Why I (Still) Write Blog Posts

I began this blog in 2009. The driving reason was to leave my thoughts to my children for whatever they might find worthwhile, especially after taking off for the great beyond if such a place exists. This was not my sole motive to scribble, however.

As they all recognize, writers write out of inner necessity, an activity so essential to their being they cannot do otherwise for long. Some hope for fame, but few outlast the memory of their name if that. I never embraced their goal.

Offering your written words to the reading world takes a small bit of courage since not everyone will agree with what you say. With few, if any, ideas not thought or said by the best minds of our past, one needs ego to believe your new material will stand out with anything new.

Part of what justifies the idea of presenting personal observations despite all the brilliant writers of yesterday is the time in which we live. Every human life exists within a unique moment and place, no matter the similarities to all the history preceding us.

A few decades ago, a Ford Foundation study concluded the daily New York Times contained more information to process than the average sixteenth-century man had to consume in his lifetime. Wow!

The thought is astonishing until one recognizes who the gentleman was: a creature who couldn’t read or write, never got far from home, lived and died in the blink of an eye, and performed the same repetitive tasks without end.

No TV, computer, Internet, either, not even choices of toothpaste. Just flowers at weddings to make sure the new pair didn’t overpower each other with an unpleasant odor.

We live in a moment when the speed of change leaves us dazzled, dazed, delighted, or distressed, depending. Thus, I can rationalize my words as fitting for the time you and I share.

I also write for other reasons. The first of these would be the help or enjoyment the posts give to some readers. The second is praise, though I’m pretty self-sustaining without it.

Another, and this is significant, the act of composing keeps my brain active and focused away from occasional dystopian reflections I can’t escape about the world’s current state. Furthermore, the task of assembling sentences gets my mind off the usual worries and personal concerns none of us can avoid without something else to do.

Many use drugs as a distraction to help with this. Lots of folks get comfort from prayer. In addition to writing, I employ meditation and study, conversation, human companionship, love, comedies, and helping those I can when I can.

An unexpected bonus has been the correspondence I’ve had with a handful of individuals. I took joy from meetings with four of them I didn’t already know. Homo sapiens fall in love online; why shouldn’t they fall into friendship, too?

Another reward was a surprise gift from a person I did know, who made a book for me out of my writings up to the moment she presented it. She is a dear heart, as I’m certain are many of those whose comments in response to my work reveal their humanity.

I now have two young grandchildren, boys. Like most of you who reproduced, the children’s health, not gender, was all I cared about. Yet, I’m glad I have the chance to watch these spirited souls grow up and to aid a bit in the process. Thus, I set down words for them, as well.

I am aware I repeat myself — duplicating points I made among the over 600 published titles you can find here in the Archives. Inevitable, I suppose.

I also change my mind or discover research findings not available when I started the compelling hobby. I’d argue the fellow who began 12 years ago has been altered by moving into a new version of body and brain as we all do as we age, aware or not.

Those changes of heart, soul, additional experience, and reflection will take you places you never imagined going. Therefore, my posts have also changed.

For those who continue to read me, I’m forever amazed and grateful to the people who’ve consumed about everything in these electrified white and black pseudo-pages. I’m pleased, too, new arrivals find their way here, despite my lack of presence on conventional social media.

So, my thanks to each of you for hanging out with me. I hope to be doing this for a while yet.

——

Another person I met online: Laura Hedien, Storm Cloud Photography. With her permission, the two works used above are Supercell in Nebraska, 2021, and Sunflare, sunset in N.D, 2021. As always, I’m grateful to have made the connection with her and appreciate her generosity.

23 thoughts on “Why I (Still) Write Blog Posts

  1. I hope you keep on writing this blog for a very long time! Your thoughtful observations, wisdom and the depth of feelings you put into much of what you write have kept me reading since you began. A heartfelt thank you to you for this post as well as all those since 2009.❤

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Dr. Stein, I hope you continue to write and publish your posts on this blog for many years to come, too! I enjoy reading your posts, even though some posts might stir up some painful feelings. I’m sure your readers and family enjoy your writings – I know that I do! 🙂

    You have a sweet spirit and disposition. You are very wise and articulate, too. Your reasons for writing sound like great reasons to cope with the world, as well as to share your insights with your followers/readers and those who visit your blog. You deserve a lot of praise for your thoughtful words – both within the blog and in the comments section.

    “Those changes of heart, soul, additional experience, and reflection will take you places you never imagined going. Therefore, my posts have also changed.” –I’m glad your posts are changing. It shows growth, or perhaps struggle before the growth – a journey we all seem to be on together, even though we each may have different paths. Sometimes our paths cross again, at least figuratively speaking, and sometimes they intersect somewhere before we splinter. I think we all grow at a different pace, which is to say that we all cope in different ways. I like your coping through writing, and I like to see the changes.

    Your last post with the expletive kind of took me by surprise. It made me laugh and feel some emotions I didn’t want to feel. I am still trying to figure out why. But the beauty in reading your blogs is that we get a glimpse into your journey – your thoughts, your changes, your growth. You help us to think, and sometimes you entertain. Sometimes your words are healing, and other times they are shocking – kind of like a wake-up call in the morning, but for the purposes of bettering the world through helping individuals consider alternative thoughts and therefore alternative actions. 🙂

    We are really grateful to you, Dr. Stein! 🙂 You are humble, yet confident. But humbly I say that I am grateful for your posts and your words and your heartfelt responses. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • PS: I’m not sure why it shows as paragraphs on my end, but when I hit “send,” it groups all my paragraphs into one big paragraph. I’m not sure how to fix that on WP. Sorry.

