Reading through the frequently myopic comments on Chas Clifton‘s guest post over at The Wild Hunt set me to thinking about how I write here, and what I write about. Much was made of the brevity of Chas’ post, the general impression being that at least a couple of the commenters felt they weren’t getting value for money (which is fairly amusing, considering that they didn’t pay anything to read it). A brief discussion then ensued on the relative merits of the short-n-sweet vs the more epistolary style (with which Cat Chapin-Bishop identified herself). Personally, I get a lot from both of them.
I guess I fall into the middle somewhere, most of the time. Unless I’m just passing on a link or a commonplace book entry, I generally like to try to illuminate one aspect of a subject at a time, whatever I happen to have been thinking of recently; the few exceptions have all been broken down into series of shorter posts rather than one massive paper. *
This pattern also reflects the way I think – I tend to consider a subject for a time until I feel I have a handle on some aspect of it (or something else comes along to pre-empt it), then let it simmer in the back of my mind while I move on to other things; later a new insight will emerge, and I will have another piece to add to the puzzle.
As to what I write about – whatever comes to mind, really. Sometimes it’s serious and (I hope!) thought-provoking; sometimes I’m just feeling goofy, or pressed for time but wanting to give you something to keep you coming back. What I don’t seem able to provoke, at least not as regularly as I’d like, is commentary. As I said a little while back, THANK YOU to all you folks who do comment, particularly the regulars… but to quote one of the commenters on Chas’ guest post, I would “do a Snoopydance” if I could build the kind of sustained conversations that go on at TWH or QuakerPagan… :) One of the main reasons I blog is to test out my thinking in an open forum, to sharpen it against the whetstone of other people’s thoughts.
So, in an effort to figure out what I might do to boost the conversation, I’m doing two things. First, I’m going through the comment history to see what posts generated the most conversation, and if there are any common threads (a laborious process, as the free hosted version of wordpress.com doesn’t offer the analytical tools that they apparently sell to people who buy the self-hosted version).
Second, as Ruthann Friedman said, I’m Askin’. What would you like to read about here? What gets your spiritual and intellectual juices flowing? And (just as importantly) what pushes your “If he writes about that one. more. time…” button? Inquiring minds want to know!
* As Chas pointed out in his response to the thread, it’s just harder to read long blocks of text on the screen than on paper, particularly in the columnar format most blog software imposes. There have been times when I have been confronted with blog posts so long that I have had to print them out (double-sided in draft mode, but still a terrible waste of paper and ink) in order to be able to comprehend the whole thing. Maybe that’s just my age (43 – computers didn’t enter my life until high school), but I don’t think so.