Blogs serve some interesting uses, don’t you think? Some people use them to rant and carry on about whatever injustices the world has served them with lately. Some use them as a political or religious platform. Some show off their fabulous photography skills. Some blog their personal life in hopes that their friends and family will read it and thus keep up on the news. Others hope no one they actually know will read it. Some use their blogs as learning tools, or as essays on various subjects near and dear to their hearts. I’m sure I’ve missed a few reasons!
Why do you blog?
Why do I blog?
I’ve been thinking about that lately (mostly on days, like today, in which I avoid doing any Real Work). In the course of the past few years since I’ve known about the blogging phenomenon, several bloggers I’ve known have shut down their blogs, or turned comments off of them. Why? They were becoming dependant on the feedback, feeling overly conscious of the impression they were making on others. The blog had taken on a life of its own, and it was threatening to get away. I can see that.
I started blogging in May of ’04, and moved to Blogger in January after comment spam had taken over my site, with no way for a non-techie to turn it off without turning the comments off completely. I like comments (hint, hint…). I do not write here simply to entertain myself, though that is surprisingly easy to do (grin). I *am* aware of my audience, though I don’t actually know who all visits here on a regular or semi-regular basis. I do know that the folks who comment are just the tip of the iceberg. Why do you come here? What do I have to say that keeps you coming back?
I’m a Christian. Most of you probably know that. I don’t exactly hide it, but I also don’t make a big deal out of it in my blog or at FM. That may partially be a result of conditioning from FM’s strictures onsite regarding political, religious, and war debates. This blog isn’t specifically about my faith, it’s about my writing (with a few other things, faith included, thrown in from time to time). Yes, the two are irrevocably intertwined. If I wasn’t a believer, I certainly would write differently.
I think what I want (through the blog and online) is to build relationships with people, and let my faith shine through the relationship. It’s a very vital part of who I am, but I’m not into pushing it at people constantly. I think that in most cases it only serves to push the folks away. I’m the same way in my Real Life. Most of my acquaintances know I attend church, and I’m certainly willing to share specific experiences and beliefs with anyone who wants to take the conversation a step farther. But I don’t want to turn people away by being pushy, either. I’m not all that confrontational.
I grew up with parents who were very vocal about their faith. My mom still doesn’t think any conversation is complete if she hasn’t been able to *witness* to somebody. Three of my four sisters are missionaries, with some of their kids following along in those footsteps. I think it’s great. The last few months my sis and I have been working, on and off, on the family history scrapbook. In the Mennonite culture my parents were raised in during the 20s and 30s, you didn’t talk about your faith. At all, really. People should be baptized, people should obey the rules, people should *be right with God* but no one could explain what it meant. When I think about their background, I understand better why, as they left the Mennonite church (when I was 7) to become missionaries to the native people of Canada’s north, they became so very vocal. But it’s not me. Is that wrong?
I see the same trend in my writing. I am unwilling (possibly unable) to write a *preachy* novel. In the science fiction I’ve written, I’ve explored some future Christianity. *False Perceptions* takes the idea of a Christian group fleeing earth, and having no contact with outsiders for generations. What would that do to their faith? Would it remain strong and vital? I doubt it. I would guess that for the most part it would become stale and legalistic. I might be wrong, but that’s the possibility I based the story on. Now I am exploring the idea of God desiring obedience of the heart more than outward sacrifice in the fantasy novel, *Marks of Repentance* (aka Shann). I think faith is a strong element of the story, but it won’t hit the reader upside the head. I hope. A *look at me* theme is more likely to get the book tossed against the far wall, in my personal opinion. A subtle theme may stick with a reader for longer, and cause a few actual brain cells to bump into each other as thoughts. I think that’s a good idea, whether the theme is actually *Christian* or not. Even though we mostly don’t read novels in order to think about issues, the issues are there, underlining the stories, and they’d best be integral to the story and not be tacked on.
Was that a tangent to the original question about why to blog? From my mind, it was a logical progression. I share my writing progress, and bits of my life (though why you all are so fascinated with Canadian farm life mystifies me…), and bits of my faith. I believe that if any of my readers had questions about any of those things, they could contact me to discuss them. I’m not on a platform. These are the things that are important to me. This is my life. Welcome in.