Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Blogging Narcissistic?

There are many reasons we bloggers sit down at our laptops and feverishly type out our thoughts and experiences.  While it may seem narcissism is at the root of blogging, I’ve realized this is often untrue.  Originally, I began blogging because I enjoy writing.  I also had a new found passion for running and I could easily talk about it all day.  Instead, I decided to write about it (to spare Angela the agony of hearing my voice all day).  I was shy about sharing my blog and waited months before I told anyone that it existed. Once I did, comments began to show up under my posts and other bloggers began to trickle into my life.  I started to read other blogs about running, and soon I had a circle of running blogger friends.

To the outside world, it might seem strange to feel closely connected to someone you’ve never met.  To fellow bloggers, it is understood.  I remember when I first told Angela about e-mail conversations I had with other bloggers.  She didn’t seem to think much of it. It wasn’t until I started bringing these people up in everyday conversation that she thought it was slightly strange.  After all, she didn’t have a clue who these people were and I had never even met them myself.  It's like online dating, but for friends.

I never expected to connect with so many interesting people through the Internet; it sounds kind of creepy actually.  This came as a pleasant surprise.  From Miami to Utah and all the way to Canada, I have made connections with a barrage of fascinating people. I  have experienced heartfelt emotions along with some of these bloggers from sheer joy when one of them PRs, has a baby or wins a contest to the disappointment that comes with an injury, illness or loss of a loved one. Just like real life friends, we are here for one another, offering congratulatory words or words of comfort and consolation.

There is one person in particular that I have become “real life” friends with outside of the blogging world.  Her name is AJ and you can check out her blog here.  We are part of the same trifecta (as her dad would say), lesbian-vegan-runner.  How could we not be friends?  We met in person in Palm Springs for her birthday and have since gone to a Brandi Carlile concert, eaten loads of vegan food together, practiced yoga and have finally RUN together. Her partner, my partner, and the two of us have become a happy little foursome of friends.  Just when I thought it was impossible to meet like-minded people, BOOM!  There they were: two strong women, full of opinions, living consciously and freely.  This has been the most rewarding, unexpected benefit to blogging.

I started to get down on myself, feeling like a big, fat narcissistic blogger.  After all, I write about myself, my experiences and my opinions.  How much more self-centered can I be?  I took a step back, gave blogging a rest and contemplated my motives for writing.  I don’t blog to brag about my accomplishments or to be in the spotlight.  I blog because I find joy in writing.  I have kept a journal since childhood.  The network of “friends” has been a bonus and has given me yet another reason to blog.  So here I am… still typing away and not feeling selfish or guilty about it. I love writing and I especially love anyone that is willing to read this silly little blog. :)  Happy reading, writing and running to all of you!


  1. I have started friendships with some pretty rad people because of blogging, for sure.

    And it's nice to be part of a community where other people care about my runs, and know what I'm talking about when it comes to chaffing and shoes and the right running pants, and shorts that bunch up around the vagina.

    Most of my "real life" friends certainly don't want to talk about that.

  2. I kind of groove on checking out everyone's narcissism ... no matter how blatant or latent :) How totally great that you made real friends! That is really what life's all about :)

  3. i love this post. only other bloggers really "get" what we do. lots of family and friends roll their eyes when i talk about my bloggy friends, or say "oh, i read on such and such blog today". i have felt narcissistic at times too, but then realize that im only putting my story out there for others to read, and i enjoy reading others stories far more than sharing my own. love your blog!

  4. When I first started blog name dropping to Ryan he was all sorts of eye rolls and misunderstandings. And maybe a bit jealous of my newfound hobby. Now he's all over the blogosphere doling out gardening advice and soaking it up. I KNOW that there are some of my real life peers that think blogging is a tool for narcissistic folks to advance their narcissism even further but that has never been what my "blogging voice" has been about for me. I can honestly say that your perspective has been missed!

  5. Right on Kate! Ahhh, so glad you are back my friend! We all need to take a step back from time to time. But really, the reason I do it is for an outlet to WRITE too! Express my thoughts! And some of you I've made a real connection with. Missed you!

  6. Isn't it great how we all just "get" each other? I love the blog world. Pretty awesome people out here :)

  7. It's nice to have people care about my running. My fam isn't into running like I it's nice to get support from blogger buddies.

  8. I have had similar thoughts about my blog being fact similar thoughts about running in general being that way.
    But when it comes down to it is truly isn't.

  9. You are an excellent writer, and this blog entry is a great example. I started blogging from a very clinical angle to try and find advice to stop getting injured, but it was surprisingly easy to get caught in the incredibly supportive current of running bloggers. I achieved my original goal, but the biggest return was the general sense of community and the folks that can relate to my love of running. None of us need to explain it, we all just understand.

  10. I love the blogging! It never ceases to amaze me how people so far apart can be so closely tied together by one thing.

  11. I think that in the short while that I've been reading your bloggie that I've felt nothing less than encouraged and inspired, tickled and excited about new ideas in my brain. It's important for you to know this. I think that you've been a positive force for me, and that has been an extrinsic motivation that very few people can produce.

    I missed you while you were gone, but don't ever feel guilty for blogging or for taking a break from it! <3

  12. First: I am so very jealous of both you and AJ. You each seem like one of the most thoughtful, expressive, awesome bloggers out there, and I wish I could make a friendship with someone so wonderful in the blog world!

    Second: I started blogging -- just 4 months ago -- for exactly the reason that you found: connecting with others. I was reading blogs and occasionally commenting, but I wanted the bloggers to be able to put a face to my name. So I started a blog. And then out of sheer embarassment, tried to not make it suck. So now it is what it is, a space where I talk about myself...but not all the time. I also talk about how Natalie Portman is a horrible actress... ;)

  13. Aw Kate, you are much too kind. I feel truly grateful to the magical blogosphere for having met you and your lovely Ang. I think you know how much your friendship and you two as a couple means to us. We moved to LA not expecting to feel at home but as we have and as we have begun to create a community here, meeting you two has really validated our choice and part lacking is that LA and SD are not closer (but are far enough away for legit "weekend getaways.")

    I know I've said this to you, but I do sometimes waver on the whole blogging thing because I started blogging when I thought I would be underemployed and bored and then suddenly found myself with more than one job. But if I decide to ever leave blogging permanently, I think the friendships I've made have been totally worth it. And exactly what I needed, but hardly expected.

  14. I just started my blog and was struggling with the same thoughts. I agree with you that it is so much more, and I'm really hoping to gain followers who will eventually become friends. Thanks for writing this!

  15. I have struggled with this as well, wondering if I was too into myself and if that was the real reason I blogged. But like you, I have come to realize that it's been a great way to connect with people all around the world and lots of people that I might not normally connect with. I love seeing all different views and hearing what others have to say. Great post!

  16. Kate you have many gifts, beautiful writing is just one of them. I sometimes wish you'd write a book (on any darn thing) so I could read your thoughts for more than a few minutes in your blog. Your writing is interesting, honest, heart-felt, educational, funny and always entertaining! You were meant to blog and we all benefit from your love of writing. Love you Sweetheart! Your very proud Momma

  17. i couldn't agree more with this! thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world, and i can't wait to meet you in *real* life in chicago!

  18. Dearest Kate - its good to have you back and you are completely right about why you blog - of course you are, you're being true to yourself. I've been blogging for years now, sometimes far more frequently than other times, but I've made more than a few really wonderful friends through blogging, have run with many of them and can only look forward ot running with the rest!

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