2014 hasn’t been a great year for the blog. My views about naturalism and the nonexistence of God solidified early on in the year, ending my desire to find a religious community where I could fit in. With that ended the one thing that would have somewhat set my blog apart in a sea of other atheist blogs, which made me question whether or not I should even try to keep it going. The world doesn’t need another atheist blogger writing about the exact same things that hundreds of others are already discussing, especially when I have so little to offer compared to more eloquent and educated writers.
But, for reasons that I haven’t bothered reflecting on, I feel like I really do want to try to get things started again. It may be because I’m pulling out of my latest “angry atheist” phase and am starting to think more about the positive aspects of my worldview, like Humanism, rather than the knee-jerk antireligious side that just wants to debate people.
Whatever the reason, I’m going to try to put out more worthwhile content over the coming year. I have some ideas in mind for how I’m going to go about this, but only time will tell if any of them will be successful.
First, I’m going to stop blogging about blogging. In other words, no more posts like this one. If I go for months without posting something, I’m not going to break the silence just to talk about how I haven’t been posting lately, or how I feel bad about not updating regularly, or about what I want to post in the future. I feel obligated to acknowledge it when this happens, but I recognize that it is incredibly boring and there’s no reason for anyone to actually care. So, I’ll just be sticking with actual content from here on out.
Second, I’m going to be adding some semi-regular, filler-type features just to keep me in the habit of posting and, hopefully, free up my writer’s block so I can post things that are actually worthwhile. I’m a draft-and-delete writer, and at any given point I have a dozen or more blog posts in progress that, if finished, would actually be pretty decent. But they never get finished unless I’m able to hammer out the entire thing in a single sitting. I think that if I get myself in the habit of sitting down, writing something quickly and then posting it, I’ll have an easier time of it.
To distinguish the fillers from the “real” content, I’ll be tagging them depending on what type they are. The first two are what I’ll be calling “Shit theists say” and “Shit atheists say” (STS and SAS for short). These will be quick responses to statements I stumble across, online or in person, that I want to express some thoughts on but may not have been able to in that moment.
The other type is what I will by calling “Too long for Twitter.” These will just be quick comments or aphorisms that I want to share but can’t phrase concisely enough for a tweet. This happens to me a lot, and while I sometimes will put them on my Facebook page, sometimes they’re a bit much for what my friends and family want to see from me (I've already been pegged as an “intolerant asshole” who “hates everybody” for the stuff I already put there, all of which I consider to be pretty mild). If it starts cluttering up the blog, I’ll stop.
Next, I’m planning on hashing out some of my thoughts about ethics. This has been the topic I’ve been reading/hearing/thinking about most over the past several months, and I think it’s time I put some of my thoughts down in one place where other people can start poking holes in them. This is a big, complicated topic, and I want it to be clear that I’m not planning on writing this because I think I’ll be contributing anything to the conversation. Quite the opposite. I don’t know enough philosophy to even get away with calling myself a layman, so I’m not pretending that I’ll be saying anything that nobody has said a thousand times before and better.
And finally, there is a chance that I’ll begin something similar to the search that first led me to start this blog, but the search will be more narrowly focused. When I began, I wasn’t sure if I would remain an atheist (or even if I wanted to), and I was looking for a place where I could explore my “spiritual” side. It’s clear now that there is no place for me in Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, or any of the other places I was looking. It’s also clear that I am a Secular Humanist, and there is plenty of room within that for me to begin searching again.
There are no explicitly Humanist groups in my area that I am aware of, but there are some general atheist/agnostic/freethinker ones, one of which I have been an active participant for the past several months, so that will be my starting point. Sam Harris’ newest book has spawned some discussion about “spirituality” and it’s secular connotations, and it looks like there may be some like-minded people in the group. Also, I’m planning on participating in an online course about Humanist community-building, and I’ll possibly be putting that to use.
So, there you have it. This is my plan, at least. Only time will tell whether or not it pans out, but in either case, you’ll be able to read about it here.