Why I Blog (It’s the New M. A., Dummy)

Where you learn how to blog your happy self to a Master of Arts. Or something. 

Did you know you can earn a Masters degree by blogging?

Okay…you can’t really. But you can come really close.

Let me show you how.

The Three Types of Bloggers

There are three types of bloggers.

1. Journalists

2. Diarists

3. Educationalists

Andrew Sullivan is your journalist. He follows political and cultural events as they develop and writes about them on his blog The Daily Dish.

Mommy bloggers like the Mama Bird Diaries are diarists. They write exquisite, entertaining and personal posts about the unpredictable drama of being a mother.

Finally, there’s your educationalist. Marc McGuiness at Lateral Action is an educationalist. He writes thoughtful blog posts designed to teach or inform.

Earn a Masters

Each blogger type has its place and function. I simply chose one over the other because of my goals. My goals are simple: I want to earn a Masters of Art in Theology. Without having to pay the price.

How am I going to do that? Write content that centers around theology, philosophy and literature.

Now, part of my plan for this blog as an M. A. was to treat it as a terminal task. Two reasons for this.

1. This means in two years I can stop blogging. If I want to. I have a destination in mind and I can get off the bus respectfully if I need to. Kind of like enlistment.

2. I’ve got to really focus on my content. Treating this blog like a theology M. A. means I’m pouring myself into one narrow subject for two years.

Now, in two years I doubt anyone will reward me with a M. A. I may not even pass an exit exam. Nonetheless, I’ll be a lot smarter than I was.

Besides, I’ll have a volume of writing that prepares me for my next point.

Write a Book

Get this: Blogging is nothing more than writing a book one page a day. Rand Fish at SEOMoz says as much.

He says that bloggers should write like they’re preparing for a book. It’s a great way to show a potential publisher or agent that you can write. And that you actually have a built in audience.

Furthermore, a blog’s content can serve as the foundation for a future book. Just look at David Michael Bruno and his 100 Thing Challenge.

Articulate. Organize. Sharpen My Thoughts.

Blogging also helps me articulate, organize and sharpen my thoughts. Those cloudy, opaque ideas become crystal clear arguments. In the meanwhile, my brain builds muscle.

This was the case when I wrote my review for The Shack.

See, after reading the book I knew that something was godawfully wrong. But I had trouble articulating it to people. It wasn’t until I sat down and grouped my thoughts together that I truly understood what was wrong with the book. And how to say that.

Now I’ve got 7 clear bullet points where I once had a dim blob.

Practice Writing

Finally, blogging just flat-out makes you a better writer. Especially if you have an agressive content schedule.

Brian Clark at Copyblogger summed it up best when he said to become a better writer simply write more.

Naturally, my first 10,000 posts will be dung. But anyone is bound to become at least marginally better if he writes 10,000 posts.

If they’ve got talent. Watch out.

Just look at the masters: FaulknerCormac McCarthyC. S. Lewis. Their early stuff is a joke compared to their later stuff.

Writing more means perfecting the craft. Blogging is my tool to do that.

What’s Your Excuse for Blogging?

Do you write a blog? Why? What got you into it? Do you have a goal? Do you even care?

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