the blog backlash

I’ve noticed recently a lot of conversations bagging blogging. Admittedly there’s a lot of it going on, and not all of it is good or positive or even intelligible.

Most criticism is a kind of intellectual snobbery, where if it’s not Shakespeare that’s being created, then it’s of no value. But occasionally people whose opinion I respect say it’s all rubbish. But there’s something inside me that says it’s not. What is it?

I always said that I like blogging for myself, as a kind of journalling activity, and not so that others would read it, and I still think that’s true. I often get a shock when people say “Oh, I read that thing about (insert topic here)” because I keep forgetting that others can, let alone do, read it. But I’ve been wondering what it is that attracts me to blogging rather than traditional (pen and paper in the bedside table) journalling, and in doing so, maybe pinpoint a bit of why other people are taking it up like it’s going out of style.

And so I realised this: it’s a deeply creative act. It’s visually creative, because you can make it look interesting, using pictures or designs or whatever. It’s literarily (is that a word?) creative because you are putting together words that have probably never been put together in that order or sequence before, in a way that has new meaning. And it’s intellectually creative, because it’s about working through and expressing your ideas or bouncing off others.

The fact that they are creative is important for me, because the God I believe in is a creative God. Creativity (not just in the sense of novelty or newness, but creation itself) is an integral part of the expression of God. In creating, I believe we participate in the life of God.

I came to this realisation because the most fun part of blogging for me is clicking that button that says “view blog in new window”, where I actually get to see the finished product and go “wow, cool” (or occasionally “uh oh, better edit it”). There’s something complete and finished about a blog post, a sense of satisfaction at the creation of a something that did not exist before and would never have if I hadn’t made it happen. It’s a completed project. It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering project, just one that means something to me. That’s enough.

If blogs are all about obtaining information for you, then I get why you don’t like them, or think they seem self-absorbed. But they do have value, independant of that, because people’s self expression has value. So I have no hesitation in defending the blog to all of you wannabe highbrow culture critics. Take your superior air elsewhere. 😀

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