Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baindridge Syndrome, a/k/a Blogger Burnout?

Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection informs us that Stephen Baindridge is cutting back on blogging, after confronting blogger burnout.

It happens. Jeff Goldstein goes through this. Dan Riehl has gone through it, and Dan tells me that Allahpundit -- in the years before I became engaged in the blogosphere -- famously quit blogging before being recruited to blog at Hot Air. So if it can hit Allah, it can hit anybody.

The real problem, of course, is that the effort-to-reward ratio of blogging sucks. Independent blogging isn't going to make you rich, and you have finite influence as one cell in the massive corpus of the blogosphere. It can be massively time-consuming and, if you're doing news/politics blogging, there is the inevitably massive let-down after the mad rush of an election season -- which is true, win or lose, but probably more true when your side loses.

I'm a writer and "a writer writes" is one of the truisms I was taught long ago. Blogging is writing, it's a good excercise in a medium I enjoy, and I doubt I'll grow weary of it. But when I'm crunching a deadline for something else (and in fact, I've got a deadline approaching), there will be less blogging. A writer writes, they say, and a professional writer writes for money.


  1. Damn. I wish I were a professional blogger, Robert.

  2. Well, my advice to Stephen Bainbridge would be to take a little time off from blogging for some thinking and spiritual renewal.

    When your postings gradually progress from Burkean commercial law conservatism to grumpy Russell Kirk obsessiveness to deranged Opus Dei paleo snarking, to Buchanan type sophistry, to Lindbergh FDR hatred transferred to Bush, to outright antisemitic (oh, excuse me, I mean "neocon Zionist extremist" griping, it might be time to rethink the whole blogging thing.

    There is a risk in blogging that turns easy publishing into the enemy of lucid thinking.

  3. I am considering a theory that distractions are the issue - short interruptions, or rapid electronic exchanges, disturb the thought processes, interrupt sleep for hours following a skim of blog summaries, intent text messaging, or action electronic game. Commercial TV with advertisements disrupts the program - the story being told - with deliberately disruptive sequences. The ad occurrences, not the TV, or the program, are likely the cause of many mental disbalances, like ADHD. Probably rock and other performances and videos that rapidly flash disjoint sequences also interfere with the ability to form long sequences of thought.

    Daily walks, banning electronics for a couple hours before bed, avoiding electronic programs with ads, limiting "browsing" might all be required to maintain a balance.