Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Art of Not Posting

Those of you who have been following my blog may have noticed that I don't post too often. In fact, following my blog is probably about comparable to following an empty bucket of cheese. It really isn't going anywhere on its own, so following it is kind of silly. Thus I expect that, when I address my followers, I'm not really addressing anyone at all. But the fact that I doubt that you're reading this is not what I want to write about.

The purpose of this post is to explain, for the supposed none of you who have been wondering, why I haven't been posting anything. Contrary to popular belief, it's not because I've forgotten about my blog's existence. I actually think about it semi-frequently. It's also not because I hate writing. My hatred of writing has little to nothing to do with how frequently I do it. No... the real reason my blog remains stalwartly void is because I can never think of anything that I think appropriate to write about. That is not to say I have nothing to write about. I actually think of things I could post all the time. But those things are inevitably rejected for any number of reasons. Here are some of the more common ones.

The Idea is Too Negative
I'll often think to write about how and why I don't like something. For example, I hear a Casting Crowns song on the radio and I think about posting about how much the band annoys me. I've even gone so far as to compile a sort of rough draft in my head with a list of every reason for my dislike. Each reason would be elaborated with profound elegance such that none who read them could possibly come away with an opposing view. Or at least that's the way I imagine the post in my head. But, in the end, I always worry that posting about everything I don't like will render my blog annoyingly negative and judgmental. You, imaginary reader, might ask why I don't make sure to also post about things I like to balance the negativity. The reason is because I'm actually fairly resistant to disliking most things. If I do find myself thinking about how I don't like something, I'll almost always feel the need to justify that dislike. I'll think about why I don't like it and come up with a list of reasons. Sometimes I look at that list and realize that none of them are good reasons. At that point I can't really justify not liking the thing and it gets moved to the "I don't really care about it" category. That probably sounds really weird. My point is that I usually think about why I don't like things. The same is not true for things that I do like. When I find something I like, I'm usually content just to enjoy it without over-analyzing my feelings for it. For example, a post about why I love rock climbing would probably go something like this...
Rock climbing is pretty awesome. I've always liked to climb things, so it's natural that I would love climbing rocks. It's a good workout and, if I can find friends to come along, can be a good social activity. I wish I was climbing right now, because that would be fun. Yay for climbing!
As unbelievable as it may be, my blog would be even more pointless and boring if it were filled with posts like that. They certainly wouldn't be able to balance the carefully constructed arguments for why everyone should dislike anything that annoys me. So I've chosen to keep a balance by omitting both sides.

The Idea is Too Divisive
There have been times when I've thought about writing about my opinion on those topics which are constantly causing heated 120-post/hour debates that stem from a single Facebook status post. Now, I really don't think there's anything wrong with discussing the controversial. However, in the end, I just don't like doing it. I've been known to add one or two posts to those status message conflicts from time to time, but that's pretty much all I ever care to do. Even if I could write an entire book on the subject, I'm pretty much always content to concisely make my point as best I can and move on. The real problem is that it's extremely rare to find anyone in those discussions who is actually willing to listen to the other side. People tend to use those arguments to proclaim their opinion (usually as obvious fact) without any intention to actually engage in meaningful discourse. So, even if I do manage to get drawn into one of these debates, I'm always quickly frustrated by the realization that my carefully constructed arguments are mostly being skimmed over. From there, I quickly lose interest in the conversation. So, while I might think to write about such topics, I never think for long before realizing that I'm just not interested in writing about them. Anyway... I don't want to write too much about how I dislike hot-topic arguments and risk tainting the entire blog with negativity, so that's all I say.

The Idea is Too Inane
Far too many blogs fall into the trap of becoming detailed postings of "What I Did Today." That's boring. Even if something happened to me one day that I thought was really interesting, that certainly doesn't mean it's interesting to anyone else. There have been times when I've thought about writing about my experiences at work. But it only takes a moment of reflection to realize that I'm really the only person who cares what I had to go through to replace that thermocouple in the tediously designed fireplace. At least no one cares enough to read a detailed account. At best, there might be a small handful of people who would find something interesting. My coworkers might appreciate a work story. My friends who climb might be interested if I talked about a particular route I was working on. But this blog, despite not having an audience, is targeted toward a much larger group. So I really can't bring myself to write about things that I know will only hold the interest of a select few, if any. That pretty much rules out the entirety of my day-to-day experience.

Despite the difficulty I have in finding topics to write about, I've not given up entirely. I do still plan on posting things once I'm able to think of them. Maybe someday I'll even get the hang of thinking of things and I'll post regularly. For now, I can only hope that it's not another four months before I next get around to producing a post for you to not read. Until next time, à bientôt!

1 comment:

  1. Dave is a really good person to have online debates with. He actually reads people's comments and then researches what they say to make sure he fully understands it. Then he researches proof that the person is wrong and posts it to the thread. (ha) He has even been swayed by well-worded arguments before.

    I find negative reviews of things interesting. I also tediously think of reasons that I don't like the things I dislike, so I find other people's reasons relate-able and enlightening. What do you think of the newest Foo Fighters songs? (If you've even heard them. If you have listened to DC101 for more than 5 minutes in the last few months, then you've heard at least one of them.)