There’s a southern expression out there that goes something like this: “Happier than a dead pig in sunshine.”
When pigs pass away in the pasture, the heat causes their lips to separate from their teeth, making it look like they’re smiling. The saying is used to denote someone who acts happy (or is so oblivious they actually ARE happy) even when things aren’t going so well for them.
When it comes to blogging this phrase applies to me. I smile through it even though there are a few things I don’t like about blogging.
I don’t like not being able to say everything I think on a subject. Unless I’m going to write books instead of blog posts this is going to be my constant reality. It bugs me.
I much prefer conversations. You have time and space to cover multiple thoughts on a subject. You can cover all the angles.
Since my favorite topics are all theological, there are a lot of different views, sides and arguments to discuss. But in a blog post I can’t cover each one. I could do a series on a topic, true. Maybe I’ll try that. But even then, at my writing level, I won’t be able to cover the breadth I want to.
This leaves me worried about what people think. It makes me think that you don’t think I think about things that need thinking of.
I don’t like the everlastingness of the internet. My ideas change. My thoughts progress. My conclusions evolve. What I might write tomorrow, I might not stand by a year from now. But once it’s out there, it’s pretty much out there forever.
Even if I take it down it can probably still be accessed. Or maybe at some point there was a screen shot taken that could resurface. Not that I think anyone is that interested in my content.
There seems to me to be an arrogance that comes with blogging that doesn’t come with other forms of publishing. It’s not like an article. Typically, you aren’t hired to blog, you don’t do extensive research, and you don’t have the expertise to come up with something truly worthy to present to your peers (or else you would have been hired to write something after doing extensive research).
In other words, you quickly write down your opinions on something and tell everyone what they should do and then share it with the world on a permanent platform. Like I said, it seems to take some level of arrogance to blog.
I think some of that arrogance can be appropriate. But I’ve taken it too far before. And I see it taken too far all the time.
In church world, we have people who have never been pastors blogging to pastors about how they should pastor. We have youth pastors with small ministries blogging about how to run big ministries, and vise versa (I plead guilty on that one). There are Bible college kids who have never had to pay rent blogging about pastors who make too much. And, my favorite, couples who are in their second year of marriage talking about how to make it last. (Tip: Make it last first, then tell us how you did it).
All of this takes an inappropriate level of arrogance.
Yet, like the pig smiles even though he’s now pre-bacon, I blog even though there are things about blogging that I hate. Many of you know I’ve had two or three blogs in the last 4-5 years. Sometimes I blog every day, sometimes every other month. Because there’s something about writing stuff down that helps you focus on what you really think. Writing helps you get past all the noise in your mind.
And once you really think about something, you remember it. I can clearly recall facts in the midst of muddy figures. I can remember a lot of small answers to big questions. All because, at some point, I blogged about the subject.
I hope I find the time and motivation to keep blogging and thus keep learning.
And also to keep smiling.