Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Spiritual Value of Blogging

The Spiritual Value of Blogging

I'm blogging a bit less these days because I'm trying to give priority to my work which occupies most of my waking hours. This could also be a good thing because I get to let some of my blogging ideas which are always floating in my head more time to incubate. Sometimes they emerge with more energy and clarity.

Most of the time my mind is subconsciously preoccupied with a few pet ideas. The real purpose of my blog is to allow these ideas to work themselves out in writing. It's a bit like solving a mathematical problem with pencil and paper--what I call "writhink". Looking back at my old entries, I can see how some of my favourite themes have evolved and developed over time.

I treat blogging a bit like playing speed chess. I try to allocate a small chunk of time everyday in between my more important tasks to blog. Sometimes I feel I could write on and on on certain pet topics of mine but I have to cut them short. Time flies when you are writing; if you are not cautious, you could be spending half a day blogging on one topic. One could always let the topic evolve over a few entries, over time.

Blogging is a spontaneous and informal thing--like writing an e-mail. If it is too formal, then it's no longer fun--there's too much pressure trying to get it perfect. Never before has so much bad writing been churned out for the reading masses! But that's the charm of blogging. A lot of people find it difficult to write because they try too hard to get that first sentence perfect. There's no need to: writing and editing are two separate and independent tasks. You get stuck when you mentally try to do the two at the same time. Write freely first; edit later. With blogging, you just write and forget about editing. Even better!

Blogging has helped me identify many weaknesses in my writing. My blog is nothing more than an exercise book--a place for me to scrawl my thoughts; I have no wish for it to be anything more than that. Once an entry has been written and published, it's purpose is served. Unlike writing a private journal, publishing your thoughts on the Net gives it a sense of completeness--it's already public and you can't retrieve it back. (Well, actually you can always come back and delete your entry but someone could have read it already--the meme has already spread).

Blogging is like a public confession. You unburden your mind; you accept its reality and consequences and you move on. That's the spiritual value of blogging.

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