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« Blogging Like Jogging, Part 1 | Home | Do You Need to Be Disillusioned? »

Blogging Like Jogging, Part 2

By Mark D. Roberts | Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In my last post I presented the thesis that blogging is like jogging. Even as many once became joggers, only to quit after a while, so it is with bloggers.

One of the reasons people quit blogging is that long-term bloggers must have several traits, most of which are somewhat unusual. I’ll mention four of the main ones here.

First, enduring bloggers must have a fairly strong sense of self. Not only do they need to think that their ideas are worth publishing, but also they need to put up with the inevitable criticism that comes by way of comments, e-mails, and the derision of other bloggers. Blogging, especially if one touches upon controversial issues like politics or religion, is not for the thin-skinned. There have been times when I thought about quitting my blog because I was tired of being blasted by my critics.

Long-term bloggers must also have lots of ideas. Preferably, they’ll have good ideas, at least for the most part. But good or bad, ideas are the stuff of which blogs are made, and this means bloggers need to have an over-abundance of them. Most people who try blogging have enough ideas for a couple of weeks, but then they run out of things to say.

Effective bloggers must be able to write easily and quickly. Would it be that bloggers were also fairly decent writers! But if you’re a great writer who labors over your work until it is a masterpiece, chances are you won’t be a happy blogger. For better or for worse, bloggers must suffer with loggorhea (”loggorhea” = from the Greek logorroia, meaning “flow of words;” in English it has a negative connotation of “flow of too many words.”) If you try your hand at blogging and stay with it for a while, odds are high that you’ll become more proficient at writing. I don’t know if my four years of blogging have improved the quality of my script, but I think they have just about doubled my speed.

Bloggers must have a sense of purpose that transcends popularity. New bloggers often get excited about having people visit their sites, understandably so. Maybe they even luck into a popular post that drives lots of traffic in their direction. I remember how it felt when, for the first time, I got more than 5,000 visitors in a day. I was stoked. When I began blogging, I used to check my stats (number of visitors, etc.) on a regular basis. Now I hardly ever look.

For me, blogging isn’t about getting lots of readers or some miniscule amount of fame. Rather, I blog because I want to communicate with people, speaking on issues from an intentionally Christian, thoughtful perspective. I want to help people think about the stuff of life in light of biblical truth. I hope to make some small difference in people’s lives, in the church, and in the world. That’s why I blog, and that purpose keeps me going when I’m a. tired or b. bored or c. discouraged or d. feeling embattled or, e. all of the above.

So, if you hear anybody boast about the world-changing impact of blogging, listen with a grain of salt. Remember, blogging is like jogging. And when the pundits perform funerals for blogging, take out that grain of salt once again. It’s still true that blogging is like jogging. Most bloggers try it and quit, just like most joggers. But some, those who are particularly suited to the blogging medium and who have a larger sense of purpose, will keep on blogging for years and years. (Photo: a grain of salt greatly magnified. From

The good news, for those of us who are long-term bloggers, is that we won’t blow out our knees, though we might need to buy pajamas with a larger waist size. In fact, faithful blogging is rather like physical exercise, only for the mind. Blogging demands critical and creative thought. It forces us to work through ideas and to support our theories with evidence. It sharpens our skills as writers, at least when it comes to speed.

Unlike jogging, blogging benefits more than just the individual. When I jog, which I still do occasionally after even 35 years, though much more slowly than I did when I was 15, I derive some modest personal benefit. My heart rate rises and I burn a few hundred dreaded calories. But when I blog, even as I profit from the mental exercise involved, I hope my readers profit as well. Thus I’m motivated to keep up my blogging pace even as my jogging pace continues to slow.

If you think you have something to say to the world, go ahead and start a blog. If you happen to be one of the few who stick it out, great. If you join the majority who tried and quit, don’t worry. Blogging is a whole lot cheaper than running shoes and short shorts.

Topics: Blogging |

7 Responses to “Blogging Like Jogging, Part 2”

  1. John Key Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 5:12 am

    I am thankful that I was able to attend the Godblogcon before plunging headlong into the river of trying to write a daily blog. I expected the Godblogcon to be a “Rah, Rah, let’s all go out there and blog” type of meeting and was happily surprised to find so much emphasis on content, truth-beauty-righteousness, and various other perils that affect the blogger. The emphasis on and advantages of “group-blogging” was good too, as my Sin of Pride tends to make me adopt a “just me and Jesus” mindset about far too many things.

    I agree with you that blogging is not dead, and the upside of having many bloggers drop out of the daily grind should serve to improve the content, though I suppose that remains to be seen.

  2. AZDean Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks Mark for this post. It was helpful. I tried blogging a little but since virtually nobody read what I wrote, it seemed rather pointless. It makes a big difference when you know somebody will actually read what you write. Well, I not only read you post today, but it helped me to think and consider once again whether blogging might be for me. Thanks!

  3. Todd Hester Says:
    November 13th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Well put, Mark. One of the biggest reasons I blog, which I suppose is a corollary to what you mentioned above, is to clarify my own thinking. My blog isn’t that old, but when I do post on it, I find myself detailing and articulating my thoughts in a more refined way that I might otherwise. That’s not to say my ideas are refined–just more refined! :)

  4. Ken Mann Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for your practical wisdom and candor. I have been torn between the time (and arrogance) required to put my own ideas out on the web versus all the books I haven’t read yet. By way of compromise, I have sought to promote books that I believe others should read.
    Your books and blog have been an encouragement and a blessing.

  5. Jeff Howard Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Great post Mark. How unbelievably appropriate to my situation with diving into blogging arms flailing and blindfolded!

    I have quickly fallen pray to the “make my blog the coolest in the world” mentality. Thus I have spent a lot of time scribbling on paper about the logistics of blog design, while forgetting what it was all about in the first place…writing stuff on my heart.

    Back to the drawing board, hopefully you will see more posts now!

  6. Mark D. Roberts Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Jeff: A good design is fine. But you’re right, the content is the point.

  7. real live preacher Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    My only difference of opinion comes with the struggle over your words. I am that sort of blogger. But I don’t post nearly as often as you do. Chances are I put in about the same amount of work.

    Each blog is different and settles into its own routine.


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