I’m starting a blog, and if you know me at all, you know that this is a really big deal.
I have a very well-formulated tirade against the culture of blogging – the false community it “cultivates,” the “look-at-me” attitude it encourages, and especially the fact that not everyone’s thoughts and opinions really are worth publishing to the whole world. I’m all for the flourishing of ideas, but I’m also a prideful academic at heart, and I can’t stand the fact that unqualified people have the opportunity to throw their opinions out into the world, misspellings and all. Thoughts should be published in books, and they should be vetted by publishers and other successful thinkers before they are ever sent out into the world.
But really, how many blogs are out there? Like a gazillion? Who has time to read all of them, let alone care what so many people think? Why don’t we just sit in our coffee houses and care about what our neighbor thinks? And what about journalism – I mean real, researched, thoughtful, and local journalism? Is there really a need for every young twenty-something to publish their mediocre thoughts?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think that some blogs are very potent, relevant, and definitely worth reading. I think that the power of the internet can be used very well, and many, many people use it well even in the blogosphere. It’s just that so many don’t. And I have a tendency to allow my pride and sinful nature to hinder any ability to see beyond the mess and silliness of blogging.
So, here I am, writing a silly blog about how much I hate blogs. Why did I give in? Well, for one I realized that I had become a snob and needed to just get over it. I also realized that I was hiding behind my “very well-formulated tirade” so that no one would have the opportunity to reject my own writing, my own thoughts. Because the truth is, I love to write. I have so many half-written stories, anecdotes, and arguments floating around in my computer and in the stack of notebooks under my bed. Only my undergraduate professors and my mother really know how much I love to write, because they are the only ones I have really allowed into that part of my heart.
I can’t say that I feel totally confident about this new direction. I’m a little appalled at myself for doing this. I’m also terrified that what I have to say really won’t matter, that I am just joining the droves of mediocre twenty-somethings in the blogosphere. But often in life we are asked to do things we don’t completely like, and even more often we are asked to step out against our fears. Probably 98.572% of the time good comes from it…
Today I’m leaning into this present oxymoron I face: the conviction that blogging is lame, distorted, and simply silly, and the conviction that I need to start a blog.
I can’t promise you that my blog will be “different” or “powerful” or even entirely “relevant.”
All I know is that I love to write. And the stacks of notebooks under my bed are getting too tall.