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6.10.2013

What The Bloggy-Blog

Reach out and share yourself.
You need to have a blog. Well, not really. But I want you to have a blog.

Because I want to read your blog. I want to know what is up with you. Or, down with you. What is on your mind and in your heart. I want to get to know you better, and if you start a blog I will be able to. Because you will blog about things that wouldn't necessarily come up in conversation. But we will most likely have conversations that come up over things you blog about.

It's not all selfish, though. I want you to have a blog for you. I think you might enjoy bloggy-blogging.

Yes, you! I'm talking to you -- my siblings, my parents, my relatives, my friends who live nearby, my friends who live far away, friends of my friends, friends who I have yet to meet. If you are reading this post, I am talking to you.

BLOGGY-BLOGS ARE NOT (NECESSARILY) STRATEGIC

You don't have to be an expert at anything to have a blog. I struggled with that for a while. I thought I was being pretty pretentious to think that I had anything to offer, when there are so many good blogs out there already covering so much good stuff. And then it occurred to me that there are a couple different kinds of blogs.


The kind of blog that I have, and the one I want you to start, is a bloggy-blog. "Bloggy-blog" is a term I thought I made up, but apparently I didn't. Still, here's what it means to me: it's a term of endearment. It's familiar. It's casual. You hold a bloggy-blog loosely, don't take it too seriously. It doesn't stress you out. You have fun with your bloggy-blog. And, by the way, grammar rules don't matter on bloggy-blogs. Obviously.

A bloggy-blog is different than a strategic-blog. A strategic-blog is written with followers and dollars and themes and schedules and what's trending now in mind. There is nothing wrong with a strategic-blog. There are very many good ones that I enjoy reading. I applaud their strategy and purpose. I follow many of them. I'm just saying there's nothing wrong with a bloggy-blog.

A gratuitous photo of Marky Mark. Because I can.
So, start out with a bloggy-blog. The nice thing about a bloggy-blog is that there are no rules. Just like a journal, there is very little pressure in having a bloggy-blog. If you decide you want to change your focus or your format, you can. If you want to post every day, or every week, or every once in a while, you can. If you want to change your header several times or even your blog name, you can do that too.

You know why? Because you can!

And just like Marky Mark transformed himself into something completely different, in time your bloggy-blog will become something you'll be surprised it became. It might even become strategic.

BLOGGY-BLOG: A JOURNAL THAT YOU SHARE

The essence of bloggy-blogging is seen in the definition of the word "blog" according to the World English Dictionary: "a journal written online and accessible to users of the internet." 

WHY JOURNAL? 

I firmly believe in the power of journaling. In my own experience, journaling helps me process emotions and ideas. It also helps me keep my focus on a particular thing if I journal about it. Journaling is a good tool for remembering things. Or considering things. Or for sparking creative juices. There are so many good reasons to journal.

There are also many ways to journal. You don't need to be a writer to journal. You could journal with photos or with artwork. You could post poetry or quotes or stories. Your online journal will probably evolve, just like Marky Mark did. The important thing is to just start.

SHARING YOUR JOURNAL

It goes against what I've always thought, sharing my journal. Journals are private. You don't share them. You hide them so that your parents don't see them. Or anyone else, for that matter.

When I was in sixth grade I kept a journal and I'd write in it things like, "I love Paul Gansle!" and "Rob Lowe is soooo cuuuuute!" In the stupidest move ever known to middle school girls, I took my journal to school one day. JR saw my journal in my bag, took it and showed it to everyone. The next several days I had to endure "Anne and Paul! Sitting in a tree! K! ISSING!" I'm pretty sure Paul's feelings were not mutual. Needless to say, I did not want my journal shared.

But there are journals that should be shared. The journal that records information. The journal of things that have been tried and tested. The journal of family facts or anecdotes. The art journal. The photographic journal. All these journals can - and arguably should - be shared because it benefits not only the person journaling, but the reader as well. They are interesting and helpful and thought provoking.

When I thought about having a blog, when I thought it had to be strategic, I thought "but I don't have anything interesting or helpful to say." And then I added, "even if I did, someone else could say it better, or reach more people." It took me a while, but I realize that I do have something to share even if it's just my own life and family stories. No one can share my own life like I can. And I realized that I don't have to "reach more people" because that's not why I'm bloggy-blogging. Really, I don't have to "reach" anybody with my story. I'm just doing it for fun. But when I do reach someone (and I have), that is pretty rewarding.

I think you have something to share, too. I think everyone has something to share.

SHARING YOUR HUMANITY

What we are sharing is our humanity. Our willingness to connect, to relate to others, to let others relate to us and to our story, our strengths and our struggles.

Some bloggers share their journey. It might be a personal journey. It might be a journey to a foreign land, a mission trip or a travelling adventure. It might be a journey of struggling with and fighting a disease just diagnosed. A pregnancy journey or an infertility journey. You could share your journey. We are all on a journey of some sort or other. Right now I am on a journey of trying to figure some stuff out.

