One thing we didn't blog about was the session after the final session on Thursday night where Tom Ascol moderated a very cozy discussion of what TheoBlogging is like -- Joe Thorn was there, as was Timmy "babyface" Brister. It lasted about an hour, I guess, and the most profitable thing to come from it, I thought, was the discussion on the down-side of blogging. Since everyone agreed with me on this one, I'm going to sum up my comments here, and then let the slavering critics do their worst as I go on vacation for a week and stay away from blogging as much as humanly possible.
The NUMBER ONE down-side of blogging is that YOU WILL BECOME A PUBLIC PERSON. By "public person", that means that you will be saying things in public and not in your living room when you blog some piece of writing. People who don't know you personally will read it, and then they will either think [a] now they know you and are your personal friend, or [b] now they have the opportunity to take a shot.
In one respect, both [a] and [b] are correct. So if you want to post something in which you are fictionalizing who you are, don't be surprised if people treat you like the person you have portrayed yourself to be; if you don't want anyone to criticize you, don't post at all. You're going to take some flack even if you post pictures of bunnies and puppies all the time.
Which leads to the NUMBER TWO down-side of blogging: YOU NEED A THICK SKIN. If you're sensitive about being wrong, or can't admit it when you are, or take everything personally rather than as an opportunity to grow, you prolly don't belong in a public forum.
The NUMBER THREE down-side of blogging is that YOU NEED TO BE SOMEONE WHO JUST WRITES ANYWAY. If you want to become a writer by blogging, well, that's like saying you want to become a pro ball player by joining the Cubs: if you haven't ever played before, you're prolly not gonna make the Cubs because they don't need someone who would like to play: they need someone who has been playing all his life and is a player. If you journal or write or compose now, and you want to go digital, blogging is a good go for that. If you want to figure out if anyone will read your writing because you really always wanted to write, try writing first before you inflict, um, I mean publish your writing on the world.
That also answers the question of where you get the time to write a blog: you get the time by blogging what you have already budgeted as writing time. Personally, I'm a compulsive writer. I'm always writing something -- have been since College. Now I write and it gets blogged rather than stuck in a box in my garage.
And the NUMBER FOUR down-side of blogging is content burn-out. You know: there are three or four guys writing on TeamPyro, and we can't hardly make a post every day of the week. When I was solo blogging, I averaged one post a day -- but that included throw-away posts which were links to other stuff. Eventually, you run out of things to say. You can't help it. You only have so many words, and sometimes you're just happy with life and there's no reason to say anything at all.
There's nothing wrong with that -- until your blog stops getting hits ... then you start to wonder what you're going to do to top the great Santa Controversy of 2005 or whatever. And there's the problem of being glorifying to God, which means you can blog ads for casinos or whatever.
Joe and Phil expressed a lot of content burn-out last night. Then, after the session, I reminded Phil about GUTS church, and he realized that he was only out of old stuff. There are plenty of new reasons to blog every day.
Which is, of course, why you come here every day.
Hope that helps. be with God's people in God's house on God's day this weekend, and try not to get distracted by what's going to happen in the blogosphere while you're there. The blogosphere will pass away like a blade of grass, but you're going to have to spend eternity with those people there (if you're blessed and highly favored, that is). Try to think about them a little more.