Friday, October 24, 2008

Reflections on Blogging and What to Write Next

In recent days, it has been brought to my attention how easy it is to misconstrue the both the intentions and meaning of a person as they communicate through written media, particularly written media on the internet. This is particularly true in the case of a personal blog like mine.

If you think about it, personal blogs are a tricky context in which to write, particularly for a follower of Jesus. A blog is an online journal of sorts--a place to record your thoughts, reflections, and evaluations of... well... whatever you like, really. You get to determine when to write, how to write, what to write, and whether or not others can write back. In this way, it seems the personal blog is the most self-serving and, perhaps, self-promoting, media in existence today. For, not only are you writing your thoughts on various topics of your choice, but you are anticipating that your thoughts are valuable enough that others will want to read them, as well. It takes a special kind of "self-confidence" to believe that, don't you think?

Moreover, the personal blog is a "minefield" for readers, too. When one begins to evaluate and engage with the reflections of a person over the internet, one is unable to pair a "real life" story with a name, a heart with a sentence, a tone of voice with a point-of-view. In fact, all of the things that are essential parts of meaningful communication (and conversation, for that matter), are left out because of the nature of the internet. This means, of course, that misunderstanding is rampant and the tendency to assume all of the above (heart, tone, story) is a rip current for the mind. At times, this leads to an environment wherein blog-reading becomes the least edifying way to engage ideas, because true understanding is lost at sea.

I am not saying all this to announce the end of my blog. And, I am not saying all this to announce a break from my blog. Really, I am sharing this with you, my readers, so that we can, perhaps, agree together that even in the apparently simple realm of blogging, dangers lurk for both writer and reader. Recent circumstances have made this more than apparent to me and I have been pondering for a few days what I can do about it.

Sadly, I don't think there is much I can do to remove the dangers themselves. But, I am hopeful that I can offer "something that's of worth," in a way that will both bring honor to the Lord I've committed my heart and life to, and perhaps, a measure of deeper understanding to those who read what I have to say on this, my personal blog. To say what I mean more plainly: I would like to take the next few posts and attempt to offer some insight into my story and my heart. I don't know how long this series will last or whether it will accomplish what I desire (that is, an increased level of understanding between me, the writer, and you, the reader). I am hopeful. But, we shall see.

Once again, there is risk in thinking one's story is significant enough for others to want to read it. "Hey everybody! I think I'm so great I want you to read about me!" It does seem quite arrogant, doesn't it? But, I'm going to have to take the risk. The truth is, I don't believe my story is my story at all. I believe I'm a part of a much bigger story: the story of God, who, in Christ, is making all things new. Really, its that story that makes my story worth anything at all.

I hope that in the next few days and weeks, you will learn more about me. But, even more, I hope that you learn more about the goodness of the God who is continuing to call me out of darkness and into light. Stay tuned...

6 comments:

just me said...

Hi Emily,
I landed on your blog looking around the web thinking about Hagar. I looked at some of your posts, and really like your views so far. I will check back to spend more time, but I just wanted to say "Hi" :)
-Michelle

traci said...

Em- I truly love your thoughts and views on just about anything, maybe knowing you in "real" life not the blogging one makes me biased. I look forward to reading what you share with the masses on your blog. Knowing you makes me love you, so chin up and open your heart... lots of love traci

Gary Snowden said...

Emily,

I look forward to your continued posts as your share the story of your pilgrimage. I've always enjoyed your reflections and been blessed by them.

PreachOn said...

I have missed your incisive writing, as you have backed off from frequent posting. I do not think your spirit has ever been that of asking for applause or attention. Use the venerable Christian category of "testimony" and talking about one's heart and mind becomes very appropriate. Have at it!

UnderMidnight said...

Don't worry about people "misunderstanding" what you're writing. You are very articulate.
It's that some people are just douchebags.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Undermidnight, you certainly have a way of saying things... :)