Since the early days of trying to blog, my blog has undergone several revamps and numerous periods of dormancy. I’ve found that my schedule does not allow for regular, substantive contributions to build and maintain neither a brand nor readership. Nor do I want to be that kind of blogger – it doesn’t fit my personality nor writing rhythms.
Yet, I see the value of having a blog – it is a great outlet for creativity and sharing thoughts. I believe in the public exchange of ideas, and blogs are a useful way to accomplish this end. As such, my blog has morphed in terms of purpose. At first, it was an attempt to engage the culture theologically and philosophically. Yet, these sites are a dime a dozen, often repeating the same arguments and evaluations. My blog then morphed into a means to present my academic output – to be “out there” in order to be seen (not a good motivation to write a blog, by the way). However, time and responsibilities prevented the level of quality I want for such writing.
When that purpose died, my blog morphed into a site where I sought to make philosophy accessible to non-philosophers. Just as with the previous two iterations, this one died a slow death from neglect due to a lack of time and attention. It required the development of new material often and a level of planning that – quite frankly – I don’t want to do.
A common thread that’s connected all three iterations is this: I am a slow writer and thinker. I am not a writer that can pound out an essay in response to a current event. Nor do I have the makeup of one who quickly assesses an issue (regardless of its complexity) and produces a substantive, provocative response. Rather, I have several realities with which I’ve finally come to grips:
- I have several jobs, a family, and other responsibilities. I just don’t have the time to be a regular blogger – something has to be sacrificed in order to blog consistently and thoughtfully. (In fact, I often wonder how others blog so regularly despite a schedule that’s just as busy – or busier – than mine.)
- Coupled with #1 is that I need to let thoughts and ideas marinate. I don’t always see issues neatly packaged into categories and answers. Rather, I often see a lot of grey, complexities, and nuances. I have to think through them, and to do so while remaining faithful to God’s word. So, there will be weeks or months between posts – that’s how I process and write.
- Finally, there’s a pressure in academics to be “noticed”, to get your voice “out there” and be “relevant.” In short, you need to build your brand. However, writing to build your brand constricts you within the confines of the brand you’ve chosen. If you want to remain consistent with the image you’ve built, you end up: rehashing the same questions/issues; ignoring questions/issues that may tarnish or wreck your image and reduce readership; or creating a “guru” image that you have all the answers to everyone’s questions about x when in fact, no one person can speak authoritatively to every issue. I don’t want to build a brand – it’s unnatural and, to be honest, unnerving.
I realize I may sound a bit cynical about blogging – perhaps I’m projecting my experience upon every other blogger. Whether that’s the case or not, I’ll let you be the judge. My point is this: my site will be less thematic and more an outlet for my ruminations. I’m not seeking to engage the culture, nor be the thorn in another’s side, nor be the go-to resource about _________ (fill in the blank). Yet, though this site lacks a theme, it will be centered upon what I’ve been mulling over and engaging in my work.
You may wonder why even write a blog if there’s no theme or purpose? What’s one more blog of someone’s thoughts when there are millions more out there like it? Honestly, that’s a question I often ask myself. In an age where individuals are encouraged to make their voice heard, we live in a cacophonous age – one in which there are too many voices clamoring to be heard, followed, and liked; too many voices claiming to have the answers, perspectives, and solutions to the innumerable issues and questions we face today.
So, for me to write a blog is to join in that cacophony, a voice lost in a howling wind. I realize this, and I have no answer for it. It is one of the primary reasons I’ve given up on blogging so many times. And yet, I still hold on to this site for whatever reason. There’s still a glimmer of hope in me that somehow, someway sharing my thoughts will be a contribution of some sort.
At the very least (but most importantly), I hope this site is a window into what I think and believe – a way of leaving my children a fuller picture of who I am. Right now my intellectual pursuits seem boring and nerdy to them (and I completely understand!). Hopefully one day, what I write may be of help and of interest.
And so I continue, this time, as a blog containing essays of what I’m thinking about, studying, or reading. Posts will happen when they do, and they will be “out there,” ready to be read by whomever chooses to stop by.
About the Author
Husband, father, academic, musician