I have a dear woman (talented author, speaker, blogger) in my life who agreed some time ago to be my ‘writing mentor’. Might sound somewhat pretentious or mysterious, but all it really means is that she and I meet from time to time and talk about all things ‘writing’. She encourages me, questions me, and even corrects me when most needed. She isn’t afraid to speak the truth into my life because I’ve given her permission to do so. She is a gift.
The last couple of times we’ve met, the topic of ‘Twitter’ has come up. We’ve asked, “Why Twitter?” And, to tell you the truth, the jury is still out on whether this means of communication is helpful or a hindrance to the writers of the world. My friend has tested the waters… rather than using Twitter to broadcast news about herself, she’s used it to ask provocative questions in the hope that Twitter can be a two way conversation rather than just a monologue. Her results are not that promising.
And, most recently, the question of blogging has become a topic of conversation for my mentor and I. “Why do we blog?” is the question that plagues us. Is it similar to ‘Twitter’, meeting a need to broadcast ourselves and our thoughts to the world? Obviously blogging is incredibly popular, with brilliant authors and topics and blogs that are followed by people globally. According to‘Technorati’, the top three blogs in the world are on the topics of Politics and Technology. Number one, an American news website and aggregated blog founded by Arianna Huffington, ‘The Huffington Post,’ receives over 4 million hits per month! Now, if you are trying to have a voice, position yourself, or create a platform, that is definitely the type of readership you’d want to have.
But, what if blogging is about other things. When I ask myself the question, “Why do I blog?” I’d have to say that having readers is important to me. Knowing that I’m saying something of value makes the writing more worthwhile, of course. And, when someone responds to a blog post with a comment, well, that’s the icing on the cake. Yet, I know in my heart that there are some equally important reasons why I blog.
The first is simply the cathartic process that happens for me when I dig down inside myself and put into words what I’m feeling or going through or those moments of illustriousness where some thought takes on greater meaning. And, being able to record those thoughts, whether for an audience or not, is therapeutic.
Blogging fits into this particular season of my life as a wife, mother, writer and a follower of Jesus Christ. Publishing a book, or getting a full time job as a writer, might be prematurely biting off more than I can chew. Blogging offers a way to share my words, experiences and life with others, expressing how God makes a difference in how I do marriage and mothering and writing and all the other details.
If you’ve read my other blogs, then you’ll know that doesn’t mean I’m a preacher. I never profess to have everything figured out, and have lots of my own questions. But the hope that I share, the hope of Buddy Breathing, is all about the hope found in God. So, if what I write here opens up that possibility for you, allows you to kick the tires of faith a bit, or even gives you a reason to keep on the path, then I’m all about my life being an open book… messy, coffee stained, dog-eared corners and all.
There is also the accountability of writing on a regular basis for someone else. Now blogs don’t carry as much motivation as, say, showing up for a job, but still, when you know that you’ve committed to blogging and that there are people looking to see what’s new, then you are more prone to be regular about it. Perhaps a little bit of guilt motivation works for me.
I’ve been blogging for over a year now, and I really do love it. There’s something about blogging that validates who I am as a writer when I see my blog page opened up in front of me in a well designed template, with words that (for the most part) make sense. Whether or not my blog becomes a platform for something more, well that remains to be seen. For now, I continue to post what I have on any particular day, and I boldly open up my life and my mind to those who care to read.
Buddy breathing has a ‘hit counter’, while my other blogs My Grace Notes and Sometimes Suicidal Mama did not. And I have to say that watching that number is kind of fun. Four hundred is a far cry from 4 million, but it’s a start.
So, for all the reasons I’ve identified, as well as some I’m probably not even aware of, I continue to blog.
Logging off for today,