29 July 2008


I've been wondering: What, in general terms, constitutes good writing in a blog context? I ask myself this because I have had many people recommend blogs to me because the authors of said blogs had a good style, yet when I read those blogs I find their writing sadly lacking. Not to name names, but several of the ones I am thinking of are among the most popular Catholic blogs on the net. There was one very popular blogger who was complimented time and again in the combox for their "kick-a$$ prose style" whose writing, in my eyes, was the stylistic equivalent of counting from one to ten. There is another writer I know whose blog is nothing but a monument to their spleen and a documentation of their contempt for all who do not see things as they do. Their writing is also praised, and praised mightily.

Perhaps I am heading in the wrong direction, or perhaps I am merely showing my preferences, but I think there is more to style than disdain. Oscar Wilde once famously said that "Any style will do, except the boring." I find this "The World as I Hate It" school of writing got boring quickly, and I also find those who like the writing generally agree with the message completely. I think possibly the reason why anger writing is so common is because it is so easy- it is really not hard to rage on paper, or on the computer. What is much more difficult, however, is humour, real humour based on joy, rather than ironic splenetic posturing.

So I don't really have an answer to my own question. Unfortunately, over the course of the twentieth century, if not a little before, the question of good writing went from being an objective judgement to a subjective observation, and I, for all my attempts to be otherwise, am still a man of my time. When someone tells me so and so is a good author, I take it with a grain of salt. That's their opinion. It doesn't have to be mine.

No comments: