Dave's Mormon Inquiry Weblog
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  Monday, February 16, 2004

There are different approaches to blogging -- group versus solo, comments enabled or not, long posts versus short ones, links to other posts versus one's own thoughts or reflections, themed or general.  On these attributes, I map out as solo, no comments, tending to longer posts and my own reflections on Mormon life, culture, and history.  But reading The Norton Book of Personal Essays, edited by noted essayist Joseph Epstein (WW Norton, 1997), helped me realize that my template for an ideal blog post is an abbreviated personal essay.  One might even think of the entire essay genre as kind of a precursor to blogging.

In his introductory essay The Personal Essay: A Form of Discovery, Joseph Epstein notes that at bottom, the true subject is the author of the essay, which, if done properly, gives the personal essay both its charm and its intimacy.  And, pleasantly, mediocre essays . . . are never as boring as mediocre fiction (quoting Rosallen Brown).    Honesty in writing (accurate and truthful reporting of feelings, tougher than it sounds) is essential, for in literature only the truth is finally persuasive and persuasiveness is at the same time the measure of truth.  The essayist can be interesting (1) by telling readers what they already know in their hearts but have never been able to formulate by themselves, or (2) by telling them things they do not know and perhaps have never even imagined.  This all sounds like a fair description of what I aspire to in my more thoughtful posts.

History offers several outstanding essayists, those who would have made fine bloggers: Montaigne, Emerson, Mark Twain, George Orwell, and I suppose Joseph Epstein himself (he may actually have a blog; if not, here's an interesting link).  If you like these writers, I guess you're a natural for the weblog circuit. 10:16:23 PM      

A trackback link from the Faith Brings Crickets weblog led me to the LDS Women's site, complete with an announcements board, a homeschooling forum, and a scripture discussion board.  It also sponsors an LDS Women's blog ring which might be of interest to some readers, who should nevertheless be aware of the following rules for the ring, which I quote in full:

1. Sites must not contain pornography or adult images, adult, or crude images or language.
2. Sites must not contain racial, religious, personal, or other forms of intolerance.
3. Sites must be owned by an LDS woman or women and therefore be supportive of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its teachings.
4. Sites must not contain material that in any manner demeans, questions, challenges, or is skeptical of LDS doctrine, values, leadership, history, or principles. They may also not link to other sites that do.
5. Sites must be supportive of the LDS church leaders on all levels.
6. If you are an LDS woman who has a faith based in Christ and His teachings and believe in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ then more than likely your site will be accepted, [but email if you have any questions.]
7:56:39 PM      

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Last update: 3/3/2004; 12:07:05 AM.