I've toyed with the idea of blogging for a very long time, after stumbling across a couple of blogs that amused me, and after seeing that a number of friends were doing it. But all of the successful blogs I've seen have a devoted audience which reads and responds regularly. Part of the fun of blogging is the discussion that ensues. There is nothing that is more dismal in the blogging world than a blog that is obviously not read, and if that is clear from the observer's perspective, imagine how the blogger feels. That's been my main deterrent all along.
A friend, who has blogged about his experience in immigrating to Canada to escape persecution in the US, explained that he made his decision to blog partly as a record of his experience, which he can already look back on as a reminder of the ordeal of his past. It was this discussion which finally caused things to click. Blogging can be many things. It's difficult if you want to generate a following from scratch, and are going to rely on people to visit regularly, which can be asking a lot. But if you are doing it for your own reasons, to record your ideas and concerns, as a diary or historical record, then an audience would be nice, but is not necessary. And this is especially important to realize if you don't have time to blog every day, which I don't. Even the most loyal readers will lose interest if you stop publishing.
Over the past year, I've found myself wanting to write, as something comes to my attention that bothers me or that I want to discuss. I've published notes on Facebook, but I don't think a lot of people pay attention; Facebook offers too many other distractions.
And there is more and more to write about. Being born and raised in Canada, I've always thought this was the greatest country in the world. We're peacekeepers! We're kinder and gentler. We do the right thing. I was so patriotic, I got a tattoo of the flag on my shoulder.
But following the arrests of 18 suspected terrorists in 2003, I got involved in activism. I was dismayed that this was happening in my country, and I waited to see proof that these accused men were guilty. The proof never came. The issue was swept under the rug, leaving most Canadians with the impressions that (1) the men were guilty, and (2) our amazing authorities were working day and night to keep us safe and sound. After some (not very deep) digging, I discovered that neither assumption was true.
Since then, my involvement in activism has changed my entire outlook on my country, its government, the work of police and the military, the media, and all of their motives. While I have hope for a better world, it's going to take a lot of work to get us there. And it ain't gonna happen without the struggle of "ordinary" citizens to push our governments to do the right things, and to push our media to tell the truth. It'll take time. So here I am, getting to work.