There are so many other things to share in addition to your journey...
But whatever you do, please also share your own story. Collect it on your bloggy-blog, post by post. Your story is a treasure within you. Get it out for your loved ones' sake.

WHY I BLOGGY-BLOG

That is really why I have this bloggy-blog, to get my story out for those I love. And as I do it, I am honest about my struggles as well as my strengths - otherwise it wouldn't be a true account for them. I post things that I'm thinking about or processing. I post stories I want to remember. Or silly things that made me laugh. Or things that God is teaching me. And the end of the day - at the end of my days - I want my children to have a record of my heart and know the story of me, which ultimately is the story of them.

I still keep a pen and paper journal that I don't share. It's just between me and God. The things I am willing to share make it onto my bloggy-blog. Usually if I do decide to share something more vulnerable, it's something that I learned during a time when I felt alone or thought I was the only one to have that struggle. I don't want anyone who might be struggling through similar things to feel alone. That's why I put it out there. Not that everyone who struggles with similar things as me will read my bloggy-blog (because it's not strategic), but maybe that one person will, and that's enough for me.

Plus, it just helps me be honest with myself when I'm honest with others. It keeps me accountable.

THE BLOGGY-BLOG COMMUNITY

Something that I have discovered as a nice little by-product of bloggy-blogging is a community of really neat people out there on the internets. That's why I am willing to share my humanity online. I get to meet some really cool people.

People like Lucy, who lives in Canada and sent me a prayer request because she read my story and knew that I could empathize in prayer.

And people like Grace, who lives in Texas and exchanged boxes of random things with me. She connected with parts of my story and knew I would benefit from reading Jesus Today.

Or Jessica, who I got to meet for lunch and go shopping at Hobby Lobby with our daughters. We have highways and values and baseball schedules in common. She's like a sister-friend.

And Tamera, who lives in California, who has blessed me beyond measure with her comments and emails and encouragement.

Then there are people like Jeannett, who hosts the weekly InstaFriday post. Some bigger bloggers I choose not to follow as regularly, but her little family is a part of my weekly reading. I find myself praying for her family and her influence. That is kind of awesome, if you think about it. The power of prayer through bloggy-blogging.

The power of community through bloggy-blogging.

"Yes, but are you connecting with people you actually know in real life, too?" my wise husband asked, checking in.

Actually, I've found that sharing online has allowed me to become closer to some people who I know in the flesh because I am sharing myself with them in a way that I wouldn't when I sit next to them at a baseball game or in the church pew. They have told me that they really appreciate something you shared and I am thankful for my bloggy-blog because we're having a conversation about something more personal that never would have come up in conversation.

Or, you might realize you have some things in common with someone you know, but they've been reading your blog, and now they know you better. Then go out for coffee with them, something you probably wouldn't have done if it weren't for your bloggy-blog. (Hey there, Jen. Let's do it again!)

And for people who you've moved away from, sharing online is a way to keep in contact with them and probably know more about what is going on in their lives from their bloggy-blog than when you lived near them and saw them once a week. (Shout out to my bloggy-blogging KCMO peeps, Amy and Janet.)

Sharing online helps you connect with like-minded people. People who can relate to parts of the journey you are sharing. Or who like the things you like. It's so much more fun to go through the journey with people. To meet people you might not otherwise meet and stay connected with people you might otherwise lose contact with.

All I'm saying is that I hope that you, too, will join the bloggy-blog community and connect with me.

13 comments:

  1. Very nice! We do share so much of our true selves on our blogs. Maybe not the deep, personal stuff, but more than we would normally share with people we know. Thanks for getting my brain spinning today!
    laura @ luckypennylove.com

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  2. Oh this is soooo good!! I have certainly found blogging to expand my world,community wise and it has taught me alot about myself. I needed the reminders you shared about keeping it from becoming a 'monster'. I too really only care if one person relates to something and it blesses them.
    I find myself falling into the comparison trap sometimes...but I strive to write as honestly as I can and love the creativity it supplies.
    I am so glad I 'met you...that's my favorite aspect the people you meet through it...Recently someone mentioned the Mayo Clinic and crazy I know but I instantly thought of your daughter's artwork hanging in the basement:)) Thank-you so much for your prayers...they are making a difference...Lucy~

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    1. It can become a monster if we let it. I think that's why it's helpful for me to constantly remind myself why I am blogging. // I'm glad to hear that prayers are making a difference. xo

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  3. hi, I came back to say I liked your husband's comment BTW..he sounds like mine:)xo~L~

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  4. Great post. Thanks for the thoughts. I've been thinking about doing a blog for awhile...and this helps me to see there's a blog style for me, bloggy-blog. Thank you, Anne.

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  5. This is a terrific blogging manifesto! Very persuasive and affirming.

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    1. Oh yes, I guess it is a manifesto, isn't it?!

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  6. I love blogging and meeting people through their blogs! Awesome post!

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  7. Well said, well said! You have put into words why I started my blog and from now on I will think of it as a bloggy-blog. I've worried that it wasn't a "real" blog because it wasn't a strategic-blog. Now I know the difference, thank you!

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  8. I really like the Marky Mark reference. Great read.

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