Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blogging - A sermon to myself

It's been almost a year since I wrote a blog. That's right, "a" blog. Just one. What's that all about? I am in a family of writers, a family who thinks about and processes life "out loud." And I really enjoy reading their blogs. So why am I not blogging? Good question.

My answer is probably the answer of anyone else who isn't blogging. Because I have nothing to say. I mean if you write something, which in essence is public, you assume that it will get read by people, right? So if people are going to read something there must be something of interest to read, right? Wrong. It's not about "them."

Last night I was with my friend Karen Anderson and her husband Steve. She's a professional writer and communicator from way back and is trying to flex with the times - technologically speaking. Mike got her hooked up on Twitter - which was a blast to watch. She was like a two year old who just discovered the world of wind-up toys. Then after we left, she wrote her first blog. Though she's had a website forever, she's never blogged. And she was paralyzed to begin. Why? Because she was concerned about what she should say, what she should not say (didn't want to give away all the content to a new book she's writing), who would be reading it, etc., etc. My comment to her was, "You're over-thinking it."

Blogging isn't really about everyone "out there." It's mostly about you/me. (An interesting thought just popped into my head:" It's about me." That sounds very egotistical. But actually that makes it less about me. When "it's about everyone "out there"" it becomes all about me, my ego - how am I being perceived, etc. But when "it's about me," it's not about my ego, it's about my teachability and my ability to be a good student of myself - where I'm growing and where I need to grow. It really becomes about what I'm learning from "everything else "out there"" and how am I being changed - change is life.) In my opinion, blogging is about sharing what's in your heart. It's about living in the present moment, and observing things. Being a good student of life.

Blogging keeps us accountable. It's a great vehicle to keep us moving in life. It forces us to pay attention - to things we want to see and things we don't want to see. There is something about putting things "on paper" which forces us to be true to our word. I hate this and love this at the same time. I hate it because I don't want to be accountable, even to myself. After all, I might "fail" and discover that I'm really lazy or scared or self-centered or pretending, or whatever. But I love that, because I don't want to be any of those things and being confronted with them in black and white forces me to do something. I can't ignore them. Especially if I keep "discovering" them over and over. So there. I've said it. I wrote it. I love being accountable. Because I don't want to stay in my same ruts.

So, my words to Karen about over-thinking now apply to me. I'm not going to obsess about writing for others. (If I do I'll never get started.) I'm going to write for me. And I can put up with imperfections in my writing, so I'm good to go. I'm ready to embark on my treasure hunt. I'm ready to discover everything I can about myself, my purpose on this earth, my Creator, creation itself (people, places, things) and everything else - did I leave anything out? -

The truth is, I do have something to say, even if it's just to myself. And if you want to listen in, then that's OK. But, I'm not writing for you or for "them." I'm writing for me. And if my suspicions prove true, not only will my life be enriched but others will too.


Karen said...

Whoo-hoo! You go girl! I am soooo proud of you! Your "sermon" touched me, so you're right; if we write from our hearts -- for an audience of one -- then it is all about who we are and not what we are doing. Thanks for the encouragement and the example. Keep writing, my friend!

Michael S. Hyatt said...

I love this blog post. It touched me, too, and I have been doing this for a long time. I am proud of you!

David Teems said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Teems said...

Refreshing. You make blogging look good. And you have infused it with meaning, which is not easy. I hope you continue to pursue the present course. You have a pioneering spirit, and you give it a delightful voice. I admit, as a writer, perhaps specifically as a writer, I have circumnavigated Blog, the enfabled land. In a world where image is everything, a me/my world, a world of pitch and spin, a virtual world where nothing is what it truly is, a world that allows me to create my own personal mythology, one just shy of truth, a fiction that costs nothing, that sacrifices nothing, and that gives nothing away, that allows me to create the narrative myself, the counterfeit, to live by an idea of myself only because the reality is way too much work, and way too difficult to understand, I am left rather cool. No, give me warts and wrinkles. They have their story too. The whole notion of selfhood is a slippery one. Authentic selfhood demands a pioneering spirit. To meddle with the sleeping or the unexplored within us. Here’s a great quote from Thomas Merton, one of those I wish I had said first, “We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.” But to throw off my own personal fictions, I have to first know what they are. That is perhaps the real work before us. Like you, I believe the true undiscovered country is inside us. In the deeps, not the shallows. Beauty, charity, kindnesses, benevolences, deep human regard, all quiet and untapped. I don’t say that out of some obligation to a trend or some fashion of the hour. This long precedes Oprah. It is as old as the riddle of self. Anyway, after reading your blog, I signed up. I now have a blog. I have over 200 notebooks on my shelves, but now I have a blog. And you have a fan.