This is my second blog. I began the first one in 2006 and deleted it to who knows where in etherspace in 2008. I had struggled with where I fit in the internet world and many of my readers resonated with the tension between the desire to live a life marked by simplicity and focus….and the need for connection and sharing.
I recently revisited the reasons I took that blog/internet break and thought I’d share some considerations for you if you are pondering beginning–or continuing–a blog.
- Are you getting enough interaction with real people, face to face? Social media and its cousins cannot help but foster shallow relationships simply because of the nature of the tools themselves. Many people are very “connected” online, but in reality feel very lonely. Are you getting enough real eye contact, voice tones and body language in your life every day?
- Do you expect your readers to be as forthcoming with you as you are with them? That is, if you share an opinion, a photograph, a lesson or a pondering, are you perfectly satisfied if no one leaves a comment? Or if your friends “already know” about your current projects before you can tell them in person? In other words, can your work be a straight out gift, or do you hope for returns?
- Are you writing for any other reason? Do you write in a journal, or write letters? Or is your entire effort in your writing revolve around seeing your readers as potential wallets? Are you willing to write and share for free?
- Does the idea of fasting from the computer or even your smart phone freak you out? Would you even consider a vacation that did not have internet access? In other words, how much does the internet world rule your life? And….are you at peace with that?
- Are you making progress with other goals and things you want to learn? Have you actually tried your hand at making soap or butchering a chicken or snowboarding or composing a musical score? Remember when you were a kid and always wanted to go fishing (or *whatnot*)….have you been listening at all to that kid lately? Do those *whatnots* need some attention?
- How are you doing physically? Eating the right foods? Getting enough sleep? Or do you grab for the corn chips and stay up past midnight planning blog posts? Can you take a walk and NOT compose status updates in your head the entire way?
- If someone were to ask your family about the time you spend on the computer or how distracted you are by your smart phone, what would they say?
- And bonus…what’s more likely: your nose in your Bible or the blue glow of a screen on your face? And…does it matter to you?
Ultimately, the question is this: are you living in integrity with the priorities you say are yours? Blogging, much like anything else, can be a blessing or a curse. Make sure it’s a blessing to you.