To Blog Or Not To Blog…

Last week was my first blog post since early November.  Some of you have noticed and asked me about it… thanks Mom. Anyway, I wish I had some great explanation for why I stopped writing. Something like… confused Panthers mistook my computer for a small woodland creature and ripped it to shreds… or a band of OCCUPY protestors destroyed my laptop because they saw it as a symbol of the systemic greed and corruption of major industrial corporations… or maybe my computer just crashed (no… it’s an Apple, no one will ever believe that… I should probably just go with the Panthers). Anyway, instead of coming up with some clever excuse, I’ll just tell you the truth. There’s no good reason at all.

I began this blog last October with the goal of writing one post each week for an entire year. I accomplished that. HOORAY!!! And then I pretty much stopped writing. I guess that’s the problem with setting goals that have finish lines. Whether you fail or succeed, they don’t necessarily change you. Without some sort of new goal you just end up back where you started.  It’s the same way that diets and exercise plans don’t make you a healthy person. They’re just tools that you can use to live a healthier lifestyle that only work as long as you continue them.

No matter how often you do something or how much easier it has become since you first started, the actual day-to-day (or in my case week-to week) continuation will always take discipline. You can’t short-cut it. There’s no detour around it. It is the only way forward. Things that are worth doing never become automatic. Unfortunately, that only seems to happen with annoying things like biting your finger nails.

I never decided to stop writing, it just always seemed to be pushed aside by some more pressing task or responsibility. And without the pressure of the once-a-week goal in my mind I just never got around to it. Every week it just seemed that there was something else that needed my time and attention.

Well, I’ve realized something… There is ALWAYS going to be something else that needs my time and attention. And that’s true for you too. I have never met anyone, ever, who believed that they had too much time on their hands. Everyone feels like they need more time and less responsibilities. Even people that do nothing for hours feel like they just don’t have enough time to get all of their nothing done. We all feel like we are stretched to our limits. But the truth is, you make time for things that are most important to you and if you exercise a little discipline you’ll probably find that you do have the time, you just didn’t realize it.

So, the question really isn’t – Do I have time to continue this blog? Because that’s really up to me. I guess the real question I need to answer is… Is it worth it to continue this blog?

Trying to answer this question has brought me back to the old-school practice of making a simple Pros/Cons list:

Pros:

  • It has helped me to learn to think more creatively.
  • It has helped me to view life differently, more observantly (is that a word).
  • It has helped me become a better storyteller and, I think, a better communicator.
  • It helped me to become more open.
  • And probably most importantly, others have told me about how it has helped them in thinking through their own faith and life.

Cons:

  • Hard to schedule the time
  • Often last minute… I’d end up trying to force creativity and writing just to put something up there. I hate those posts.
  • My own tendency to determine my self-worth by whether or not a lot of people read the last post I put up (has less to do with the blog and more to do with my idolatry of approval)

[I could list more pros and cons, but this is kindof last minute and I just need to put something up there. So… 🙂 ]

By the end of the process I decided that I should keep the blog alive, which was probably already evident by the sheer fact that you are reading this on there right now. But I’m still trying to decide how I will continue it.

Should I set another short-term goal – once-a-week for the year?

Or should I set a different goal?

Should I have more strategy in how I approach it?

Should it be more focused around a particular subject?

Should I use it to market products like smoothies and toaster ovens in hopes of getting kick-back benefits like coupons or discounts?

Hmmm…. All things to consider.

Blog readers – If you have any opinions or advice, please share.

Fellow bloggers  –  What’s your process? How and when do you write? I would love to hear about it.

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About rmashaw

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, pastor, musician and artist who desries to open up the box of my life for others to rummage through and perhaps find something of use to them.
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4 Responses to To Blog Or Not To Blog…

  1. Rita King says:

    Reece you are a great communicator and I enjoy your blogs…I understand that you have precious little time and soon you will have even less. Let me just say that whenever you have time to write, I have time to read!

  2. Erin Mashaw says:

    What I love about your writing is that you have a knack for finding and pointing out the extraordinary in the midst of the mundane. I’m biased, of course, but I love the way you take every day situations and scenarios that are familiar to all of us, and then point out the way they reflect the nature, character, or design of God and his plan for us. I love the way you simplify things and remind me that God is at work in and around us… not just in the seemingly “life-changing” decisions and events, but in the things we do and experience every day… I’m glad you’re writing again 🙂

  3. Christina Sawyer says:

    I am in no way an expert. But if I may say something…(I want to preface with I love, love, love what and how you write!) I blogged for a little over a year with several ideas. My blog started as a writing exercise for myself but people began to read it. Questions started coming. I added in my blogging through the bible and that sent a bigger spark so I linked it to facebook. More people were reading. The realization that expressing our lifestyle choices and practices was making a difference came on full force and I felt really good about it all! But then I began feeling judged about things we were planning and things I was doing and ways we were living. It was a horrible, overwhelming feeling, so I decided to keep my thoughts to myself. I regret it. No other way to put it. What if someone was reading my blog and making some good choices and changes? Then I disappear and they say, “Well, she quit, so I will too!” When in reality, it was my selfish and insecure mind that took over. Not that I quit my choices. Your blog is brilliantly stated to include life paralleling the gospel. And you are an equal. No pedestal. You were probably asking how people schedule blogging in, but I thought you should know that someone may really need your inspiration (since you express your humanity so well), so maybe you won’t need to “find” time. Maybe this is important enough that God will make it for you!

    • rmashaw says:

      Thanks so much for all the encouraging comments. I honestly wasn’t fishing for compliments with this post but you all have really helped me decide how I need to keep it up.

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