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The group of Unitarian Universalist bloggers on Facebook have been meditating on a common questions, one of which is "why do you blog?"
Some of the reasons I blog are predictable: to muse aloud, to keep notes for later use or to promote something-or-other. It is not a systematic work, and its focus has changed over time.
I started blogging because of an aphorism about Universalist newspapers: one I came across when I was writing my unfinished thesis on antebellum Universalist history in the South. He -- John C. Burruss, I think -- wrote and edited his newspaper because the printed word would go where "the living evangel" could not go, and it would survive after he was long dead. Both assertions proved true. And it was the bit of folk wisdom I learned from a living minister: that if you wrote and published, anything would be forgiven you. I hope I've never done anything in such a need of such overwhelming forgiveness, but it's clear, in Unitarian Universalist circles, where the power is. Public writing is important.
But more recently I've decided on another reason to blog. It's far more effective to blog your little bit, and hope that it's effective in some small way, then to be lost in bureaucratic committees. I read the agenda and minutes of the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees with a mixture of sadness and pity. So much work, so much responsibility, so much process, so little return.
Blogging, and by extension, shared or distributed, self-initiated online work seem to be better use of my little time.