.

Internally, the effect's just as dramatic. Posts, comments, the blogs I visit through the comment box...blogging stirs up things I doubt I'd run across any other way.

2. There are some truly cool people hanging out on the other side of this keyboard.

See them there? I can't count the fabulous people I've met through this blog, many in person. Can't count the pincho tours during Salamanca visits, the friends this blog has brought me, the cool things I've been asked to do. I just plain like the people who visit this blog.

I have a certain way of looking at the world; I've learned what I've learned navigating the waters of expat life in Spain. If any of that can spark something in somebody else, answer a question, forward a resource, or inspire a good hearty laugh, all the better. Sometimes I think blogging is the ultimate way to pay it forward.

3. Some days I surprise myself.

Amazing what an empty text box can coax out of me. Some days I blog just to see what I type.

4. The blog keeps track of the minutes.

You can't spend 5 weeks in the States and not notice what you don't have in your life: a house, bursting bank accounts, a car, a family and the SUV to cart it around in, you know, things you've built, stuff you've bought. When I moved to Spain, I bought myself a life of well-lived minutes. I don't earn what I used to; I may or may not get back to owning a house and collecting possessions. But I've got to tell you, I spend my time well. This blog lets me mark all those minutes and come back to celebrate them again.

5. I've got this funny thing about bridges.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere really different from the States. Then I talk to someone who's convinced all Americans are illiterate gun owners who eat nothing but McDonald's. Or open an email from an American who's not sure cell phones have reached Spain yet.

Every once in a while I watch this blog bridge - Spaniards to Americans, Spaniards to expats living in Spain, Americans to the world outside our borders, conservatives to liberals. Catalans to Castillians. People who speak Spanish to those who don't. I like when we disagree; I like when people who are absolutely convinced they know what Americans or Spaniards are like misunderstand me. I like being forced to question my own experience here. I love hosting the party where people who thought they had little in common find common ground.

And there is nothing I would rather do than encourage more of my paisanos to cross the Atlantic, or the Pacific or the border with Mexico or... Travel, people!

6. Writing about my wanders is the perfect excuse.

I must wander, I tell you! I must! I must turn this hard won vocational virtuality into solo travel and blog posts. You're all counting on me, aren't you?

Speaking of which: I'm booked for Tuscany in April. Recommendations, oh wise, well-travelled ones?

Anybody want to pick up this tag? I won't name names, but please, if you'd like to join the tag, leave a comment with a link to your post about why you blog. Here's a spin, nonbloggers - leave a comment about why you don't blog! I've just declared this an equal opportunity tag.

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  • Oh, nicely done my dear. And yes, I do count on you to travel. So glad to hear you booked Tuscany!!
    Civita de Bagnoreggio if it's anywhere convenient for you is just so lovely.
    Love the twist for non-bloggers, too. Hope you get their thoughts!

    By Anonymous Laura, at 12:13 AM  

  • I like your list, Erin, and share several of your reasons for blogging. I have now posted my own list at www.pauseforpurpose.com. Should I consider myself tagged?

    By Blogger Mark K, at 5:08 AM  

  • welcome back Erin!!

    I too share some of your reasons and will be posting mine later today ;)

    I'm glad you finally made it back. I was starting to worry there was a conspiracy to keep you in the US...

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 8:52 AM  

  • Perfect line in this post ... 'When I moved to Spain, I bought myself a life of well-lived minutes.'

    Where's that book ... ?

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 10:10 AM  

  • Mark, you are definitely tagged! Loved your response, thanks for picking up the tag.

    It's good to be back, Alexandra. I wasn't quite sure my mother and a friend hadn't conspired to redirect US Airway's telephone there for a while...just to tell me I was cancelled and had to stay but no, the ticket worked so I guess it was all real! I'll pop by to check out your why you blog post later..

    Thanks, ww. Blush. And thanks for the link, man,if that's all it takes..(ahem...which book?)

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 1:52 PM  

  • She means the book you're destined to write! Get on with it, already.

    I read other folks' writings all the time and NO ONE does it better. I'd put Laura in the same class, but she's not you. Thanks god. I love what you do with words.

    By Anonymous Kate, at 3:23 PM  

  • Excellent responses! I am way behind in reading your blog for some reason, and I just read your ETA post. That is the perfect example of those bridges you are talking about -- I just lived that dramatic experience through you, much more than I did when I read the tiny AP story about it in January.

    I would like to get around to this meme in the near future, although currently I'm preoccupies with much more mundane topics, as my blog can attest. :)

    By Blogger Angie, at 5:04 AM  

  • "Preoccupied," that is... it's clearly bedtime in this timezone!

    By Blogger Angie, at 5:06 AM  

  • Hey Angie!
    Fun to see you here! Ok, I'll sail over now and see what you've been up to.....I didn't miss the wedding, did I?

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:12 PM  

  • "I bought myself a life of well-lived minutes."
    I like this very much!

    By Blogger Cream, at 10:27 AM  

  • Hi, new reader here from Mausi's blog. I was in Salamanca last year. Loved it.

    Keep up the good blogging!

    Germany Doesn't Suck

    By Blogger J, at 7:26 PM  

  • Dear Wandering Woman:
    I happened on this post in reading other blogs. I don't blog because I have the house, the SUV and the family. I wish I had a life like yours. Well-lived moments. I too need to wander, but alas this time in my life is about that other stuff. Enjoyed your post, and love your blog. Keep it up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 PM  

  • Hey J! Welcome. Got to sail over and check out your blog.

    And welcome, Michelle, thanks for being the only nonblogger to comment! Have to add that when I visit home, as I did just before that post, riding in SUVs with my friends' kids, relaxing with their families in their homes...i see well lived minutes by the gazillions. Shared well-lived minutes, the very best kind!

    Hope you'll stop back!

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 10:00 PM  

  • Hi, My name is Jerry and I live in Houston, Texas. I'm a retired/disabled secondary school teacher of history and government. I found your blog by using Google's Blog search for 'Spanish Civil War'; that is how I wound up here looking at your photos; haven't begun reading the posts yet but I will; I can tell that I'll be visiting your blog and sending comments when I can. I have wandered the world using books, photos, maps, etc. You are one more fellow traveler and hopefully I'll be around a good while longer than my 64 years. Love your photos! I'll be in touch.

    By Blogger Jerry, at 8:29 AM  

  • Welcome, Jerry! And thanks for commenting and introducing yourself. I haven't got a lot of confidence about my photos yet -- got to get to some learning there, even about my camera, so your comment meant a lot! Hey, if the Civil War interests you (particularly what it's left behind) I read a book you might like: Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett. Written by a Brit who's lived here for years as a foreign correspondent, is married to a Spaniard, has kids here, etc. Might be a fun trip for you, that book! :) Hope to see you here again soon.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 11:15 AM  

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