July 22, 2018

Breaking Up the Monotony of Atheist Blogging

metronome
When Conservative Skeptic recently asked whether atheist writing has "lost its luster," I could relate. I suspect most atheist bloggers could as well. The appeal of writing about atheism and closely-related topics waxes and wanes. Even if one were to use a broad enough view of atheism that it could include everything from criticizing religion to secular activism, there does seem to be a point at which it becomes repetitive. Even the extremely popular "look-at-what-crazy-thing-the-Christian-said" type of post gets old quickly.

I've tried to deal with this in a few different ways. First, I regularly address topics that are peripherally related to atheism and likely to be of interest to many atheists (e.g., freethought, humanism, skepticism, secular activism, reason). Second, I write a fair bit about politics and the nature of our political discourse on social media because I think we need far more reason, nuance, and civility. I worry that some aspects of our outrage culture are undermining our ability to work together to solve problems. Third, when I find myself feeling bored by or uninterested in these topics, I either take a break or give myself the freedom to write about something that has nothing to do with atheism.

Lately, I've found two other things that seem to help when atheism starts to seem boring, repetitive, or monotonous. The first one is that I take a break from reading the atheist blogs that churn out the usual content (e.g., re-packaged posts from RightWingWatch highlighting the latest absurdity to escape the lips of some Christian extremist). I look for something different, and it usually isn't hard to find. Something as simple as changing up my reading material for a couple days often helps. The second one is that I play with writing a different type of post. If I've been writing longer ones recently, I write a short one. Maybe I try a list or a link post. Maybe I give myself a time limit to write the post. Just trying something different often helps.

Maybe it is a character flaw, but I don't have the patience to stick with any one topic for several years. And when the topic is as narrow and limited as atheism, it is bound to become monotonous if I let it. I can think of a few atheist bloggers who seem content to go from news story to news story, but that isn't for me. I imagine we all have to find our own ways to maintain interest in what we're doing. And if we can't, we can always find something else to do.