Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Impossible Balance of Blogging

The Church Mouse
The Christian Blogosphere will be reeling from the news yesterday that The Church Mouse will be stepping back from the exercise wheel of blogging. Certainly, this news is received with great sadness by this blogger, and I send my warmest wishes to him after a very brave decision to take time out.

Since I started this game about 18 months ago, my behaviours have changed and so have those of others. I know a few people who have just ceased to write, others who have stopped blogging to the same extent in order to devote time to other things (+Alan Wilson being one such geezer), that some bloggers have become feverish in their daily turn-over, and that others have emerged new and fresh. The Blogosphere changes monthly, and even this foolish enterprise is not among those with the label 'established'.

I have noticed my own behaviours change too. At the start, I wrote a post every two or three days. At the end of last year I was a thrice-daily blogger, and the needs of job applications trimmed that to nearly once a week. The balance has landed currently with a post a day, and that feels about right for me. 

Life changes for bloggers as it does for everyone, though the allure of this pastime does not. Those unaccustomed to writing will not know the change of mindset that comes with this. We see something of interest and we seek to write about it. In fact, in those times when we cannot, bloggers get frustrated - trust me (one only need recall those occasions lately when Blogger has 'gone down' - bloggers started up new blogs rather than wait). Our family's needs change too. My children have lived a third of their life with a blogging dad and so that particular landscape has, by necessity, changed as well. Blogging is a constant appetite, but the rest of life ebbs and flows - and so we have a problems for fitting it all together. Sometimes it just doesn't.

And so we have our esteemed Mouse. In his notice, he made a short statement about withdrawing from this lark out of regard for family, and he has my respect and admiration for making what to the rest of the world may seen like the only choice. A great support to me, a balanced view in many debated, often copied always poorly, I wish him the very best, and his family. For the rest of us, the juggle continues - and if we honest, with a big mouse-hole left on Fridays when we all gather to see if we made the cut. 


  1. The Church Mouse brought competition into Christian blogging. He was boastful and made me feel jealous.

  2. He was surely not alone then. How many stats monsters can we count? lol

  3. I think he started it. I'm serious here. I've been blogging for nearly six years and it used to be an unwritten agreement that you only ever publicised real milestones (depending on your blog's average readership). It was the Church Mouse who popularised the league tables and made Wikio (a very suspect, elitist system) the standard among British Christian bloggers. It never used to bother me where I stood in popularity until I was relegated to the also rans by a system which is based on links and not visits. This made me cross and envious and I became a blogger because the old etiquettes of Christian blogging helped me to suppress such base instincts within myself. We all become the weakest brethren in certain situations and so we should always be careful to lessen the chances of this causing problems to our blogging brothers and sisters.

  4. For the mouse is a creature of great personal valour. From Christopher Smart's Jubilato Agno.

  5. J, I think you should write more fully on this. I have been lured by the stats thing and still cant Wikio to recognise me properly. You are right, these numbers cause despondency - and of that I can attest. Thanks for commenting, mate. Pax

  6. Neither you, Church mouse or myself are true bloggers in the original meaning of the word (although you often get very close). Pure blogging is the writing of a personal diary online. There are still many bloggers of this discipline out there and I check those on my blogroll everyday. I often find their posts far most interesting than anything us commentators produce. However, I rarely link to them because they are rarely of universal interest. In fact, I have been told off by diarists in the past for linking to them because they do not want a load of strangers reading their personal stuff. So, Wikio, being a link related engine, actually works against true Blogging and simply panders to the competitive journalistic type of blogger (of which, I am ashamed to say, I am one).

  7. Oh, look, someone else who's apparently got it in for MadPriest.

    Infamy, infamy....

  8. Why the alarm and despondency. Mouse is a very even-handed and balanced commentor on the burning issues of the day, but there are other voices worth listening to and many able practitioners of the noble (or otherwise) art of debate.
    Not being of their number I will continue to lob the odd grenade into the debate and sit back and watch what happens. (a sort of resident devil's advocate).
    Perhaps if the argument becomes sufficiently accrimoneous our rodent friend will be lured out of his blogging mousehole. If not, enjoy your rest Mouse and mouselings.

  9. The commenter calling himself, June, is a male troll, a species I am plagued by because I don't hide behind anonymity.

  10. I hate the rankings. I am convinced one's writing becomes a whole lot less interesting if you focus on them--since you're unconsciously posting controversial posts (on trivial and passing matters) to be linked to. In a year, these posts will be of no interest to man or beast.
    It's better to just follow one's bliss, and post on subjects which interest you, and the rankings be damned.
    A resolve hard to maintain when you see yourself relentlessly drop!!

  11. I like rankings. If we go down in Wikio, I order beatings among the lower-ranking Beaker People until they come up with some better material for me.
    I'll miss Mouse though.

  12. Oh yeah, that's easy for you to say, Archdruid. But you don't have to rely on the ne'erdowells and workie tickets that I have been landed with at OCICBW.... I've tried beating them but it doesn't work. They like it too much.



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