A meta-blog moment: So I’d hate for you to think that I’m getting lazy with these posts, using old poems and discipleship principles. The thing is that I just keep running into old things and thinking, I should post that! Most of the time I reign myself in, trying to decide if I enjoy this or that in and of itself, or simply because it’s fun to look through your own memories. Not every single blast from the past I may have will interest everyone. I realize that.
Other times it isn’t something old, but something that is happening right at that moment. Like conversations with Emilie. Sometimes when she’s talking I tell her, Emilie, if you keep talking like this, I am going to have to whip out my computer and write down everything you say. This is partly because Emilie says profound things, but also because Emilie says them in unconventional ways.
I love Quinoa. I like to touch it, I like to touch it with my hands. (She was telling me that her speech patterns are sometimes redundant, like Hebrew, because she doesn’t use the adverbial F-word. Thus, this sentence from more profane lips, would be: Quinoa, man. I like to fucking touch it.)
Look, Quail! Don’t hit them! They mate for life! (Obviously, I am only keen on hitting promiscuous animals.)
Anyway, sometimes I am unsure about what makes the best blog posts, because just about everything is post-able to me. A string of words rolls on through my brain like a plane pulling a banner, and—no matter how silly—I think, Blog! or I should post it! Since my pattern at the moment is to post something every morning, that means I only get one good thought per day. And we all know that I am so smart that I am constantly having brilliant thoughts! (Please sense my irony.) Since I am a busy girl, studying (hopefully) for the GRE, I tend to get by on the easiest thoughts to write about, namely, the ones that are already written for me. More ambitious posts will come. Some will be great. Others you’ll have to bear with me. If you particularly like something I do here, you should comment and let me know what’s working so I can keep doing it.
What makes a good blog? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself for three years (almost).
Wow. News Flash! I got curious to see when I started blogging and discovered that it’s been over three years. My blog was born July 4, 2008. Happy late birthday, blog!
Now I think it’s time to tell you what I’ve learned about my blogging, Facebooking, tweeting, and texting tendencies. I like sharing things that I find entertaining or things that are characteristically me. Even though I’ll never know exactly who my audience is, I think that it’s very important as a writer to establish rapport with my readers. I strive for honesty. The problem is, that if I were perfectly honest here I would have a brain reader that would scan my thoughts and post each one immediately. This is what I find myself trying to do. I try to blog everything I think, because I feel like if you read this, you should know me. If I tell you about one nasty sin habit I’m struggling with, I begin to feel that I need to keep you updated on every new thought I have about it, so you can experience my redemption with me. It really is an exciting process.
This need for honestly is why I also update my Facebook picture often. My hair grows out, or it changes color, or I cut it, and I feel like I need to change my profile picture to give an honest portrait of myself. My profile picture is almost always the most recent portrait I have. Why would I choose an older one? Because I look cuter in it? That’s not honest! (I also have a strict policy that I never untag myself in a photograph.)
Anyway, social media, for me, is my way of becoming the kind of writer that I want to be, learning how to captivate people and make them feel like they know me, even when they don’t. This becomes problematic when I find that my sense of well-being starts to come from the ability to share everything. It begins to stress me out when I read something funny and don’t have any place to put it. I put it on twitter, but most of my friends don’t even have a twitter, I use that to connect with other publishers and writers and designers. Then I start texting. It’s nice to share, but not when your soul starts to depend upon it and you have to hold yourself back so you don’t drive your friends crazy!
That’s when the anxiety starts to build and I’m usually not really sure where it’s coming from. That’s when I grab my prayer journal and start writing. The cool thing about the prayer journal is that it has one audience member (or maybe three), and that is (they are) God. He knows me intimately. He treasures deeply every word scribed at him. Or, as I often feel, every word he scribes at me through my own hand. The listening pen teaches me so much about myself.
As I wrote about this anxious feeling that attacked me last week, I realized that I needed to pause before I post and consider the audience who is always already loving and receiving my thoughts. The audience who thought they were important enough to give to me in the first place. Once I’d started to unravel the truth about my feelings, my heart brought me to Psalm 1 (I have very good memories associated with this passage. I first became acquainted with it while white water rafting.): He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
I am connected to the source of all life. He’s in me. I have his spirit, which knows his thoughts, and when I acknowledge them, drink them in, understand them fully, that is enough. I am a tree planted by streams of water, life is always pouring into me. When I rely on being known through this blog or perpetual texts or Facebook, I am like a tree planted far away from the river in some nice little garden. I like it there, but then I have to wait in thirst for my next chance to share, wait for the gardeners to come and water me.
Now, I am going to link you to another post that I wrote back in April about what it feels like to be an artist connected to the source of all life. The artist with the father who loves everything she shares with him. I called it Coming Out.
Back to my point: never let social media or your phone cheat you out of intimate, perpetual connection with the wellspring of all life. It is so easy to do these days.
- I Can’t Keep Up: a Blogging Manifesto (stirrup-queens.com)