The Exterminator Got Me Again (Evolution Meme)
The Exterminator tagged me (again). The idea is that you pick five posts from your archives that show how your blog has evolved, and explain why. Then you tag five more bloggers to do the same thing.
When Ex tagged me he apologised, but the truth is that I’m very grateful; for one thing, it’s given me something to write about! It’s a good time for me to be reflecting on the way me blog has evolved in the six months I’ve been writing it because, to be completely honest, I’m at a real low point at the moment. My ideas are few, my energy low, my inspiration significant only by its absence. Perhaps this bit of fun will get me fired up again.
I had long been pondering writing down some of my grievances with the world, even if only for myself, when I took a few days off sick from work in March. Feeling under the weather and sorry for myself, I switched on the TV and began flicking through the channels randomly. When I found myself on “Psychic TV”, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. With nothing better do, I sat down at my computer and wrote a short rant, which turned out, later that day, to be the first proper article (after my brief introduction) on A Load of Bright. To this day, it is yet to receive a comment, but I decided to take a view that no news was good news. It was a start.
In early April, Ebonmuse announced his project the Humanist Symposium, and I was invited to contribute. Especially for the first edition, I put to paper my feelings about the idea of an afterlife in my article The Credit We Deserve. It was the first listed in the inaugural edition and received a great response. To this day, I think it is possibly the best piece I’ve ever written. I think it earned me a lot of new readers. It was the first genuine sign of growth.
Later that month, I decided that my blogroll had more or less taken shape. Having decided that I would write a short post introducing any new additions from that point on, I decided to write an article giving a brief introduction of the blogs already there: Introducing my Blogroll. It was really only intended as an FYI post, but it provoked a warm response and a lot of traffic. It was at that point that I realised that I was part of a blogging community, and that aside from the rewards of blogging that I had anticipated, I had earned an unforeseen bonus that was, if anything, more special: new friends! Evanescent and I go way back (we used to work together) and I had been in email contact with Ebonmuse previously, but since I’ve been writing for A Load of Bright, I have also come to consider The Exterminator at No More Hornets, John P at Spanish Inquisitor, Nullifidian, Sean at Blacksun Journal and Vjack at Atheist Revolution, among others, as friends in their own right, despite never having met them in person, seen their faces or heard their voices. We were all, and still are working towards the same goals. It was nice to feel part of something like that (and it still does!).
Shortly after Alister McGrath released The Dawkins Delusion I read a number of articles by him in the newspapers, outlining his arguments. I was frustrated and incensed by his feeble fallacies. I searched the internet looking for work debunking his book, but found almost nothing. In the morning of the day I ended up starting A Load of Bright, I emailed Ebonmuse about a couple of other things, but mentioned Alister McGrath and said I’d love to see him ‘take the gloves off’. As soon as I’d sent it, I felt a pang of guilt. A voice in my head was saying “why are you asking someone else to do your work for you, do it yourself!”. At that moment I resolved to start my own blog, read The Dawkins Delusion and (if I still felt the same way) write an article debunking it. On 3rd May, I did just that. It is still one of the most popular articles on this site, it is listed as an external source on the Wikipedia article about The Dawkins Delusion (or at least it was at one point, I’ve just discovered it’s been deleted), and it has received many comments and trackbacks. I had finally done what I had set out to do. It was a coming of age for A Load of Bright.
At the end of August, I published my article Holy Smoke, which was included in the Carnival of the Godless and the Humanist Symposium. It was a post I was pleased with because, as far as I know, it was a genuinely original idea, and I felt that I structured the argument well, and that the writing was reasonably good. Although I still felt that the site was very young, it represented a level of confidence that I had not had when I started in March. There is certainly a lot more evolving to do, but it made me feel that I had, at least to some degree, established myself.
The five blogs I’m tagging are: