I have been blogging for just over a year. In that time I have only made forty-one posts (including this one), many of them are post that are reblogged from others. This may be because I still feel apprehensive about writing since finishing my Ph.D. last year. However, over the past three months, I have been slowly getting out of this funk by posting more frequently. I have been looking for ways to engage with others that are in a similar field as I am (art, philosophy, and media studies) and saw Levi Bryant‘s new post today on “How to Make a Blog“.
There are several good points he makes in his DON’Ts and DOs such as: “Don’t be a dick“, “Be genuine“, “Dare to experiment“, and “Write often.” However, I think there are two points he makes that are contradictory (which he does somewhat admits). They are “Be a Dick” and “Be Generous.” Despite stating that you shouldn’t be a dick, he also say you should act in this way because there is “a lot of ugliness and stupidity in the world.” But isn’t acting like a dick just adding more ugliness to the world? Condemning and attacking others is not going to help foster any sort of productive discussion or dialogue. You may not like what someone writes or thinks, but you don’t have to obnoxiously vilify it. Being a dick is never a good thing, even if it does, as Levi points out, help you find other “disgruntled dicks like yourself.” Being a dick mean you are not acting generously towards others. To be generous is to have good faith in what others have to say, especially if it is about your work. You may not agree with what is being said but you should at least take what is written with grace, and not be a dick about it.
The best and most important point Levi makes in his post is “Dare to be unoriginal.” A blog is not a book or an article. Just explaining the things that lure your attention should be enough for a post. Share what you are interested in and others will likely be interested too. As Levi states, “we can never anticipate being original, we only find out that we were original after the fact when others tell us.”
So get writing. I know I am going too.