At the most recent Rochester Chesterton Conference I bought a copy of Chesterton In Black and White. The book is a collection of early (1903-04) Chesterton essays from the magazines Black and White and The Bystander.
Many of the essays foreshadow topics he would address in his later writings such as humor, fairy tales, and, of course, paradox.
For Black and White he wrote a series of essays on "The Decline of Amateur Professions."
In one of the essays he defines an amateur "as a man who does a thing because he enjoys doing it."
He had individual essays on the following "amateur professions:" Dancer, Critic, Actor, Politician, Educator, and Soldier.
I suggest another profession to include: Blogger.
Blogs were once quite popular - including this blog. In addition to contributing to this blog, I've had personal blogs - on one of which I still post to on a regular basis. Our local newspaper also had community blogs for various town and groups. I was the blogger for my suburban town, and also contributed to a "men's" blog.
Alas, social media has moved on, and so most blogs became passe. I quit my newspaper blog gig, and a few years later the newspaper shut down all its community blogs.
I joined this blog in 2006. At the time there were a number of other contributors - I was responsible at that point for posting on Thursdays. I liked the idea that I was the man who was Thursday!
Gradually, as blogging faded away, so did the other contributors. (Being talented individuals, they have likely gone on to better things.) Since 2014, I've been the only person to continue to contribute to this blog. and for a long time I was irregular about doing so. Indeed, in 2019 there was just one single post concerning the Rochester Chesterton conference that year.
I also noted that many of the other blogs listed on this blog as "Chestertonian Blogs" have suffered a similar fate. Most have not had posts in years. some no longer exist. Only one in the list has had a post this year - just one post.
Despite all that, I decided in August that I would try to keep this blog active. This is the 14th post since.
Because while they are an older form of social media, blogs still exist and still serve a need. Some blogs - ones hosted by well-known individuals, or devoted to a particular niche market, or focused on such topics as fashion or pop culture, and so on - remain popular. Some of those blogs even generate income in various ways.
This blog might be a "niche market" one in that it focuses on particular writers like Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Hilaire Belloc, and writers with ties to them. Not a big market, to be sure, but still one with a loyal following, and one that deserves greater attention.
In addition, a blog, being an "old-fashioned" kind of social media, fits right in with a Chestertonian embracing of traditional literary - or social media - forms.
Besides, I enjoy doing it.
I enjoy writing. I enjoy reading and writing about Chesterton and Lewis and their friends. I enjoy classical literature and education and matters of faith. I enjoy clerihews and paradoxes and fairy tales.
I am an amateur blogger - a noble and honorable profession.