@sarie, So happy to hear you enjoyed the audio! 🙂
I’ve been off the forums for a couple weeks now, and I’ve found myself missing it so deeply. I don’t remember exactly what I was doing last week, but whatever it was, I was suddenly flooded with emotion that said, “These are my people.” I can’t really explain it, but there is just a way of looking at God, creating, and life in general found here that resounds and reverberates in my heart.
@alind, this quote of yours is one example:
The process of creating a post has merit in itself, I think, even if it is seen by few.
This is something I have been wrestling with over the last month or so with my blog. I do enjoy writing a lot, and many days I can say that I “feel God’s pleasure” when I write. Although I enjoy writing, when I put up a post I begin (almost compulsively) checking the read-meters and comment section to see if anyone read it, and if any of the readers enjoyed it — if it mattered. I want to create for the sake of creating and enjoying it; to believe that not everything created has to have a purpose outside of the “creating” of it. I grew up in a church culture that said everything you do must be able to be proven significant for it to be worth doing. I can’t always prove my blog significant, and I think even trying to steals away the fun of it — the glimmer of it.
On the other hand, though, when I know someone enjoyed what I wrote, when I find out that it meant something, I get a whole other dimension of satisfaction in it. It seems deepened or matured in a way. Do other people feel the same way? Do you all think that it’s wrong to seek verification/appreciation from others in our creating? Can those two things, creating for yourself or for the sake of creating, and wanting approval from others in your creation, work together in a way? Or are they mutually exclusive?
Maybe this post would be better put somewhere else, since it pertains to more than blogging, but I figured I would ask my fellow bloggers first!
I’ve recently joined the forums after months of just watching for the outside. I see that no one has posted on this thread for awhile, but I’m sure it’s just because you are all too busy writing for your blogs 🙂
Mine is called Twenty-Seven Things and is a documentation of me doing twenty-seven things for the first time. It started last spring as a celebration of my son and motherhood and embracing the scary things in the world (last month was my twenty-seventh birthday and his first). I just finished my seventeenth Thing, and I am starting to wonder what will happen to my site and my writing once I finish this project.
The thirteenth Thing I did was to share my blog with others, something I had never done before, partly because of the reasons Kyra talked about. I was finally writing for myself and it felt good. I was afraid that as soon as other people knew I was doing it, I would crave the praise and validation that I was doing a good job. And now that it’s public, I too find myself checking my stats and I have a weird sort of list of family members who haven’t said anything to me about it. Clearly, this was not my intention in starting the project.
So Kyra, I definitely don’t have an answer for you. I can only say that I understand.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself formally.
Hi there! I have been blogging for a couple years now. I started it because I am a fiction writer and “they” said you have to have a platform. So….I struggled for awhile about what to blog about. I mean, I write fiction for a reason. I don’t particularly want to write about myself or the dishes in the sink or recipes or what God is doing in my life. Nor do I think that non-fiction is my “best” writing. So, as the purpose for the blog was to get people interested in my book(s), I decided to write about things pertinent to that. Seeing as my books are historical fantasy, set in Dark Ages Britain, I have a bunch of posts about the important places and people of the times that relate to my book, which is set in 642 AD. I also have a few interviews with a couple fellow authors and one which I really enjoyed with the director of an archeology dig on the site of one of the important settings in the book, Bamburgh Castle. I have had some posts about things related to fantasy books and writing, and as well, had a couple of monthly series, “Year of Reading Lewis”, in which I read one C.S. Lewis book a month and reviewed it at the end of the month, and this year’s “Year of Important Books” where I am reading my favourite books from childhood.
I blog weekly, which I find a bit burdensome. I’m toying with cutting back to twice a month next year, as I am in the process of beginning the process of self-publishing and I know that will take quite a bit of time to do well.
Anyhow, I don’t have a huge amount of followers, but I do have some faithful readers and have made some connections through the blog which have been good. Is it doing what I wanted in terms of gaining me some future readers? I dunno. I guess time will tell.
