Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Little More Conversation

I have a confession to make: I'm not very happy with my latest post. I didn't have a clear purpose for writing it, other than the need to write a post on Monday. Without a clear purpose in mind, the post just sort of meanders and doesn't really go anywhere.

Why am I telling you this? I'm telling you because I want to take this blog in a different direction. That means adapting my writing style and it could mean that I write a few more sub-par posts like that last one. I'm hoping you'll be patient with me while this change is happening.

Now let me tell you about this new direction. Up until now, most of the posts on this blog have had a strong thesis, a main point that I argue in favor of. This style of writing comes naturally to me, and I'm fairly good at this kind of writing.

The problem is that this kind of writing doesn't leave much room for response. The reader either agrees with me or they don't. Unless they feel like cheering me on or posting a rebuttal, there's no need to respond to what I've written.

I want to write posts that are more open ended; that leave more room for response. The previous post was a failed experiment. It was open ended, but it lacked a clear focus, which is also hard to respond to.

Basically, I'm trying to learn how to strike a balance. I'm trying to learn how to write posts that have a clear purpose and bring up interesting ideas, but are still open ended enough that people have room to respond with their own thoughts if they want to.

This is going to be a challenge for me. I like to present my ideas in a finished form. I prefer to share a fully fleshed out argument, and I like to make my arguments as convincing as I can.

My other hobby is computer programming. I mention that because I think I sometimes approach writing with a similar mentality. A program is a series of instructions that direct the computer towards a desired conclusion. My essays often are collections of statements designed to direct the reader toward a desired belief.

Obviously, people are not like computers. Human beings have a variety of different beliefs and opinions. Their minds all work in different ways. This is frustrating if you're trying to convince them of something, but it's fascinating if you're willing to have a conversation with them.

I'm trying to learn how to be more conversational and less argumentative. Please have patience with me as I figure this out.

P.S. My review of "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins isn't going to change much. Those posts are, by nature, more argumentative, but they give me a chance to respond to someone else's ideas. Besides, I'm enjoying the review so far, and I think it's worthwhile to offer a Christian perspective on Dawkins' writing.

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