July 13, 2014

Room For More Atheist Blogs

Thinking
Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)
I heard from a reader recently via email who is thinking of starting an atheist blog. She noted that the atheist blog niche has expanded considerably over the last several years, and she's certainly right about that. I thought her perspective sounded like an interesting one that I don't often see reflected in the atheist blogosphere. I encouraged her to go ahead with starting her blog.

Maybe this was somewhat selfish on my part. After all, I found myself thinking "that sounds like something I'd enjoy reading" when she described her plans. But while the atheist blog niche has indeed become more crowded, I really do think there is room for more voices. Of course, I also realize that there are many good blogs out there that do not have anywhere near the readership they deserve (and at least a few truly vile ones that have far more readers than most of the rest of us will ever see).

If atheism becomes more socially acceptable, we will likely see plenty of new atheist blogs emerging. Authors will provide fresh perspectives on the issues some of us have grown tired of addressing, but I have little doubt that they will also explore subjects well beyond atheism. I think that's a good thing. None of us should feel confined by atheism/humanism/secularism. Our blogs may focus primarily on these areas, but I don't know of any active blogs today that limit themselves completely to these subjects. No matter how important atheism may be to us, it is just one part of who we are.

For me, the single-most important thing about blogging is the realization that I have to do it first and foremost for myself. If I was doing it for some external incentive (e.g., money, traffic, popularity, fame), I would have quit long ago. Not only are these things hard to come by through blogging, but I have learned that they are not particularly compelling motives for me. I write because it helps me think more clearly and because I have so few opportunities for real-world interaction around many of the topics about which I write. I suppose it would be accurate to say that I write because I find it therapeutic in some way.

As the atheist blog niche becomes more crowded, I think it will be important for new bloggers to reflect on why they want to write. The external rewards are hard to come by, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Those with a strong internal motivation will probably last longer and enjoy the experience more.

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