Monday, 21 March 2011

A Lent Thought About Blogging

Some say that blogging is a pre-requisite for Twenty-First Century priesthood. Some say that blogging is about 'community' where we find a lovely circle of friends. Some say that to blog means drawing pictures of  other bloggers, quite a lot. 

I pondered this as I prepared lunch yesterday (a roast chicken with a garlic and vermouth gravy, orange sauteed chard, taytoes > 'ark at 'im) and after a couple of events that were oddly evocative of blogging that had happened in the days before. There is indeed something that is just like blogging.

This follows on from my last post, itself born of a chat I had had with someone who wanted to take this up, and the way it feels to write a first post. Those of you who write blogs will, I think, recognise this feeling. The thing is this, you are assailed with an empty white box on the screen into which you are required to write ... something. There has been no handbook about what to write, the later skills that we acquire to augment our words have yet to form, we have no readers because as yet the blog doesn't exist. Anyone with a scintilla of sense would run a mile at this point, but bloggers of the world lack such a scintilla - we are drawn ever closer to the flickering light of our monitors. Ever closer ... write something ... you know you want to ... c l o s e r ... say it ... you have wanted to all your life - and so on until words form in the box. As we write, we may have a sense of being conquerors of the world, wearing the rictus grin of the chimp here featured! Mine, all mine - readers .... p r e c i o u s!

There is surely a formal psychological diagnosis for those who blog, not because of the formation of the habit or the developing corpus of thought, but because we all wrote a first post. And then published it. And then stalked around the house in a state of mild panic imagining in our worst dreams that 6.2million people are now laughing at what we wrote. At the very least our heart beats faster, we perhaps perspire a little. After we overcome this hurdle and write a second post, we become lost souls - delinquent bloggers. Addicts. The addiction of blogging brings lots of amusing and not-so-amusing characteristics, but addicts we are. 

Anyway, I came here this morning to tell you what blogging, or at least writing a first post, is like, for those of you who have more sense don't do it. It is detached, without a context, and for all the world like talking to an answer-phone. The thing is, do any of us perform as normal sane vital human beings when we leave messages on such machines? No, of course not. We burble, we giggle, we say things that we would never ever dream of saying in the flesh, we talk too fast, feel oddly silly and are left after the encounter with an increased heart-beat. 

My name is David Cloake, and I am a blogger. 


  1. Well, you've finally lost it. I knew it was only a matter of time.

    And why do you never invite me to lunch? I could smell that gravy from here!

  2. I thought perhaps I'd start a support group for those of us terminally addicted - Bloggers Unanimous or something similar.
    We will never overcome the lure of the magnetic blogspot, but we can do some 'virtual' hand-holding.
    My name is'''''''''sorry it escapes me for the moment.

  3. I blogged two weeks ago on creating a network of Christian bloggers and received a fantastic response. I learnt how diverse we all are but are, yet, united with a common faith and a love of blogging.

  4. And it becomes part of you and part of ministry which we all share together. At least that is my hope!

  5. And a wonderful enterprise it is too, Father David!



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