I’ve taken to proselytizing. I want to spread the joy. I’ve found myself recommending blogging to others, even repeatedly. Blogging’s given me so much and I’ve seen so many other people online who seem to have benefited a great deal from it that I just can’t believe everyone doesn’t want a blog.
I’ve found that often people respond by saying: “But I’m no writer.” or “I’m not an expert on anything.” Well, neither am I, I say. And that’s okay! But sometimes I wonder if they don’t have a point. Take me. I’m an okay writer and an okay expert in some subjects but I’m certainly no Dostoyevsky. I don’t even have a PhD. So what right do I have to write?
In the great scheme of things, maybe I don’t have the right. During most of human history, only the cleverest and/or the most distinguished have had the right to print their words on paper. After Gutenberg invented the printing press, and a few other great ideas happened, more people have had the chance to say their piece, but never more than now. The Internet gives us the chance to publish text without anyone scrutinizing it beforehand. No rules, no quality checks, no entrance examination. Horrible? Yes. Wonderful? Yes!
I guess I delayed starting this blog for a long time because I didn’t think I was good enough. But this isn’t print publishing where you have to qualify. Anyone can write a blog, and all kinds of people do. It’s like a massively over-sized choir where everyone chimes in, regardless of whether they can sing or not, or even know the words. I think from the sheer joy of doing sometimes good things can be born. Those things might not exist if they hadn’t been given ample playing ground.
I agree that most of the stuff online is probably not all that great. It doesn’t make a contribution to the world at large. Practically no one ever even reads it (my blog is part of this category). But still I think it has the right to exist, since the Internet is not only a place for experts and specialists, it’s for everyone. Just like with democracy, even if we don’t always agree, people still have the right to express themselves in their own voice. And for many people (like me), finding their own voice and the courage to use it, is one of the simplest and at the same time the greatest things these people could do to lead a happier, more balanced existence.
And from this, the whole world will profit.