Thursday, September 02, 2004

Blogging burnout 

Andrew Sullivan is back from holidays, tanned, rested and ready - and not happy. Soon upon his return he comments on his fellow blogging legend Steven Den Beste's decision to call its quits:
"One blogger throws in the towel. The major reason? Endless emailed abuse and criticism. I'm tempted to say: deal with it."
But that would be like calling Den Beste a girlie man, so Andrew continues:
"But after over four years of the same, I see his point. It's especially brutal now. Give Kerry any credit for anything, and the hatemail pours in. Ditto for Bush. The space for anything but hatred for either candidate gets smaller and smaller. And the constant personal abuse (in my case, larded with constant homophobic slurs) gets to you after a while. I'm used to it. But it does have an effect. And one effect is to leave the commentary to the Eric Altermans and Sean Hannitys. No way."
I wouldn't want to leave the commentary to the Altermann and Hannitys either, mostly because one day I wouldn't mind doing what Hannity does and getting paid for it what Hannity does. But that's another story. Having a very polite and civilised readership, I'm not in a position to lecture Steven and Andrew on coping skills. I imagine though that endless name-calling and nitpicking can get tedious. Just in case, though, that any of you is thinking of trying to make me throw in the towel that way, I can honestly say that I'm still years away from getting to Steven's and Andrew's frustration levels - so you'd be wasting your time.

Blogger's very own spell checker does not recognise the word blog or any of its permutations. Thus for "blogging" the offered alternative is "flogging." I think there's something in it for all of us, as the old pastor used to say. Whenever blogging becomes flogging a dead horse or self-flagellation, it's time to take a break and relex, remembering that this should always be fun, not a chore.


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