February 2, 2010

do I want to be a blogger?

Maybe you've noticed I haven't had a lot of posts recently.  Maybe you never really paid attention in the first place so you don't really care. Either way, I've been kind of taking a break from it all for a bit to think about what this whole blogging thing is about, for me, anyways.

I think when I started this blog, it was a progression from other random attempts at journaling in the past.  I never actually kept a paper journal, unless you count the random one time-entries that I have posted in about half a dozen notebooks throughout my house (that I now use for taking notes when meeting with families for funerals).  But in college, I started using livejournal because my friends were doing it.  And I would write and think about being in a long distance relationship and how frustratingly wonderful and terrible it was. sometimes it was fairly emo. I never really cared if people read it - mostly it was for me. I was out there - people could read it if they wanted to - but that's not what it was really about.

At somepoint, I stopped using livejournal and for the life of me, I can't remember what I did in between.  I had a lot of wonderful men and women around me during that time, so there were probably lots of other places to vent/discuss

This blog started in seminary as I was trying to navigate the waters of my faith.  There were certainly things that I wanted to wrestle with and process and save and think about and some of that I wanted to do with other people.  And I was preparing to leave a very supportive community and head into ministry all by my lonesome. So, I jumped on the blogger.com bandwagon and away I went. 

The question that keeps coming up for me though, is what is this for?  Is it simply an online journal?  a place to express my thoughts?  Or is the goal of this to build connections with others and to have community?  Is the goal to create a network of people I can think with and wrestle with?

If it's the second of those two options, then I'm not serving my task very well.  JoPa Productions put out an article about how to build up readers for your blog - which isn't so much about numbers, but about how to connect with more people. And the simple fact of typing something and putting it out there isn't going to make that happen.  It doesn't happen in ministry that way either - just by announcing something doesn't mean anyone is going to show up - it takes personal invitation and the building of relationships.

I haven't done very much of that at all with this whole blogging thing.  I'm kind of doing my own thing - casually reading others here and there as I have time.  I'm not putting a whole lot of effort into building relationships, so I shouldn't be surprised if no one comes knocking on the door. 

I was a lot better at this whole thing a year and a half ago, but life has gotten in the way.  Ironically, the more I need this kind of deep thinking theological community, the farther away I have pushed it.

So it's a turning point for me.  Do I keep doing what I'm doing, occasionally journaling here and there?  Or do I take a step and put in the effort to build the support network?  Do I make sure that I take an hour or two every day to read the work of others and engage them in their thoughts?  Do I strive to post something that I'm wrestling with on a more regular basis so that I can seek the wisdom and advice and creativity of others? 

I think deep down, I really do value this kind of networked organic community.  I like the fact that I can build relationships and talk about common problems with people half a world away.  I just need to stop being lazy.

1 comment:

  1. Katie,

    I think you've nailed it. Blogs, as C.S. Lewis said about friendships, have to be "about something." They can go in other directions at times as well, but that's primarily because those who participate in them are there because the "main something" the blog is about is what it consistently delivers.

    Blogs are are a kind of ongoing invitation to a "generative friendship"-- just as you've surmised.

    What that "something" YOUR blog will be about will be... you get to decide.

    Peace in Christ,

    Taylor Burton-Edwards