I have decided that I will use this blog in exactly the way God intended blogs to be used, as an online journal of thoughts. I’ve decided not to limit myself to a particular area. I feel more comfortable doing this now that my thoughts on writing have a new home.
Part of the impetus for this decision is the realisation that I don’t particularly want a big audience. Leaving aside the fact that the vast majority of blogs will never have a big readership, one of the ways to (try) getting one is to blog regularly and with consistently good quality on a topic which you are familiar with (or, even better, are an expert in). A good example might be Eugene Volokh, UCLA law lecturer, libertarian and blogger extraordinaire. I, however, am in the uncomfortable position of not being an expert in anything. I’ve just completed a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and hope to do graduate work in Mathematics but it will be a few years before I have any form of “expertise”.
So, the “export opinion” blog is closed to me. The other primary option (if you want to try and secure a large readership) is to post regular and well written pieces on topics you are interested in, or current events, &c. A good example here might be Joe Carter, a leading Christian blogger with, I would think, a moderately large readership. I’m not sure that Joe has much expertise in any of the areas he writes about (apologies to him if he does) but he is certainly very well read and he writes with erudition that makes me blush. However, the thing about this second option is that the posts must, they absolutely must, be regular. I think the idea is to keep the attention of your audience. If I come across a blog with an interesting post, unless it becomes clear that this guy is some sort of authority on an area (and thus worth listening to in the future) I’ll quickly give up on the blog in question unless new posts keep me coming back. I don’t think I’m alone in this regard. I’m not sure that I would post often enough to garner a big readership. I’m also not sure that I would post interesting enough stuff, but I guess that depends on the reader.
The third option, I think, is that you be a celebrity already. Despite what my mother tells me, I’m almost certain I don’t apply.
So, freed of the desire to influence millions, I feel a lot better posting whatever the hell I want to my blog. In the past, aside from half-baked thoughts on literature, things were dominated by some theology/metaphysics. I hope to be a bit more diverse this time around. I still don’t intend to let boring details of my personal life dominate, but now that I don’t care whether or not anybody is reading I also don’t intend to exclude them entirely. I think writing primarily for myself will allow me to post more frequently too. Unburdened by the pressure of sounding like I know what I’m talking about I can just post anything I feel like. Hopefully, with practice, my style will improve and my ability to express myself with it.
I do realise that this is the attitude that I should have taken in the first place, and perhaps the attitude that everybody should take, but one puts things on the Internet for a reason, namely in the hope that somebody else will find one’s thoughts interesting. I do hope somebody or other finds what I say here interesting but I have determined to write for my own catharsis (or whatever) and only secondarily for the benefit of others.