To Blog Or Not to Blog

I like to write from time to time. The way things normally go is I’ll have a slow drip of thoughts about something for weeks at a time, then gradually I’ll put it all together and write a personal essay about it– my own substandard tribute to the great Victorian essayists like Matthew Arnold and Cardinal Newman. Five or six people read it and that’s ok. I write for myself mainly and there’s some long lead time for my brain to cook it up and then for me to sit down and execute it. Normally if any of those five or six people actually get something out of it, I think of it as bonus points.

But then I wonder: is that really worth the time? People who want to read about the stuff I think can dig up far sharper and more well-informed stuff on those subjects than what I put out. Maybe I could plan my writing a little better, do some more research, and get it up to the level of that other stuff, but to what purpose? I’m not a professional and I have a hard enough time putting the hours together to write about it in the first place. There are so many things I love to do, and that’s before we talk about the time I like to spend with my beautiful wife and little kid.

My wife suggests shorter, simpler blogs about my life. There are training, cooking, teaching, and adventure blogs out there that are basically online diaries for public view. It wasn’t clear to me until recently how many people enjoy blogs about training that include a little big-picture planning and consistent execution alongside an interesting life. That makes me think: “Shit, I’ve been training my ass off for years and I think I lead a pretty badass life. I’m thinking of training for a really tough endurance event over the next year alongside my teaching and BBQ plans. Should I write about that?”

But then I think: isn’t that banal? Training to me is automatic. I can’t imagine wanting to read about someone else’s training all the time. Why would anyone want to read about mine? Or my cooking? Or teaching? Or adventure? These are choices anyone can make with their time in this country. Isn’t writing a public journal sort of presuming you’re special? I went on an incredible hiking trip in the Tetons and Yellowstone: so have thousands of people before me. Literally everything I’ve done has been done millions of times over and written about, with great skill, thousands of times over. Maybe than rather than write about it, I should just continue doing it, because ultimately, who really cares?

Who even SHOULD care?

Maybe it’s just my post-modern education talking.

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4 thoughts on “To Blog Or Not to Blog

  1. The mere mental exercise of synthesizing your thoughts and placing them in writing is reason enough to continue to write. The most well-spoken people I know are good writers.

    Additionally, whether you are aiming to reach a wide audience or just to throw your thoughts on a screen, you never know the dialogue your point of view can spark, or the people who will be encouraged by the small glimpse into your life.

    Also… you’re good at it….

    So keep writing.

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