Monday, November 5, 2012

So why blog anyway?

For quite a while I resisted the idea of blogging. I would rarely read anyone else’s  blog. There are so many bloggers out there these days: whose blogs do you choose to follow? Friends, family? People with a common interest? So I would occasionally stumble upon a blog, by someone, somewhere, in the course of searching for other things. And occasionally it might be somewhat interesting, but rarely memorable. So why would anyone be interested in anything I have to say… about anything? In fact, no one may be interested. And I wonder if most bloggers are not just largely talking to themselves (with perhaps a handful of friends occasionally looking on). Still, perhaps it is a useful thinking/writing exercise.

Of course, the second problem when deciding to blog is: What to talk about? People around me think that I am reasonably knowledgeable about a variety of things. I don’t particularly feel it myself. I am rarely au fait with the latest news, music, movies or trends. And although I love reading, I am also rarely up to date with the latest sensation. There are so many great books from the past to catch up with, that I scarcely have time to read whatever happens to be the “next big thing”.

Ok, then. Perhaps I could give my opinions on issues (however, this does require me to be somewhat current). But I am fairly slow to form decisive opinions. And the older I become, the more I see grey, rather than black and white. I am suspicious of anyone who comes down too decisively on one side or the other. This does not necessarily inhibit decisive action. It just means that, the more grey there is, the more my decision to act is fraught with risk. The risk of making the wrong decision, of taking the wrong side. No outcome will be fully satisfactory; so I must learn to live with dissatisfaction, with the knowledge that every victory is also shadowed by defeat, that any good I accomplish in this world is shadowed by a modicum of evil (pain, suffering, loss).

If you choose to visit this site, what you are most likely to see are thoughts in process rather than definitive conclusions. What I say in one blog may be completely contradicted by what I say in the next. And perhaps, in the third, some kind of synthesis might appear. (Anyone out there familiar with the Hegelian dialectic?)  No guarantees, though. You may find rambling philosophical discourses… Or a single thought. You may find angry rantings if something has pissed me off. You may see flashes of poetry; and even, occasionally, something that looks like an insight.

Then again, in all probability, no one will read my blogs anyway.


  1. Hi Philip. I've been reading a lot lately on how to market an e-book and one of the BIG do's on that list is to write a blog. (This comes from a guy who's sold a million books on Amazon.) Hence, the plethora of blogs in which we find ourselves knee deep. The point being, or so I've read, that if people like your blog, they might want to read more of what you write and (fingers crossed), they'll buy your book. I guess we'll have to wait and see how that turns out. In the meantime, welcome to the world of blogging!

  2. Thanks for that comment, Colleen. I guess the only problem now is: How do I get people to read MY blog? (And thanks for taking the time to read it and comment.)

  3. Welcome to the grey zone, Philip. I see the ability to see things in shades of grey rather than black and white, as the getting of wisdom. Never being totally satisfied with the outcome would seem to me to be very human, and maybe the thing that is meant to push us forward to try again.

  4. Having blogged quite consistently for 6 or 7 years I must admit I think the medium is changing. But maybe it is me.
    I was quite consistent with until about 12 months ago.
    I realised quite come years ago that this required a commitment (rather than a discipline). So I tried to blog daily, and tried to blog meaningfully about a range of subjects.
    I noticed that a number of people who I followed would sometimes just give up doing it, or deliberatly decide not to. For some it seemed that there was an exposure crisis...and I have felt this myself from time to time (for example when the Bishop would communicate me to tell me I was not "right" ...I was not usually convinced. Then there was the famous time when Alexander Downer within minutes of my posting...because I suggested J Howard was a political opportunist...He told me that "My blog is yet another example of why so many Anglicans have lost faith in the church; superficial, partisan....and inappropriate" See here I couldn't resist the temptation to say that this was also why people had lost faith in the Liberal party!

    BUT I must say I have not blogged generally in a consistent way for some months. Some energy has evaporated. There is something about writing into the ether, unsure about feedback , that is hard to do. Keep meaning to get back to it...but it is difficult when you feel bored with yourself.
    My sermon blog, on the other hand, ( actually seems to have more readers than I have hearers on a Sunday.

    I also publish links to my new entries on both pages to my Facebook page.

    So all in all Doctor. Good luck with it. I have no idea whether it works or not