If I Were to Start Blogging Today, I Would. . .
I have been blogging for over seven years now, so you would think that I would be enough of an expert by now to have something wise-sounding to say about the whole blogging practice. I’m nowhere close to being an expert, but I guess I have learned a few things that are worth sharing.
1) That whole anonymous blogger thing? Yeah, probably not gonna work. I wanted to blog under a pseudonym and be totally anonymous – an anonymous pastor in an anonymous denomination serving an anonymous church in an anonymous town while raising three anonymous children. I have to say, the whole total anonymity thing lasted all of three weeks before parts of my identity slipped through. No one who knew me well knew for a long time that I blogged, but if anyone was looking for it, they could have found it without too much trouble.
2) Write on a regular basis. I am so not good at this. I go through spells when I write regularly. I go though long dry spells when I feel I have nothing to say. That is one of the reasons my blog has not grown in proportion to the length of its existence. That is one of the main reasons I love the May WordCount Blogathon. It gives me the extra motivation to stick it with it daily.
3) Don’t over-apologize. When I switched from Blogger to WordPress, I re-read all my old posts and was appalled by how often I apologized. “I’m such a bad blogger.” “I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.” “I haven’t forgotten my blog. Just been so busy lately. I’m sorry.” Geez. Get over yourself, girl! Just blog!
4) Remember what a blog is, and what it isn’t. A blog is a public forum. Some things do not need to be discussed in public forums. For me, a pastor, I don’t need to talk about a problem parishioner, or my pastoral pet peeves, or share a story that isn’t mine to share. As a mother, I need to respect that my children may not like certain things about them out there for the world to see. As an individual, as much as I would like to vent freely, I have to remember that once words are put out there, I cannot take them back. There are definite boundaries to observe. Back in the day, blogs weren’t so popular and we could get away with a little of that. No more. Don’t do it. A blog isn’t a diary, nor is it an online therapy group. Blog wisely.
4) Be yourself. I read some amazing blogs written by some amazing people. Some are great theologians. Some are accomplished writers. Some are so funny. Some are experts in the field of ___ (Fill in the blank: leadership, parenting, finance, creativity, publishing.) I’m no different from the middle school kid who wants to be as well liked as the “in” group. But I have to remember, I am not any of those people. I am me. God made me who I am for a reason and it’s my job to be the best me I can be. Yes, imitation can be one of the highest forms of flattery, but my blog is not the place to imitate. It is the place to be solely and completely me.