My opinion on this whole blogging thing.
|First came personal webpages. With the internet, anyone could expose . . . whatever . . . to the masses around the globe.
I didn’t participate. I saw personal pages as a form of narcissism. I didn’t want to waste people’s time with my life. It bored me enough I didn’t want to torture others with it.
Then came message boards. These were far more interesting, because a conversation took place between people of different walks of life. Who wouldn’t be allured by talking to an Israeli, a Canadian and an African all in one day?
The Blog combined the best of both the personal webpage and the message board. Now a person could not only be narcissistic, but people from around the world could comment on it.
Again, I had no desire to participate. I had nothing to say of interest, and I certainly didn’t need to give people an opportunity to tell me so.
Then I discovered writing.com. Though I didn’t add anything in my portfolio for about a month, once I did, I couldn’t stop. Having people reading and commenting on my work exhilarated and fulfilled me more than being published.
I then started a publication journal, and after only a few entries I gained quite a following. I was stunned that people would not only read my journal, but enjoy it enough to come back.
Enter more exhilaration.
Yet I wanted to say more, and not just about publishing. I kept a paper journal about my spiritual life. Even though I promised God I would write in it every day, I averaged once a week. I had broken my promise and it bothered me.
I decided to start a new journal on WDC since I spend so much time there anyway. I figured if I kept it electronically, I wouldn’t have to worry about losing it, and I could access it no matter where I was.
As I set it up, it gave me the option to turn it into a blog.
I hesitated. Do I really want people to comment on every entry? I shrugged thinking I had nothing to lose. If I didn’t like the comments I received, I could delete them, change my blog to a standard journal, or make it private.
With 196 entries and nearly 2400 views later, I discovered a few things I never expected.
1. A Sense of Community. In setting up this blog, I did anticipate a few people to be curious about what I have to say, but not necessarily to come back, or leave comments. Once people came back and commented, I decided to read and respond to theirs. It seemed only fair. The citizens of Blogville opened up their arms, welcoming me into this vast, yet to be stilted, or boring community. I’m proud to be counted among them.
2. Writing for the Reader. It's easy to be self-absorbed, to constantly write for only me. I did so for years in my journals. Blogging has broken me of that. Now, before I write a single word I think, "Would the Reader understand all this? Do I need to add a bit of history? Is it written so they won’t misunderstand? Is this even interesting? Will I be committing the worst of all Blogville sins . . . uniblogging?" Even after 196 entries, my tummy still tumbles the moment I hit “Save Entry" with the fear I haven't met the Reader’s expectations. I hope that never changes, because then I will no longer try to meet or exceed those expectations and lose them anyway.
3. Opening the Door Naked. Every Blogville citizen I’ve had the pleasure to meet has one thing in common. They speak their mind, sharing their deepest emotions and experiences with others. That takes courage, and it’s a courage I’m working on. I still hold back at times, wanting to be fully clothed and with makeup on so as not to startle the world with my emotional and spiritual nakedness. Yet every time I’ve ignored my fears and exposed my ick, people have responded with understanding and kindness, and in the end lightening my burdens.
4. Growth. My first expectation of "Catching Idle Butterflies" was to chronicle my journey toward a closer relationship with God. Again, this was mostly for me. My overactive sense of self-deprecation prevents me from claiming my words have had a positive influence on anyone, although that is one of my deepest hopes and desires. What I didn’t expect, and this is the main reason why I look forward to 300+ more entries, is the growth other blogs and comments have caused in me.
5. It Ain't About Me. In not being afraid to proclaim my faith to those I will likely never meet face to face, I no longer fear (as much) sharing those beliefs with those around me. After all, that's why I'm here, not to grow for growth's sake and to have it be all for me, but to show others God's love for them.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
~ 2 Timothy 1:7
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