Why Do I Write About What I Write About?

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Of all the questions I receive at Atheist Revolution from atheist visitors, the most common has to be some version of, "Why did you write about [specific topic of post]?" I have noticed that the question is almost always asked by someone who disagrees with some aspect of what I have written. This leads me to suspect that the questioner might not really be interested in learning about why I wrote the post. But I recognize that this could be an unfair assumption on my part. Perhaps the question is genuine and the person asking it really does want to know why I wrote a post about a particular topic. Fortunately, I can provide a brief answer that should cover just about every post I have written and will foreseeably write. It should also be applicable to anything I might write here or any of the other places where I sometimes write.

I write about the topics I write about because I find them interesting and have something to say about them. It isn't any more complicated than that. If I don't find something sufficiently interesting, I'm unlikely to write about it. If I don't have anything worthwhile to say about it, I definitely won't write about it. Most of the time, I write about atheism and related subjects (e.g., skepticism, humanism, freethought, and secularism). I do so because I continue to find them worth addressing and not because I feel any sort of obligation to keep writing about them. Should the day come when these topics no longer hold my interest, I will cease writing about them.

In fairness to those who ask why I write about what I write about, I suspect they are mostly curious about why a niche blogger would veer out of his niche. Given that at least 90% of the advice for bloggers floating around on the Internet instructs us to pick a niche and stick to it, this is a reasonable question. When it comes to niche blogging, this particular niche (i.e., atheism and closely related topics) has at least one major advantage and at least one major disadvantage. The advantage is that it is an extremely broad niche. Just think about the number of political issues that connect with secularism or the number of social issues that connect with humanism, and you'll begin to see what I mean. The disadvantage is that many religious believers are so put off by any mention of "atheism" that they won't give it much of a chance.

Of course, I do veer out of the niche from time-to-time. I write about other topics, including several that are not related to atheism at all (e.g., horror movies, music, media, and various aspects of our culture). I often enjoy many of the off-topic posts I find on other blogs. A little variety is a good thing, and I like to read about what some of my favorite atheist bloggers think about other subjects. I don't think many of us are so one-dimensional that all we ever think about is one topic. And how do I decide what to write about when I go off-topic? You guessed it! I select them because I find them interesting and have something to say about them.

Does this mean that if I do not spend much time writing about a particular topic that I do not have any interest in it? No, not necessarily. It might mean that I am more interested in other things, but it could also mean that I do not know enough about the topic to be able to offer anything of value. I might not even have a clear enough opinion to know how to write about it yet. In a few cases, it might mean that I'm not emotionally capable of writing about it. There are not many topics I avoid for this reason, but there are a few.

An earlier version of this post initially appeared on Atheist Revolution in 2013. It was revised and updated in 2022.