Why I Love/Hate Blogging and Why You Should Too

Once upon a time I wrote a weekly email for all of my friends called “God Sightings.” This was long ago when AOL ruled the world and people ran to the store and back while their computers where “dialing up.” I’m not sure, but I think dinosaurs also went extinct during this period. By this period I mean while AOL was dialing up.

In “God Sightings” I usually told a story about seeing God in the everyday and mundane things of life. People really liked it. Or so they said.

Then someone suggested I write a blog. Being the faithful Lemming that I am I leaped into the blogging world.

Since that day I have had a love/hate relationship with blogging.

  • I love blogging because the written word is powerful

I have dreamed of being a writer ever since the day I read “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman for the first time as a child. From that day forward I drowned myself in books. The written word has rescued me from loneliness, depression, and ignorance. Words strung together to form pictures and ideas have sailed me into new worlds. From the Bible to “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” the written word has changed the world.

All this reading gave me an ache to tell stories that move others the way so many books have transported and transformed me.

I love blogging because it is to writers what a blank canvas and full palette of paints is to an artist. Blogging is my invitation to tell stories on screen.

  • I hate blogging because it saps the strength of the written word

There may be as many as 164 million blogs on the internet right now. Too much information. Thus we skim.

Skimming is sliding your eyes over a piece of writing looking for interesting or relevant ideas. By definition it means to not go deep. Most “how to blog” blogs claim this is how most readers interact with your blog. Therefore, they say, write short, easy to read blogs.

But skimming naturally promotes lower comprehension in the reader and a shallow development of ideas in the writer. I may have lost you already.

Blogging may be making both writer and reader shallow says Patricia Greenfield, from UCLA’s Children’s Digital Media Center.

I hate blogging because the thoughts and ideas that have transformed the human race cannot be communicated in word “tags” or how to articles.

  • I love blogging for its easy access to an audience

Every writer knows, finding an audience is difficult. My wife is a faithful and honest reader of my work. But writing loses its appeal when only your mom and friends read it. There are over 2 billion internet users. That’s one heck of a potential audience. And blogging is free.

When I wrote articles for magazines or the Vail Daily my potential audience numbered only in the thousands. Plus blogging bypasses editors and query letters and–worse yet–rejection letters.

Blogging allows us to connect in ways paper communication rarely dreams of.

  • I hate blogging because the audience is an enigma 

I don’t get blogging. When I write for magazines, I know each magazine has a set and defined audience. One does not write a hunting story for a parenting magazine.

What do lurkers in the blogosphere want? I have no idea. And neither do the billions of experts blogging about writing blogs. Blogging is like fly fishing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Will the fish even see my fly?

Write short how to blogs, they say. Yet Lesley Carter writes one of the most successful blogs out there. It is often long, personal, and more of a story than a list.

And comments and the “like button” are no help. Liking may not mean the person actually likes your blog. They may actually be just fishing for followers on their own blog. Why, for example, did another blogger like my blog about God, when said blogger claims to be an atheist on their blog?  I hope it’s because of the content of the blog not just fishing.

Blogging is a daily frustration because slapping Tim Tebow’s name in my title gets me more hits than working hard on well thought out and well written prose.

I hate that.

I love/hate blogging because every time I post, I am already writing my next blog and at the same time vowing to quit blogging and write something serious. Like you, I post my blog and check my stats over and over because I love the instant feedback and responsiveness to the written word blogging provides. I respond to those who have taken my words seriously.

At the same time I castigate myself for my Lemming-like behavior and my addictive slavishness. I long for the simple days of just writing. Of taking an idea and shaping it and letting it go. But maybe that’s all blogging is anyway.

How about you? How do you love/hate this blogging world?

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Categories: Art, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Why I Love/Hate Blogging and Why You Should Too

  1. Also I hate blogging because your mistakes zip out into the nether-world for all to see and enjoy. “Too” not ‘to.”

  2. Ugh. Where do I start?

    I love blogging because there’s a TON of free information out there. I hate it because I don’t have time to read and learn about everything I want to.

    I love blogging because, as more and more of my on-line and real-life friends do it, I have more avenues to gain insight into who they are and to interact with them. I hate blogging because I don’t read every one of their posts and I feel guilty and anxious about that.

    I’ve started a blog and quit posting there. Twice. The same one. I think I’d like to write a couple more blogs on widely divergent topics, but then think there’s no way I can do that and continue to remain gainfully employed and, besides, I’d have to discipline myself to do the research and the writing. So I continue to occasionally troll other people’s blogs and Facebook posts, taking the opportunity to pontificate on their nickle, as it were. How self-serving is that?

  3. I so feel your pain. I dread blogging. I love blogging. I love creating something out of nothing, but then the old insecurity rises and says its not good enough. I post it anyway, over analyzing the stats and wishing I would have said it better. Blogging is just another way for writers to torture themselves, and we can’t seem to help ourselves!

  4. Beth:

    Yes, creating something out of nothing. That is a huge part of its appeal. That last line is classic and true.

  5. First of all, I “liked” your post because I actually read it and liked it. 🙂 But you are right, many times we skim because there are soooo many blogs out there, and how much time do you invest reading them when maybe you only really connect with a few? I found yours from Lesley Carter’s site by the way.

    And I agree whole heartedly on the love/hate relationship. I started blogging in order to “just start writing”, because I have always wanted to write, but was afraid of not being good enough for publication. Blogging gives me the opportunity to write and practise and learn, in a fairly safe environment with quick feedback. However, I get discouraged because I don’t have the followers I would like and thus not the affirmation I would like either.

    Everytime I want to quit, though, God seems to throw me a bone of some sort that makes me keep going (like a new follower or a ‘like’ on my post, which I will cling to like a drowning sailor even if it is just a fisher).

    Meanwhile, I am going to follow your blog. I like your content and your writing style, and I feel we are kind of on the same plane in our faith journey. 🙂

    Sue

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