Using the Blog to Make Friends

People sometimes ask me why I blog. I have no good answer. When I started this blog, oh so many years ago, the thought was that I would use it to promote my book, Lessons In Stalking. (See the promotional link? Subtle, yes?) The idea was I would write about my journey of book promotion. However, after the fifth, "I did a book signing. Three people showed up," entry, I decided a new focus was desperately needed. 

I started writing about daily life. Which is the worst possible thing you can do on a blog, according to the experts. It's the "No one cares you ate tuna fish for lunch," rule. Or in my case the, "No one cares you ran yet another mile. Stop the self-congratulating and go shower, already," rule. 

I've thought about quitting the blog but there are several aspects to it I enjoy, not the least that even though it's stream-of-consciousness, unedited writing, it is still writing. Not bad practice. I also enjoy reading comments from family and friends. Which brings me (finally) to the point of this blog entry, which is to say that I love the ability of the blog to create friends.

Last summer when I was training, a guy named Rob found my blog and we e-mailed and chatted about our training plans. Recently, a lovely woman who is also running Boston in April found my blog and we've struck up an e-mail friendship. Since we're using the same training program, we're on the same schedule and can commiserate about upcoming speedwork or how we felt after our last long run. I suddenly have a friend who understands a large portion of my life, and I hers, even though we've never met.

I think that's cool. 

Over the years, I've met many people through this blog. Some I'm still in touch with, others not. But I like the idea that, even briefly, I had the good fortune to connect with someone I otherwise never would have met. 

People ask me if I think blogging is a waste of time. Challenging? Yes. Time consuming? Sometimes. But a waste of time?