I struggle with the self-promotion thing, and I am trying to figure out how to be more active on social media without going insane. I do enjoy blogging, for the most part, but am still trying to figure out how it fits into the big picture of my fiction writing. You can find me at the traveller’s path, which is also the name of upcoming trilogy! Heh. Clever, right? 😉
@allysonschaefer, that is so sweet to read and cool to hear! How is it going?
@lisa, I love that idea and I can hear your heart and passion for your stories in your post! Thank you for sharing with us, I’m now following you
Thank you both for reviving this thread, I’ve missed it!
How is blogging going for you all out there? I must admit, today was the first time I’ve picked mine up in over a month. I’ve missed it, but I’m in the process of sifting through my life and seeing where everything should fit.
Do you guys ever have to do that? What does your process look like?
My process is pretty laissez-faire. I try to figure out a month at a time (or longer, if I’m really inspired) what I’m going to post on, but realistically I’m usually wracking my brain each week to come up with a topic. I have one “fixed” post a month – that is the last Friday, where I blog on my current book review series. Other than that I try to hit at least one Dark Ages post a month, and the other two could be interviews, or other book reviews, or novel progress or “whatever”. This constant trying to come up with topics each week is one of the reasons why I might cut back to two/month next year.
Thank you all for reviving this thread.
I’ve been blogging daily — well, nearly daily — for the past few months on what I consider a nothing blog. I do it for the discipline.
What I’d really like to do — and I would love prayer concerning this — is to revive a blog that I abandoned because of a troll. At Hutchmoot, a dear friend gave me a framed hand-lettered piece of artwork with the name of that blog and I nearly started to cry. Nearly — because if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to stop. My old blog is a piece of my heart.
Would you pray with me for wisdom?
@lisa Wow! Yeah, I’m so afraid of that coming-up-with-topics process that I’ve never set a blogging schedule, I just do it when I have something to say. But nowadays I don’t post as much as I would like to, and thus I’ve considered setting goals for posting, and seeing how that goes.
@sallyz That is so so sweet! Of course I will pray for you on that! and now I would absolutely love to find your blog. To hold such a piece of your heart means it must be a very special thing to behold =)
@kyra-hinton, I’m sorry I never responded to your mention so many months ago. However, I can relate to both wanting to know people are reading and enjoying what you right, and not posting as often as you would like! In my case, I posted something on my writing blog last week for the first time in about 10 months! RR is a great place for encouraging me to keep trying.
As to wanting to know that people read and enjoy what you have written, perhaps it’s because in a sense writing at its best is a conversation that is not limited by distance and time? Of course, sometimes we write simply to process our own thoughts, too. That can just be between me and God. But when I blog, I am hoping that someone will read and enjoy what I wrote. Even better, though, is having someone respond! That’s when it really becomes a conversation.
@alind — when I read this — “<span style=”color: #45413e; font-family: ‘Whitney A’, ‘Whitney B’, sans-serif; background-color: #fffefc;”>writing at its best is a conversation that is not limited by distance and time” — </span>you reminded me of a blogging link-up that I stumbled on a month or so ago called Weekend Coffee Share.
<span style=”color: #393939; font-family: ‘Gentium Book Basic’, serif; font-size: 19.5px; background-color: #e0eff1;”>Weekend coffee share posts imagine that the blogger is having a beverage with readers </span>
<span style=”color: #393939; font-family: ‘Gentium Book Basic’, serif; font-size: 19.5px; background-color: #e0eff1;”>…usually starting with the phrase “if we were having coffee.”</span>
Other bloggers that participate write to a large audience, but I tend to think of one person that I would want to have coffee with and imagine the conversation. Sometimes when I picture the conversation, the post just flows, unlike if you ever have the misfortune to meet me in person where you’ll find that I’m a terrible conversationalist.
