Yesterday, surveying my folder of half-written blog posts, I counted eleven. Eleven posts I started but never finished; eleven incomplete thoughts marked by more than one set of ellipses, meandering musings, and a few poetic, pithy and remarkably pathetic one liners, with one or two angry rants mixed in, and many of a time-sensitive nature so no longer relevant.
Here’s a short list of reasons why I don’t blog regularly:
A. I don’t think I have anything particularly insightful or inspirational to say, and if I do, it’s already been said by (many) others in a more insightful and inspirational way, which is to say that I constantly compare my thoughts and ideas and writing chops to other, more thoughtful and more gifted writers (Fr. Z., Dominicana, First Things, Whispers, et al…not to mention C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, Tolkien, Faulkner, Morrison, Dante, and Paul of Tarsus).
2. Not only do I question my gift for writing, I worry about how small my world seems; do I have enough “life material” to keep an audience interested? Don’t get me wrong: I love the life I have with my little family on our little farm; I love our quaint blue farmhouse, sitting at the top of a little hill and set back a piece from a bumpy, puddle-riddled dirt road. I love the little house, filled with an ancient and mostly inefficient wood-burning stove, and stairs that are too steep and creaky wood floors, and the warmth and creative design genius of my wife and the laughter and screeching of my daughter. I love our out-buildings: the goat barn and the horse barn and the wood shop and the pig pen and the chicken coop attached to our detached garage. I love the pasture and the creek that runs along the eastern edge of the property, and Gram’s house just a stone’s throw up “E.Laine.” But, how long will my readers remain interested in the philosophical and theological ramblings of a guy who spends just as much time considering goat-milking techniques and breeding schedules, egg-collecting times, the content of the live traps, and cost per bale of hay in April versus November?
D. And though it’s certainly true that I leave the farm every morning for my job in the real world, and I could tack a couple of academically-related letters onto the end of my signature; though it’s true that I read a lot about things and think a lot about things and try to pray a lot, I constantly question my perspective on reality, my take on things, and wonder if my color commentary on stuff is not only biased, but would be just one more voice adding to the white noise, crying out for attention to a world that isn’t particularly interested in listening.
IV. I suppose, however, that maybe I’ll adopt my buddy Dan’s take on this whole blogging thing, and instead of approaching it from the perspective of potential marketability or judging it according to the new standard of Facebook likes and re-tweets (does “re-tweet” even have a hyphen?), I’ll simply use this carved out space on the internet as a place to practice my writing, collect my thoughts, and fill a little pixelated journal with the narrative of my faith, my family, and life on the farm. At the very least, I can force my children to (pretend) to read it, and guilt a few of my friends, too.
5. But the biggest reason why I don’t blog much is the fact that…oh, wait..gotta’ go…baby’s stirring.