Love/Hate

28 05 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. Apart from a brief foray into the blogosphere during my student years, I’ve more or less remained a lurker; a leech – drawing from others and giving nothing back. There are a number of reasons why I hate the idea of blogging, and a few why I love it. Below are a couple of hints as to why I have hitherto resisted the urge to blog, and why I have finally succumbed.

Hate

  • There is a lot of junk in the blogosphere, from people who have a gift of expending many words on saying nothing. I tire of sifting through drivel to find something of worth. Truth be told, I quite enjoy spouting off about things here and there, or letting the world know every random thought that pops into my head (not every thought, you understand…) Hence I use Twitter. For me there is little more grating than trawling through unending pages of wasted pixels wasted telling the world what they already knew, and shedding precisely no new light on a subject. I don’t want to be that person…
  • I dislike the narcissism of the blog world – or rather, its potential. Blogging provides a great way for people to get their name known, stand on their soapboxes and massage their ego in public. I’m not claiming I will be any different – in fact, my propensity towards this form of pride is the very reason for my hesitation. I love the idea of people reading what I write. I like the sound of my own voice. And truth be told, I fear that I may succumb to very narcissism I despise. So the moment I catch myself gazing into the still waters at the reflection of my thoughts, I’m pulling the plug…
  • I dislike the gossip-inducing-down-putting-heat-magazine-Christian-equivalent that blogging so often becomes. Christians tend to think we’re above the Heat magazines of this world. We tut at the paparazzi-fuelled dross that revels in the cellulite of celebrities and cares little for the plight of famine-struck nations. It’s wrong. It’s demeaning. It’s exactly what much of our blogging amounts to:

“X disagrees with Y”. “Z has fallen into sin. Isn’t it dreadful? Let me just spell out the details clearly in case you missed it the first time round…”

Sure – I want to know news, and I am interested in theological debates between people I admire, but there must be a way of elevating them above cheap gossip? And why do I need to know the ins and outs of a leaders’ downfall in microscopic detail? Whatever happened to walking backwards to cover up your naked, wasted dad? (Gen 9:20-29)

  • I dislike the amount of time it all takes. Who has time to write, read, sift, comment, tweet etc and get their work (not to mention their family life, serving in church etc) done? Well – clearly a lot of people do! But I am slightly fearful I will end up doing none to full capacity… I know my weaknesses.

That said, there are a number of reasons I love the idea of blogging, and ultimately why I have decided to give it a go:

Love

  • I love that blogging gives a voice to the people on the ground. It’s great hearing fresh opinions from people who don’t have magazines to write for and books to sell. It feels more raw. More real, almost.
  • It is great to see people’s uncensored thoughts without having to read articles through the filters of editorial bias. You get a sense of what people genuinely think. As long as you keep a pile of salt on hand to take a pinch every now and then, and are diligent about checking sources before you disseminate the information, blogs can be a goldmine of material.
  • It’s free and instant. Some resources are well worth paying for. Some aren’t. I love that with blogs you don’t have to wait 3-5 days for shipping, only to find it wasn’t worth the £12 you’d wasted on it! I have thrown a lot of books at a lot of walls over the years. Not paying for resources should help to protect my paintwork.
  • Stephen King told me to blog. Well, not exactly… but he did say that an aspiring writer should spend 4-6 hours a day writing. 2,000 words a day, every day. That’s not going to happen… I can guarantee it. But point taken Mr King. Writing takes discipline and practice, and so if for no other reason, I will attempt to blog in order to develop as a writer.

So I Love/Hate the idea of blogging – but shall give it a go. I can’t promise to have much to say, or much of worth to say. But hey… Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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3 responses

28 05 2010
Graham Ormiston

Nicely put Liam, eloquent as always. You sort of make me want to write more on my blog, and yet you also make me want to tear mine down. At least I mentioned charity on mine, so that makes me super holy. Oh dear, what was that about ego?
Insatiably looking forward to reading more.

28 05 2010
James Haslam

Good on you Liam. Looking forward to dipping in. I’m tempted to start blogging, but don’t really feel as though I’ve got much to say just yet. I think I’ll let it simmer some more.

28 05 2010
matthew Hosier

Welcome! Good to have you aboard.

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