Three years? Of endless Culture War?

With a start, I just realized that May 15 is the third blogiversary of Classical Values.

How to celebrate something like that?

I should just thank you -- the readers. Every time I start to feel overwhelmed by the thankless, infuriatingly endless nature of blogging, every time the undeniable blogger burnout syndrome gets to me, I remember that there are people who come here because they like this blog. And there are people who come here because they don't like this blog. What that means is that if I quit blogging, I'll make the people who like me unhappy, while making the people who don't like me happy. Why would I want to do either unless I absolutely can't help it?

I do occasionally suffer from blogger burnout, which seems to be heightened by several factors. One is the infuriating fact that all posts are equal. An essay-length post about history and theology with numerous links that might have taken me three days to write, once it is published, is the moral equivalent of a throwaway post finding fault with some inane thought voiced by Barbra Streisand. (And, to compound the insanity, the Streisand post is more likely to be linked and draw traffic!) No matter how much work I put into a post, no sooner do I publish it than I feel irrational pressure to "get something else up for the readers."

Then there's this feeling that I have been a sort of "volunteer" for too long a period of time, and have nothing to show for my efforts. (I have to remind myself that I have written over a million words, and that the blog surpassed a million hits some time ago.) Additionally, there are so many bloggers now that I feel as if I am wasting time doing what everybody else is doing. In answer to that, yeah, sometimes I write about the same things as other bloggers, but the fact is that I don't have to. I can still be wild and crazy and say any damn thing I want. I don't have to abide by or judge myself by anyone's standards. I remind myself that 1000-2000 readers a day come here. That really is all that should matter to me; not whether or not there are 34 million other blogs or what they're all doing. Had someone asked me three years ago whether I would write for the number of people I routinely write for every day, I'd have wet my pants and been unable to write anything, because I'd have thought it impossible.

While it is true that I haven't managed to, um, "END THE CULTURE WAR" (although sometimes I'm tempted to declare victory and get out), I'm not quite enough of an egomaniac to consider the Culture War my responsibility. A little cultural satire (with news analysis and occasional bits of amateur philosophy thrown in) is about all I can offer.

If people like it, I remain as thrilled as I was when I started.

That's why I'm still here.


MORE: Whether he knew it or not, Dean Esmay read my mind:

Man, now I really miss Steven Malcolm Anderson
Steven left the blogosphere when he died six months ago. He was the ultimate cure for blogger burnout (impossible when he was around), and it was nice seeing him reappear at Dean's today!

posted by Eric on 05.15.06 at 03:11 PM







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Comments

Congrats! I thought your blog was around longer than that. I guess I've been reading almost since day 1. Been a privelege.

Mick   ·  May 15, 2006 4:30 PM

Wow, has it been that long?! Congrats on sticking it out for three solid years, and thanks for letting me be a part of it.

Beck   ·  May 15, 2006 4:48 PM

Thanks Mick!

John, you've extended the blog's life -- which is a compliment to you, but which also means you have an onerous responsibility!

Eric Scheie   ·  May 15, 2006 4:59 PM

Congratulations!

Adam   ·  May 15, 2006 6:25 PM

Congrats on the 3 years from a regular reader.

And just in case you think you're "typing into the wind"... your writings have inspired a *LOT* of conversations, some of them even half-way intelligent.

Keep up the good (and often amusing) work!

-- DW

Doug Wolf   ·  May 15, 2006 10:08 PM

That's the thing about Steven, he liked to talk. And he could make most any subject interesting. That was his gift, to speak clearly on most any subject, and do it in a manner that brought you in and made you see why he was so interested in it.

By now I think you've read van der Leun's bit on awakening, on becoming aware of the world around you. Steven Malcolm Anderson was awake. Awake and fascinated by what he experienced. He, as George R. R. Martin would put it, saw with his eyes, and so saw much that we miss in the world around us. And saw the story everyone, everything, every incident and moment holds. For Steven there was always something going on. If he had ever gotten eaten by an alligator it would not have been because he wasn't paying attention.

Eric, stay alert to the world around you and the possibilities it holds. Post when you wish and what you wish, and never let others tell you what you must write about, or how you must write about it. Above all remember that even the most ordinary tale can enthrall when you bring forth the song at the heart of every story.

(Am I waxing poetic or what?)

Alan Kellogg   ·  May 16, 2006 2:10 AM

Congrats on the blogbirthday. You've been known to start a conversation or thirty around my house too!

Stewart   ·  May 16, 2006 11:32 AM

Congrats on you Blog Birthday!!!

Please continue your good work! While the Babs post might get more link action, I imagine your posts are more influential- people read your stuff and the meme is planted, multiplies, and arises mutated in a different post, and the process repeats- whereas the Babs post is good for a chuckle and that's it.

Also, there may be some benefits you're unaware of because they've happened gradually. Maybe you're a better writer, researcher, logician, and human being, because of this blog, than you would have been without it?

Also, maybe you've hit the 3/4 year wall. After 3/4 years of doing any job, or being in any relationship, many people just get bored with it because they feel they've met whatever challenges were presented.

Maybe you should consider video or audio blogging. You know, try to add some kind of new feature or something to keep blogging fresh and challenging?

I'd hate to have you quit, or even more, to watch this wonderful blog deteriorate as you force yourself to do something you hate. I'm not seeing that now, to be clear. Not at all.

Anyway congratulations again!

Harkonnendog   ·  May 16, 2006 6:08 PM

Thank you all! Really, I do appreciate it.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 16, 2006 10:07 PM

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