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      • drgeraldstein

        The paragraphs showed up perfectly at this end. Wish I had an answer for you, but I appreciate your use of paragraphs. Doing so makes all of us better writers.

        Liked by 1 person

    • drgeraldstein

      How wise you are and sensitive to my own journey. I think all of us need to be on such journies if we are to adapt to life in a changing world and changing personal being. The alternative is to not to see enough of the world to do our best for it, for the future, and for ourselves. Thank you, Dragonfly.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. And I appreciate your friendship and reflective blogs! It is outstanding. You will leave your words as I’ll leave my images as a mark for the future. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 4 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Ah, Laura. Your photos remain a balm. I too am grateful for our connection. I recall first shot of yours I saw — Michigan Avenue near Wacker emptied of humans during the height of the pandemic. Finding he beauty in places humans have abandoned, not to mention those we still enjoy, are only two of your gifts. Wishing you well. Your posterity is assured in my book. Perhaps someday we will meet face to face!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Many thanks for your always deep going thoughts! I very much like your following sentence:”Homo sapiens fall in love online; why shouldn’t they fall into friendship, too?”
    All the best.

    Liked by 4 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Glad you enjoyed it and much thanks for your faithful attention to my writing. Anyone who appreciates Rilke has a high standing in my book!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think I first stumbled over your blog maybe in 2015 when I was recovering from major surgery and my life was limited. As I recall, I went back and read everyone of the previous posts. I found them engaging and thoughtful. I had written a steady blog myself from about 2009 until 2013 when there was some technical snafu with Blogspot and it disappeared. I had too much going on elsewhere to deal with resurrecting the blog but. a year or two later I started another one on WP. I have very few visitors to that blog but I am fine with that. I write for me. I write to sort out what is dancing in my head. I write to remind myself of basic truths. I write to play with words. And, sure, I could just put it in a document and not post anywhere but every so often I get feedback from someone and that is nice. So? 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I continue to read all your posts and find them to still engage me and give me plenty about which to think. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Thank you, JT. I do remember your surgery and the fact we both had similar medical interventions. I didn’t know you were writing, but will check it out. Much appreciation for your recent comments. Hope your sister is well. And, of course, be well, yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m pleased to hear that you will continue to post on your blog. I discovered your blog while doing character traits research for my debut novel. Your insights and professional knowledge of the human condition have enriched my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. drgeraldstein

    Much appreciated, Rosaliene. And a worthy life it is, meaning yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Dr Gerald,

    I stumbled on your blog today as I searched for the validation to reach out for help. Having been in almost two decades of internal battling, I questioned the validity of psychotherapy, having been accused of being weak for wanting to explore that avenue. Your writings on whether it is a crutch helped to share some views on that front. I still have not embarked on taking on external professional help for fear of my personal situation. But I thank your writings to help with quieting some delusions I entertain about being crazy, indulgent and weak for considering it. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Estrella, there is a good deal of very strong research on the benefits of certain forms of psychotherapy for specific conditions. You might want to do a search on the phrase “empirically validated treatment of depression,” for example. Also check the American Psychological Association website.

      You are most welcome for whatever benefit you have found in my writing. I’m glad it has quieted at your concerns at least a bit. One other thing to remember. Most of us are at risk of comparing what is going on inside of us with the appearance offered by others who only show us the outside of themselves and don’t want us to know their own internal struggles. Everyone has issues. You are not exceptional in that sense. Be well and thanks for writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Dr. Stein…I stumbled upon you when I was Googling and Googling a certain topic (Transference) and I was out of my mind at the time. Your blogs and your responses helped settle me down and helped give me some peace, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I use to jump right on your blogs every Saturday night (OCD) because I was living in a constant loop. Now that I am receiving proper treatment I am not obsessively here on Saturday nights anymore and now meander here to see what you have posted. It is not neglect, it is progress. Thank you for helping us, you touch so many lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drgeraldstein

      Glad your obsessions have calmed down. Thanks for finding me in the first place and still reading in a less driven way. I’ve followed your progress as you have sometimes related it in your comments. I’m happy for you, Nancy. Your words of thanks are appreciated, too.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Whew – the last post like this announced a decrease in frequency, which I could live with reluctantly. I feared this one was good bye. I’m happy to see the pledge of more.

    I started reading halfway through this second career and worked my way back. I can’t quite put my finger on why the oft repeated themes sound different with your words… maybe the peek behind the curtain, maybe the unique turn of phrase….

    In any case, I have a few screen shots that are my quick reference guide back to some of my favorite originals or to the kind and encouraging responses that helped my darkened heart. I feel a debt of gratitude to the children and grandchildren that you write for. And perhaps that is why I am still drawn back here after 6 years or reading… there is love in these virtual pages.

    Thank you for sharing yourself.

    Like

    • Your thanks is much appreciated, Rebecca. One of the pleasures of writing this long-standing blog is the contact I’ve made with some of those who offer their gratitude in such a personal way as you have. Yes, I write for my kids and grandkids, but I also have you and others like you in mind. Thanks, again.

      Like

  11. I so enjoy reading your posts and am grateful that you continue to write and share. Thanks for everything! 🙂

    Like

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