Since coffee is a key ingredient at Hutchmoot (for me), perhaps we can have our own rabbity version of the coffee share here. Would anyone care to write a post beginning with these words: “If we were having coffee…” and then put the link here?
Here are two of my coffee shares, one written for my sister, and the other for a dear friend.
https://regardingdad.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/how-bout-them-red-sox/ <—- for my sister
“But when I blog, I am hoping that someone will read and enjoy what I wrote. Even better, though, is having someone respond! That’s when it really becomes a conversation.”
@alind, yes, exactly! Thank you, that’s the validation that I needed, I think. Talking to a void with no feedback just feels.. wrong. This may be the encouragement that gets me back to starting the conversation.
@sallyz, that is an AWESOME idea. I’d heard of that concept, but hadn’t seen people do it much. I read your links and loved them (the one to your sister made me tear up, although I resonate with both). I should go brew a cup of coffee and start pondering. =) Thank you!
I equate the feeling of no one responding to my writing to a pastor standing up and giving a sermon to an empty church. While writing the sermon and giving the sermon was probably of some benefit to him, and did give glory to God… it kind of misses the point, which is communication.
I don’t write sermons, much, but when I write a story or anything, I am wanting to pour it into others, to produce something of beauty that is to be seen. I believe that there is something of the creative character of the Lord in that. He does good because He is good, and would be it and do it even if there was only Himself to witness it, but… his good should be seen. It SHOULD be worshipped. His deeds should be known.
In the same way, fame or approval should not be the motive, but if we work to write something beautiful and worthwhile and plant it out in the world, then there should be fruit from that. Should be often isn’t in a broken world, but that doesn’t make it not what it is, and doesn’t make the desire to see our work blossom in righteousness and wholeness a good desire. Just don’t let the desire to see fruit distract from the fact that when working for the Lord we work by faith, which is only true if we don’t get to always see fruitfulness.
As an introvert (whether newly developed or newly discovered, I’m not sure) I’m super thankful when my husband tells me to “go get lost,” and thus volunteers to hold down the fort and take care of our toddler for as long as I need. (Wow, I am LOVED.)
So I went to a coffee shop today with the intent of blogging, but ironically wasn’t planning on it to be an, “If we were having coffee” post. My story had other plans, so @sallyz, here’s my first one: https://remnantsofahomeland.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/coffee-shop-stories/
Hello! I’m joining the party a little late, but I’m oh-so-excited to be here.
I have had a handful of personal blogs over the last 10(+?) years. After the birth of my first daughter (we’re up to four daughters now), I took a few years off to focus on other writing projects. I realized, though, that I really liked the discipline of having to write regular posts for a blog, so three-and-a-half years ago, I launched Little Book, Big Story, where I share my family’s favorite children’s books.
I post a new review every Friday, but typically find a way to make it about more than just the books: family stories work their way into the posts, as do thoughts on writing and faith and fiction and so on. After years of false blogging starts, this blog feels like just the right work at just the right time.
So, here’s Little Book, Big Story!
Hello! I’m late to the party but I blog about my journey through life and infertility at http://www.thethinplace.net.
I have been struggling lately. I know that my writing is a gift that I need to share. I know that there is beauty in simply obeying and waiting to see what God will do. Often, I feel like Noah, building an ark just waiting to see what will happen with his obedience, misunderstood by those around him.
How do you balance focusing on your art with also marketing your blog? Has anyone found simple marketing strategies they would recommend?
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Thank you all for this thread. I have been blogging for nearly 10 years, I suppose. My blog, Beneath the Crust, initially began as a place to write about food, but soon progressed into a discussion of theology and life. Since 2009, I have written just over 1000 posts that vary in focus and quality. I have been surprised over the years which posts have gained the most traction; they are often different than my personal favorites. I would also comment that it has been an interesting exercise for me to go back over the years to look at what I had been prioritizing in any given season, but also to see the persistent threads.
