The Discipline of Blogging

I've always been ambivalent about blogging--I wrote something to that effect at Talking Philosophy way back when (here). Last summer I met Mark Vernon (at a fashionable bookstore in London...those were the good old days) who had a different take on blogging. I asked him how he managed to write something at his blog every day. He said he saw it as a "discipline" (a word with Buddhist overtones). I've been giving the discipline a go--writing daily for the last week. There are several aspects to blogging discipline--thinking of something to write about, keeping it short, and (drum roll) stopping when you're done. As in--closing the browser. That's the biggest challenge. Surfing the web is wondrously distracting--both the friend and the enemy of all with Things To Do.


Faust said...

I've thought about starting a blog, but for now I've been content to be a lurking commmenter. I think the positive/negative aspects of the blogging are going to be in direct proportion to the kinds of things blogged about, and the quality of discussion that ensues. I've found that for example getting into political arguments on political blogs are (usually) a waste of time, mostly because there isn't really discussion on those blogs...merely a kind of trading back and forth of invective and pre-made political scripts. There are some exceptions now and then. Philosophical blogs tend to be much more civil places on average (from what I've seen so far), and there seems to be more interest in real dialogue.

There are some political blogs that are pretty worthwhile to visit of course...I just tend to avoid commenting on them. It's like pissing into the ocean.

Jean Kazez said...

In the heat of an election, I will contribute to The Daily Kos, but it's a miracle if anyone pays attention to you on a huge blog like that.

Faust said...

My favorite politcal blogs:

Glen Greenwald @ Salon
Daily Howler
BTD on Talk Left
Digby (with some reservations).

s. wallerstein said...

I waste countless hours getting involved in online arguments that don't interest me in the least, because other people are arguing about them in one or another blog, which means I end up with less and less time to read what interests me, what has to do with me, with my psychic demons or gods, so in that sense the discipline of blogging has a value, the value of concentrating one on what is one's own. Participating is too many blogs is like Heidegger's inauthentic chatter.

Jean Kazez said...

"Participating is too many blogs is like Heidegger's inauthentic chatter."


The interaction is enjoyable, but it's good to withdraw into your own little cave and think about what you want to. That's where the discipline comes in. You get in to the blogosphere, and they you've got to get back out. That's sometimes a problem...(I confess).