Blog, blogs, blogging, blogger, bbblllllllloooooooggggg. Haha sorry that cracks me up. What a terrible word! “Blog” is the noise you’ll hear coming from ponds in the spring when the Bullfrogs are breeding, but somehow it’s come to replace the word “essay”. It’s the 1 year anniversary of my first blog post, “I Can Win All Things”, so I wanted to take some time to reflect on blogging in general and my philosophy of blogs in particular.
We don’t have essayists anymore, we have bloggers; “blogger” is a much less dignified term than essayist, but maybe that’s justified, though. A blogger is much more likely to be a “yahoo” than someone known for writing essays. Which one sounds right: “Some yahoo wrote a blog and now I have to issue a formal apology” Or “Some yahoo wrote an essay and now I have to issue a formal apology”.
Do people still write essays? Yeah, probably, but they’ve definitely been supplanted by even more pretentious people than themselves, us! Of course I say- or rather, I write- or more accurately, I blog- these things in jest. A blog is only as good as it’s blogger or bloggers. Are there some wack-a-doo, stream of consciousness blogs out there, you better believe it, but don’t unfollow the baby with the bath water. There’s some hidden talent out there in the blogosphere.
Blogs are pretty sweet, they’re a platform for all sorts of stuff: good and evil, the talented and the not so talented, poetry and informative articles, real news and most definitely fake news.
But before we go any further let’s take some time to define our terms real quick. “What’s the deal with the title? Meta-bloggnition? Probably some sort of pun, huh?” Haha, yes. Just a little play on the word metacognition which means thinking about thinking.
What does dictionary.com say about blogs?
Ok, so we got that, but how does that definition relate to an essay? What’s an essay?
No, I said essay*, geeez!
Ok, there! That’s an essay. I like that definition a lot, that’s the kind of style I like to write in. If I had to describe my blog, I’d say it’s a collection of semi-formal essays. I realize I’m going back and forth between the two terms and obfuscating their meanings, that’s because I’m still unclear on the exact difference. Perhaps one is formal and the other is informal but I mean that’s not that big of a difference. Anyways, I try to write about profound things in an informal and compelling style and in a way that can teach my reader something new. You can be the judge of whether I’m accomplishing that or not, but that’s my goal.
I would love to be known as an essayist, but for the time being I’m consigned to blog my days away in obscurity amongst the other riff raff and common criminals (If you’re a fellow blogger, I’m totally not talking about you). I can’t complain too much though because I have the best readers you could ask for! This first year of blogging has been nothing but affirming and encouraging and most of that is because of the kind and generous people who read my writing and give me feed back, so shout out to you guys!
I have to take a moment to address grammar. Yes, I know that I have particularly poor grammar skills, but thankfully I have a lot of friends and readers that do not hesitate to rebuke me on the reg. I love it though, I think I’ve grown a lot. My punctuation, spelling, and paragraph length are much more in line with, well the English language. The further you go back into my blog archives the worse it’ll get so proceed at your own risk.
Ok, lock it up, Park. Back to a few more thoughts on essays and blogs. I first started thinking seriously about essays and essayists when I started reading In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton. In the forward, Aidan Mackey says,
The essay is, for the moment, perhaps the most neglected literary form. I say “for the moment” because unless the moral and literary decadence of our day proves to be irreversible, the essay will eventually spring back into vigorous new life. The best essays have given us such a richness of erudition, elegance, wit, information, and sheer high bubbling fun that we must know beyond doubt that the essay will not perish.
Reading this quote got my wheels spinning real fast, this and the copious amounts of coffee I drink daily. My interest in becoming an essayist began soon after reading some of Chesterton’s essays and C.S. Lewis’ shorter works and essays. I wasn’t in school anymore so I didn’t know what medium to use to get my essays out into the world. I had no outlet and I didn’t know much about blogging except that those guys were a bunch of “yahoos”. Then I started to think more about what a blog really is and I was intrigued by the freedom of the informal. And a year ago I sat down to write my first post, now here I am today, a billionaire!
To sum it all up, I don’t think essays have perished, they’ve just moved from journals and papers to wordpress, blogspot, and all the other trendy places. Yeah they’ve probably lost a lot of their erudition and fancy-pants je ne sais quoi, but there are still some of us out here working on our craft, trying to perfect the art of the essay in the desperate caverns of mediocrity that is “thee online.”
Blog-ppendix: Trinitarian Thoughts on Blogging
Those who are familiar with my posts will know that I’m a Jesus-loving, Bible thumping, proselytizer, so I’d be terribly remiss not to try and shove God down your throat at this juncture. My highest goal in life is to honor God in all that I do, and that includes blogging. So as I engage in meta-bloggnition I can’t help but see blogs as an analogy for the God, The Trinity.
In The Bible, we see God the Father giving divine content, speaking things into existence and establishing His eternal plan. Christ Jesus is described as the Word, or Logos. And the Holy Spirit is described as the breath or wind, the medium for the grammar to convey the content.
Check out what Theologian Vern Poythress has to say,
How do form and meaning relate to each other? A speaker communicates ideas, that is, content. So it is natural to associate the particular meanings or a particular discourse with the speaker. The meanings are expressed in discourse which has grammar. And they are carried through a medium such as breath and sound. The threefold distinction between content, grammar, and medium has its origin in God. God as Father gives content; the Son as the Word give the “grammar” of divine speech; and the Spirit as breath provides the medium for delivery of the speech. (Logic: A God-Centered Approach to the Foundation of Western Thought, Vern Sheridan Poythress)
So as I think about this blog right now, I am sending you my content, the message that I want you to understand. I’m using words. And I’m using the medium of a digital blog to share my thoughts with you. This process is analogous to The Trinitarian God who created the universe and is sovereign over all blogs and bloggers, He who will hold us all accountable for each and every word we type. WOW! That’s sick.
So, that’s just some of my thoughts on blogging. Hope you liked ’em.