In early 2009, when I started in earnest, I wrote mostly about adoption and theology, two topics which mattered much to me in that season. That Fall, my wife was diagnosed with and began treatment for breast cancer in the middle of our adoption process. Suddenly, new colors entered the picture. Over time, there have been transitions in my thought–an increased appreciation of mystery and beauty, a desire for Trinitarian relating, and thinking in terms of worldview, for example. Over the past year, I have begun to play more regularly with creative writing, and especially poetry. I was grateful to @andrew for retweeting a link to this post last week, I think because it reflects my current heart.
I would welcome feedback or thoughts from any who might be willing.
@sallyz, thanks for starting this thread! I am so encouraged to hear from other bloggers who struggle with the same tensions I feel.
I was the token female contributor for a denominational blog for 20-somethings from 2011-2013 (FWB21–it no longer exists). When we let that blog die, I felt like it would be somehow too narcissistic for me to start my own blog, even though we bought a domain and toyed with the idea.
We did set up a book review site for the year we got free books in exchange for reviews. And a site for the hilarious email conversations my husband had with a Nigerian scammer (Smotherless Babies Don’t read it if you’ve recently had a c-section or other abdominal surgery–it’s too painful.)
Life took some unexpected, difficult turns, but after a few years I’m starting to thrive again and cannot stop writing (and reading, which inspires me to write even more). It’s the thing that gets me out of bed early and makes me look forward to the breaks when my chores are done and the children are playing or sleeping. For the first time in my life I have a dream of publishing a book (two books now, actually) but my hubby encouraged me to have at least some kind of presence online again first. So I culled some of my old posts from FWB21 and added some new ones (mostly poetry) and recently put our old domain to good use: The Donahue Daily. It has sections for my photography and book reviews as well.
I will say, it’s been interesting to go back and read everything I blogged years ago, before the dark season. Writing regularly improved my skills and helped me to find my voice. Some of what I wrote back then even impresses me and encourages me now. I know God used some of that back then, but I think all of that was preparing me for something else. The something else that God has for me in this season. I’m both excited and nervous to see what becomes of it. But thanks to you all, I know I’m not alone!
"I really wasn't a reader, until I started reading." -Mick Donahue
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I have been perusing some of your blogs. There are not enough hours in the day! I’m going to have to save these and come back to them as I can.
@sarie the beauty of your words and photos struck me. And your home! It’s lovely! I’m in North Carolina… I wonder how far away you are. Wish I could have you over for a cup of tea.
@kyra-hinton your post on paper airplanes made me tingle. Don’t ever stop writing!
@sallyz I watched my mom care for my grandfather with Alzheimer’s/dementia for 8 years (7 of those in her home). Your poem about Grandmother’s New Pants made me chuckle in a sadly wistful way. Have you ever marketed your blog to support groups for caregivers? I imagine your posts would be a wealth of encouragement to them. My mom’s support group is what got her through (that, and the grace of Jesus).
@micah I had to check out the C++ blog. The IT Crowd clip… >D My husband writes mostly in PHP, but I know enough to get the nerdy jokes. For Christmas Mick got a t-shirt that says “I’m here because you broke something.” I’m sure you can relate…
@katewillis I’m so glad you shared your blog! I added your book to the wishlist for my boys. 🙂
"I really wasn't a reader, until I started reading." -Mick Donahue
I’m glad this blog space was begun and look forward to peering into the windows of more Rabbit minds and hearts.
@baileyeliza – yours was the first I clicked on, because I share your ache for what the Lord has withheld. Thank you for writing. Keep on.
My own blog began as an alternative to myspace/facebook, a journaling place for me to process, record, and testify: TheGraceBook
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Your words touched me. Thank you. So many arms have the same longing.
Your blog reminded me of one of my favorite books, Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy. If you haven’t read it, I think you would love it. It’s about her family moving to and restoring an old farm house and the work God did in her heart during the process.
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