In 2013, Aaron Downs started Christ. Literature. Culture. with the essay, “Why Blog?”. He had blogged twice before, but eventually deleted both sites. He had come to believe that he had nothing worthwhile to blog about because he had been told it was arrogance to publish his thoughts on a blog. These detractors said that bloggers write with the vain hope of being approved, liked, and maybe even have their writings shared. Many vain bloggers, they said, populate their site with articles about highly debatable subjects, but after a short time, only a dearth of material remains. And other bloggers offer nothing original week-to-week except their name. While Aaron definitely saw the legitimacy of these critiques, he quite simply enjoyed writing, wanted to get better, and didn’t care to gain an audience.
Now, three years later, Aaron has asked myself and two other friends to help maintain the blog that he has diligently published for the last three years. So here I want to elaborate on Aaron’s previous blog post and explain why we will be joining his effort.
Ultimately, Aaron’s main motivation for writing was his own betterment, and this remains true for all of us. He elaborated on that motivation by stating that he wanted to be a better and more consistent writer—and the blog offered him that opportunity in a unique way. To enforce his point, he pointed out that he was not motivated by the desire to gain an audience; so he wouldn’t be promoting any of his own writing by dedicating time to develop a large following with the promotional techniques of many other blogs (i.e. Follow random people to see if he could get a follow back, or promote his posts with clickbait). Although we may share our posts with a few, we want to spend our time writing rather than spending it gathering a following.
The process of becoming better and more consistent writers forms the core of why we have chosen to join the blog. Christ. Literature. Culture. is really a side-effect of our enduring friendship. We have always tried to make each other better. So we have always shared our thoughts with each other debating and disputing ideas. We challenge each other to read and write. Also, we edit and critique each other’s creative projects pushing each other to be excellent. So, in reality, whether this blog existed, the content of it would still be published in private text messages, Facebook threads, emails, voice messages, and phone calls. We don’t necessarily view ourselves as offering anything to the cultural conversation which anyone else couldn’t offer. We recognize that others are more competent and equipped to do so, and we gladly encourage you to pursue their writings.
So why blog? With this blog, we have another motivation to do the things we were already doing, but with slightly more pressure to think harder, clearer, and with more consistency. The blog also brings the advantage of allowing others to interact with our ideas and join the conversation— that is, if anyone actually was crazy enough to want to listen.
We are on a journey, and in this journey we are seeking to write thoughtfully, to think deeply, and to emote rightly. So feel free to join us in the process of becoming better writers, readers, and thinkers!
J. Shane Saxon and the Brotherhood