I've been sent an e-mail from a reader who asked me to start a meme, and I couldn't think of a good reaon to say no! She said she wanted to know more about bloggers than she could learn from their profiles, which, she said, we play for effect (she's right there!). So here goes.
1. How did you start blogging?
The immediate cause was Moretben beginning his blog: I read his, and followed some of his links and thought: "I'll give that a go". A more important reason was an increasing frustration with the Universe's discussion forum, on which debate and discussion seemed to me to be increasingly replaced by name-calling, and on which some startling assumptions about the Faith were revealed by people who thought of themselves as Catholics, and who thought that these were assumptions we all shared.
2. What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful?
As it says above: "Musings about Tradition in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and an attempt to collect essays and articles which would appear in a Catholic press which exercised critical solidarity with the Hierarchy." Another point of my writing this blog was to try to provide for the two or three people who know as much and as little theology as I do, and as much and as little about ecclesiastical politics as I do with a forum, as, with the exception of most of the Catholic Herald most of the time, there is no print Catholic resource to provide Catholic news and Catholic intellectual stimulation to the more traditionally minded in England and Wales. Furthermore, Eccleston Square, the Headquarters of the Bishops' Conference seems as forthcoming as the Kremlin in the 1950s.
3. Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
The focus has changed a bit, in that there are plenty of essays and articles out there on the Web, particularly in the Blogosphere, and it would be presumptuous of me to try to claim that I have contributed ore ever could contribute very much on that side of things at all. And I think that my musings about Tradition have possibly gone well beyond Tradition in the Church as I understood it when I embarked on this mission, not least because of the amount I have learned from reading other bloggers. I've probably grown more impatient with the Hierarchy as well. I'm quite pleased that I've been able to bring a couple of things in that readers who don't speak Spanish or Portuguese have been able to enjoy: I didn't think I'd be translating.
4. What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I wish I'd known that the blog would gain its own personality rather than be just what I wanted it to be. I wish I'd known how well it would connect me to people around the world: I might have started sooner. I wish I'd guessed that I'd end up saying more about myself than I would. I wish I'd realised that Catholics can be incredibly nasty when hiding behind anonymity: at least I had the sense to set up a disposable e-mail account! What might have started me blogging sooner is the number of really nice, friendly, supportive, sympathetic people out there.
5. Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
No. I embarrass my teenage children enough already. Part of the deal has to be that I don't do this more than they have to endure. (I burst into song in public: when they were 6 or 7 years old, they thought this was "cool"; they don't now that they think they know what "cool" means.)
6. What advice would give to a new blogger?
Have a subject for six postings decided before you publish your first: that way you won't dry up. And enjoy writing for the few rather than for the many: there are very few bloggers who reach hundreds of people, mainly because most people have more sense than to waste their time reading other people's blogs; if there are a few people who seem interested in what you have to say, say it to them, and you might entertain and stimulate them. Encourage others to blog. Put up with some of the rubbish you see from time to time, and enjoy the pearls which your new friends will cast before you. And try to remember to say Fr Z's prayer before logging onto the Internet.
Orátio ante colligatiónem in interrete:
Omnípotens aetérne Deus,qui secúndum imáginem Tuam nos plasmástiet ómnia bona, vera, et pulchra, praesértim in divína persóna Unigéniti Fílii Tui Dómini nostri Iesu Christi, quáerere iussísti, praesta, quaésumus, ut, per intercessiónem Sancti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Doctóris, in peregrinatiónibus per interrete, et manus oculósque ad quae Tibi sunt plácita intendámuset omnes quos convenímus cum caritáte ac patiéntia accipiámus. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.
A prayer before logging onto the internet:
Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
So there we are. I tag Moretben, Strongwoman Mac, and Rafael Castela Santos to tell us a bit more about themselves.