John Scalzi wrote an interesting post the other day about who is he beholden to in determining what he should write about.
Scalzi is a much more public figure than I am and he tends to attract, if not court, controversy. Through it all he maintains firm opinions on a variety of topics. Sometimes he chooses to write about politics, or feminism, or marriage equality, or publishing – but sometimes he chooses not to, for the good and sound reasons he outlined.
You may note that I don’t write much about such subjects here, and in a similar spirit to Scalzi’s list I thought it worth going through a few possible reasons why I might choose not to stick my oar in on the kerfuffle of the day.
- if I don’t know anything about the subject – there’s not much value in expressing an opinion based on flimsy or one-sided knowledge. I try to at least be familiar with the context for something before I dive in
- other people have already spoken on the subject – it takes time for me to formulate considered opinions, often more time than others, by which time those others have already expressed the ideas I would have written. Or I may just be late to the party because I didn’t see the tweet which caused the flap
- my post schedule might already be full – I plan to post here three times a week. If the posts planned are already in place, I’m unlikely to spend more time writing another one. That’s not to say bonus posts don’t occasionally turn up of course, but there needs to be a compelling reason for it
- I may have other commitments – as I have mentioned in exhaustive detail, I have a day job, and a family, and many other activities. I like having this blog, but it is also quite easy for even the scheduled posts to get bumped down the list. There may simply not be the time in my day to opine publically
Any or all of these might apply at any given point, or other reasons entirely. I’ll add my voice if I think it will make a difference, but this space is necessarily more languid than, say, Twitter.