It appears that the “golden age” of blogging, if there ever was such a thing, is long past, and so it may seem odd timing to begin blogging now, when the genre looks to be, if not dying, then at least transforming into something quite different. I did, in fact, have a blog before, which I’ve long since stopped updating. It seems several of the blogs I’ve been following but had run dry have recently been re-launched, and several friends have begun new blogs, so I suppose I’m continuing that trend. But why now, and why two blogs? The purpose of this opening post is to justify the very existence of these blogs.
Another blogger (can’t remember who now) once made the suggestion that for a blog to be successful, among other things it ought to have a single narrow focus. My old blog was a mish-mash of personal and professional interests. When I was regularly posting on the old blog, Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook, still in its infancy, was unknown to me. Now those more social outlets serve many of the purposes the personal posts on my old blog did. That being said, I can still see the possibility of wanting to write more personal blog posts, and so what I’ve decided to do is start two blogs. One (called simply Alliterative) I’m keeping open to more personal blogging, though I may find I post to it very infrequently. The other (or rather this one called The Endless Knot), the one I’m feeling more motivated about at the moment, will be kept strictly for ideas. Basically, it will be a sounding board for all the little ideas floating about in my head, which I have no other immediate outlet for–interesting things that don’t have any other home yet. I’ll probably also write about work in progress or interesting ideas that have come up in my teaching that I think might have a broader audience. Basically I want to share with others, whoever cares to read, what I find interesting or entertaining, and will frequently stray into areas a little outside my own specialisation.
These blogs are also an opportunity to practice and improve my writing skills. I often recommend to my students that they do lots of free writing as a way of improving their writing. In my case, most of the writing I do these days is for a very particular and niche audience: other academics, particularly those in very specific fields relevant to my research. So in particular I need more practice at writing for more general audiences. I do, of course, lecture to undergraduates, so I’ll be trying to come closer to that more oral style in my writing here.
Finally a little background info about me, especially for those who don’t know me. I’m an academic, with a PhD in medieval studies. In particular, I work on language and literature of the middle ages, especially Anglo-Saxon England. I count among my interests linguistics, cognitive science, and history, and in a series of posts coming up soon I’ll try to describe the underpinnings of some of my thinking lately. I’ll be starting with a test post of an old idea I had, and then continue manifesto-like with some background posts, and then move on from there.
So welcome to my head, and please don’t mind the mess!
* “A healthy mind in a healthy body” — starting these blogs is a bit of a New Years resolution, I suppose.