I must confess that I’m not sure what I aim to achieve, if anything, with this blog. It is very early on in its life, but that is perhaps the best time to evaluate this – before these words multiply and spiral out of control in a tangled, indecipherable mess.
With the steady increase in arrests over things written on public forums such as blogs, not at all unlike this one here, some would say that it is better not to write publicly at all. Others would criticise that as simply taking the “safe” way out. Personally, I wouldn’t subscribe exclusively to either one of those views, because in my opinion, neither one is entirely sufficient in answering the question of whether or not I should blog. What is, then?
Questions almost always lead to more questions, and I think the question to ask in this case is: Why blog? Why should I put my thoughts – or whatever I’m putting out there – out there for all the world to see? There are many bloggers who use these blogsites simply because they’re there, with no real articulated purpose, and I am not, in any way, trying to say they’re wrong in doing that. But I’m the sort of person who needs to have a purpose for the things I do. Hence this entry.
So: Why blog? Here are some reasons why I think various people blog:
- Because they think they have something worth sharing — Is it presumptuous and arrogant to assume that?
- Because they want to get lots of readers and become famous — Not me.
- Because it’s easier than physically writing all their thoughts out — Yes, but there’s still the question of why go public?
- Because it’s a good platform for the exchange of ideas — Yeah, I suppose so, but this is more of a bonus than the reason to start blogging, at least for me.
But see, no one of those reasons on their own is enough. Not for me, anyway. But perhaps I am just being human and forgetting God. I believe in most cases, quite possibly including this one, a decision must be made not between right and wrong but between right and right or good and good. Sometimes, that is good and better. But sometimes, I think we get identical twins. Good and good. And in times like those, we just have to make a decision and stick to it, until told otherwise. (More on decisions in another post…)
So back to the question. Why blog? When I started this blog (not too long ago), I did up the “about” page: you can see it here. That, presumably, is meant to sum up the answer to this question. My answer to this question. Because the question did actually precede the birth of this blog, though I am asking it once more now. So what did I say? Essentially:
- I need to write. It’s how I understand God, myself and the world around me. Writing helps me to think and process things, and I believe that that is part of what it means to “love the Lord your God with…all your mind”.
- As much as I love handwriting things, it is difficult to have everything handwritten, because it simply takes too much time. Typing is a lot faster.
- Since I’m gonna be typing my thoughts out here, and I am far from being perfect or having perfect knowledge or anything like that, if there is anyone reading this, I believe we would both benefit from exchanging opinions and ideas (in a respectable manner of course).
So why am I second-guessing myself now? If I concede that not all the questions raised above (in the first list – sorry, disorganised and confusing, I know) can or need to be answered to satisfaction… I think it is because I have allowed other concerns to enter. Other purposes that I did not set out to fulfill.
You see, with almost anything, there are many benefits that can come. But when you set out to do something, you have certain purposes in mind, and anything else that comes along is bonus. At least, that’s how I think it should be. I think that when other things come into play – things that weren’t initially on the cards – that’s when things get confusing. It gets confusing because you’re suddenly confronted with so many things that all seem good and you don’t remember why you weren’t embracing them in the first place. It gets confusing because everyone has different purposes that can be fulfilled with that one same action or activity, and there is no reason that they should not all be fulfilled, yet they cannot all be fulfilled, or it just doesn’t sit well with you that you try to fulfill them all. I realise this is a confusing, vague paragraph, but I’m too lazy to change it. My confused, vague brain understands it, and for now, that’s all that matters.
Basically, I started to worry. Perhaps fear a little. What should I write here? How censored should it be? What topics are considered sensitive and controversial? Should I then stay away from them? Might I get arrested? What kind of things do I want to write about here? Thoughts on the Christian life? On worship? What kind of tone do I want to be using? How much of my life do I want to reveal here? Should I try to preserve anonymity? But I’m gonna pass this on to friends who know me, right? It feels like I am being dishonest if I consciously try to hide my identity. I also feel like that would inevitably make my writing pompous and stuffy and uptight, because when I write as I love to, I exist in the words, and suppressing signs of who I am would mean the writing would change, and that’s something I’m not willing to compromise. Write honestly, or don’t write at all.
So (I’ve started one too many paragraphs in this entry with “so”) perhaps I have my answer then. A great deal of the confusion, I think, comes from this blog being a new one. It makes me feel as though I must make it different from my old, which I am not retiring just yet. What belongs here and what belongs there? You see, I think of this blog as the ‘wise’ one, where all my thoughts and reflections that are deemed useful to others go. But I cannot find peace with this idea – and perhaps it is just me, but I cannot separate one thing from another. It feels like cutting myself into pieces. For every conclusion reached has a story behind it. And that story is as much a part of the conclusion as the conclusion itself. The picture feels incomplete without the backstory. So perhaps I should make no such distinction between blogs. Perhaps I should just write. Either here or there. Doesn’t matter which one. What matters is that I write, because writing is the way in which I am made to see what God has been doing in my life and the world around me, and silly blog worries are not worth missing out on that.
A final thought/disclaimer: I am just sharing my life here. You need not (and probably will not) agree with everything that I say, and you are, of course, entitled to your opinions. You are most welcome to share them, because disagreement is a large part of how we learn. I will respect your opinions, and I simply ask that you respect mine. I do not claim to be right all the time or to have all the answers. I’m not better than you. I’m not here to preach at you. I’m just sharing my thoughts, and the things I’ve been learning along the way. Whether you are frequenting this page or simply passing through, I appreciate it and pray that these words would be inspired only by the Holy Spirit and that they would not lead you astray, but closer to Him who loves us. (: