Friday, March 14, 2014

I don't blog good because reasons.

I have started several blog posts in the last couple of weeks but never finished them.  It isn't that I don't have time (I spend nearly all vivie's sleep time reading/writing (or doing dishes, putting away clothes, etc.), so that's not the issue).  This issue is that I'm growing increasingly less willing to work for free.

For myself and many other academics, writing (the kind that is deemed "official" in one way or another) is the evidence we cite to professors, comprehensive exam committees, dissertation supervisors, hiring institutions, tenure committees, colleagues, et al that we are, indeed, active and productive members of our various academic guilds.  For this reason, adding my perspective to debates about public intellectuals, the field of religion, the latest "religious" folks who are yelling/fighting/kicking/screaming at, with, or among each other, or the crumbling state of the humanities needs to occur within the proper venues for me to gain a return on my investment of time.  This blog is not that place...if I can't put a line on my CV about a piece or it doesn't directly contribute to works in progress that will ideally be published/presented through sanctioned methods of communication, I likely will not pursue it to completion.

I originally started this blog as a bit of self-mockery as I negotiated life in Paris - a land populated by folks who had absolutely no reason to search for a moderately trafficked (I'm being generous here) blog written by a mid-twenties ex-pat making fun of their metro habits.  Upon returning to the States, I rejoined a growing class of folks whose employers are still making sense of what to do with a candidate/employee's online presence - could a Facebook  picture of me enjoying a beer on growler Wednesday end up costing me employment? Probably not.  Could a blog that shows up on the first page of a Google search for my name be skimmed for content that implies a bad attitude towards students, colleagues, superiors, or my field?  What about a controversial stance on a social, political, or economic issue that is coming from a yet-to-be-consecrated grad student? Maybe...

These are, therefore, the main sticking points for me when it comes to being a regular contributor to the blogosphere: first, a lack of anticipated return on investment and, second, the higher possibility of a negative return than a positive return when written work is disseminated through unofficial mediums of communication.  So, in the meantime, I'll continue to blog periodically whenever I get around to it, but, for now, I need to focus on manufacturing and maintaining a presence in ongoing, sanctioned discourses...because reasons.  As always, I welcome feedback, perhaps I've offered some food for thought...I've certainly put off comp reading for 20 minutes or so...

Thanks for reading.