Saturday, September 20, 2008

is it worth it?

After giving myself a few days of distance from my 9/8 and 9/10 posts plus comments, I’m still wondering if blogging is worth it. The whole experience of “the anonymous commenter” really threw me for a loop. On the one hand, I’m glad it gave me an opportunity to wrestle with God over what to do (and boy, did I wrestle), as well as to set some boundaries on my blog. At times, I was certain that good was coming from the situation, at the very least in my own personal life. On the other hand, some people to whom I told the story said, “That’s why some of us don’t blog,” and “That’s why I don’t get blogging.” Those comments were not meant to put me down, I know, but they carry with them a little bit of blame—like this was my fault. Like I shouldn’t have put myself out there in a vulnerable position for all the world to see. Cause that’s what’s wrong with blogs in the first place; they’re indiscriminate.

Do I just crave the attention that this blog provides? Is it wrong for me to share openly about my life and heart with anyone other than those who have won my trust and who also trust me?

Ironically, I’d like to be honest here. I felt a lot of shame in the last week about various things, but particularly about what happened on my blog. I’ll spare you the details, but I do want to say that I noticed something. Isn’t it odd that my outlet for writing, my forum for creativity, truthfully one of my main reasons for going part-time, felt like such a defeat? I was initially struck by how much like a demonic scheme that seemed. Or, as a friend pointed out, maybe God wanted to teach and refine me through this. Either way, now doesn’t seem to be the time to give up. I work so much less now, not because I’m an exhausted pregnant woman, but because it was clear back in March that I needed this. I needed the chance to test out my words, and maybe even my paintbrushes or camera. From my perspective, this blog motivates me to create.

I would really love your thoughts on this. What makes a blog worthwhile? What makes you read my blog? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Should I speak less openly about what’s going on in my life? If you wouldn’t mind taking the time to comment, it would mean a lot to me. I think it would also help me to know who reads this. Even if I don’t know you, I’m interested in your thoughts (with the exclusion of anonymous comments). Can I tempt you with a give-away?

Just kidding. It’s not that kind of blog, at least not right now.

Thanks, everybody.


jenni said...

I have been meaning to comment on your 9/10 blog but I felt like all attempts came out a touch snotty...which is probably unfair, not knowing the other person involved. Knowing you for the kind of person you are and the heart that you have made me feel defensive for you. So, I chose to just pray instead. :)

However, on this post I feel like I can honestly comment and share my thoughts with you.

I have several reasons I read certain blogs. One reason is to stay in touch with family and friends...what's going on in their lives and what they might be going through or learning at the time. Other blogs such as yours (although I do love catching up with what's going on in your life too!), I read because I find them encouraging and challenging. I am not a writer and often find comfort and healing in reading other people's words that can describe or explain the journey they are traveling and what God is teaching and how He is growing them along the way. So many of us share the same frustrations and fears - it is a wonderful thing to feel connected to others and have them "talk you through" a situation or a God thought. I love having words to borrow. :)

I agree on having some sort of boundaries with the comments that are allowed to be left. Another blog I faithfully read, decided to do the same thing for similar reasons. I think that is wise.

I hope you keep sharing your heart. Although it is a bit risky to make yourself so vulnerable to so many people who may or may not know you, the benefits of people being encouraged and strengthened (or even just the comfort of hearing a story that is so similar to their own) is an amazing thing. Words can be so powerful and for those of us who need YOUR words that God gives to you - keep blogging! :) Plus (I'm not going to lie)....I am hoping for some posts/pictures of that cute little daughter of yours when she arrives!

With love,
Jenni Atkins :)

laurcat said...

hey meghan, just wanted to let you know i read your blog and enjoy it. i've thought a lot about the issues you mentioned, and haven't come to any certain conclusions myself about where a blogging "line" is. sometimes i wonder if a lot (most?) of my posts push that line, and how people react to them.

but i think that writers (which i think you are) need to have an audience to keep motivated. it's a natural instinct, or drive of sorts. i've never been able to keep a private diary going for more than two days, but i've been able to keep a blog running for years. i like thinking that my thoughts make an impact on people, and also like thinking that people can know me who would otherwise never know me at all.

so...i'm with you trying to figure out what things i should or should not talk about...but i imagine that blogging is worth it. it's a nice way to talk to someone. and i hope you continue to update yours, because i firmly believe what you have to say is worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

hi meghan,
my name is heather. i just read your blog again because my husband and i were actually at your church this morning for the first time in 6 years (sheesh!)and my old friend, demoree, actually pointed you out to me but i was too embarassed to say hello! forgive me!

i've read your blog on and off- i even posted a comment months ago! even though i don't know you, i kinda feel connected to you because of our obvious link. when i read what was going on with you and your blog/people's comments, i just wanted to say that i hope you continue writing. when it comes down to it, you have to write for you and not for what others may say. that's the unfortunate beauty of blogging- you are putting yourself out there and thus, opening yourself up for loving comments and/or criticism. i've also had several random comments from people i didn't know and since then have chosen to have only those with an ID/name be allowed to comment. unfortunately, there are creepy people out there, up to no good. and i've actually deleted a few entries for fear of people criticizing or judging my words. on one hand, i want to express myself and have an outlet for my creativity, but on the other hand, i want to be unknown or silent because i fear what others may think (hence the name quietspeak). it's a tough thing. i haven't written anything personal on my blog lately for that reason, yet my heart tells me to write because i think i have some good stuff to say/think about. things that may help others through their day or just things that i'm wondering if anyone else is thinking about. it's hard to write, not knowing who is reading, but at the same time almost liberating because who can really judge your own opinions/thoughts/stories? they're yours! and believe me, people will judge. but then you can choose to start a discussion about it or not.

i don't think the commenter was pointing fingers at you but merely expressing personal thoughts. funny how i just returned to new life and it felt like coming home! but being someone who left the church a while back, i hope this person realizes that these people are only human. i myself had unrealistic expectations about things and thus, we left to pursue other interests. but being back there again today was like coming home. we are only responsible for ourselves. i hope that this person finds forgiveness in their heart. it's not a pretty life when you hold anger/resentment inside. it will eat you up, speaking from experience. i have been beaten, broken, stripped bare of life, and found my way again with god's grace and healing hands.

anyway, sorry to ramble on (can you tell i'm a writer too?!) but i hope you keep writing your heart out. i'll be reading, if you don't mind. feel free to visit my blog. it not that interesting or anything (mostly i find things i love online and post about them) but because of you, i may just open myself back up, throw caution to the wind, and write honestly again. i'll be sure to introduce myself whenever we find our way out west again.

in respect,
-h :)