There are a lot of reasons why people take up blogging. Some see it as a means of preserving life’s events for family and friends. Others use it as a tool for self-examination or a way of connecting with others. Still others regard it as a potential starting point for bigger and better things. And then there are people like me, who blog for all of the above.
The self-examination part is new to me in a way. Simmering deep down for a while, but only recently bubbling up to the surface. I’ve found the act of posting small essays in the hope that others will read them reveals far more about myself than I expected. The good, yes. But also the potentially bad.
I’ve been writing this blog for about six months now, and I’m continually both amazed and humbled at how far things have come. I remember the first comment online comment I ever received for one of my posts (thank you, Sharilyn!) In December, my post about the Santa Story was the first to get comments in the double digits. A few weeks later, over twenty people commented about our mysterious backyard hole.
Which was, in a word, incredible. I never thought such a thing was possible, much less likely. There is a unique sort of joy that comes by checking one’s email and seeing a dozen or so messages of praise in the inbox. On many days, doing so was what propped me up and kept me from lying motionless in the muck of self-doubt. I love the comments I get.
Maybe too much.
I’ve always made a conscious effort to ask myself this question after finishing anything I’ve written, whether it be a post or a manuscript or a note in one of my children’s lunch boxes:
Does this honor God?
Sometimes, that answer is yes. Other times it’s no. But regardless, the end result is usually something I feel both He and I believe is worth saying. Any benefits that come after the fact, whether it’s a small check from the newspaper or a nice comment from a reader, is extra. Gladly accepted, but not counted upon.
Then a while back, as I was putting the finishing touches on a post, I asked myself this question:
I wonder if this will get thirty comments?
The question tried to be insignificant, small and soft, but it was made large and loud by the simple fact that I had never wondered such a thing before. And that bothered me. It meant that something had changed. The focus of what I write and why had shifted. Somehow my writing had become less about God and more about me.
Sometimes the self-realization side of blogging stinks.
It strips away those pretty masks we wear and leaves us staring at our own nakedness, forcing us to look at who we truly are. Not so we can despair at our own faults, but so we can fix them before they get worse.
And this, I think, needs fixing.
So I’m going to eliminate the comment option from my posts. For a while, anyway. If only so I can make sure I’m writing to further God rather than myself, and to inspire others rather than my own ego.
Of course, if something you see here particularly strikes your fancy or you just want to chat, my inbox is always open. Just click on the little Contact Me button on the sidebar, and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
“Be on your guard,” the Bible says. Because we sometimes take the things God means for good and mangle them. For much of my life, I’ve ignored that little bit of advice. I’ve paid for it every time, too. So this time I’ll heed that advice.
Maybe I can balance the scales a bit.