On Blogging… and Writing in General

I have had a very difficult time maintaining my blog this year.  It is not for lack of things to write about or talk about.  In many cases I have been distracted by other things or the things I want to write about, I don’t feel free to write about for various reasons.

During this time, I have been thinking hard about where this blog is going. I started the blog in 2007 to have a place to write and be read by others as a discipline.  God has given me a gift in writing and I want to use it for him. In fact, I have always wanted to do more with my writing.  This blog was a “first attempt” at putting myself out there more and developing a good practice for consistent writing and publishing.

Ive never considered anything I write to be all that profound. I typically write about the things I am observing in life around me… hence the title “My Living Canvas” and the sub-titles: God, Marriage, Music, Missions and Life as I know it.  What I am finding now is that I am moving into a new season of life and I am struggling to fit my life observations into these categories.  Over the years I have added a few categories as new interests take shape, such as, cooking, travel and running.  Now I am feeling like the blog is fragmented… it seems to me to be very self indulgent and kind of all over the place. And for some reason, this realization is unsettling to me.  I know for many folks, a blog is like an online journal of sorts.  And I can agree that in most cases my blog has been just that.  But if I am being honest, I feel like I want something more out of this blog than just an online journal. I really want to make an impact with my writing, and I really want God to use my writing for his plans and purposes.  I really dont see how an online journal is going to accomplish that.

At the same time I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one or two narrow categories because 1. I would get bored fast and 2. I dont have enough to say about only a few specific topics. Thats the thing about me, I know a little about a lot of things, I don’t know a lot about a few things. The phrase a mile long and an inch deep comes to mind.  I definitely think deep and long and hard about all kinds of things, but am I really qualified to speak about such things?  I am surely NOT an expert in anything except my personal, historical life story… my attempts and my failures, my successes and my regrets.  All I can claim to be an expert in is my own fallen and sin-filled humanness.  So what right do I have to talk about any other topics?

I want to write about all of my various interests and experiences.  From music, travel, cooking and books, to life lessons learned in marriage or through work and church and trying to maintain my easygoing southern roots in a city that will chew you up and spit you out before you know what hit you.  I want to be free to write about what I learned in therapy last week and what I learned from Food Network all in the same blog. I want to share the journey Ive been on recently, processing what it means to be a MOM at 34 after 3 decades of selfishness, how in the world to fit a third person into our 760 square foot one bedroom apartment and what it means to really live out the example of the Proverbs 31 woman in how I reorder my life and priorities now as a new mom.

Is that even possible to write about all these things on one blog? Do I start multiple blogs? Or do I just keep writing my hodge-podge online journal and justify it with a catch all title like My Living Canvas?

These are the things that have been swirling in my mind.  These are the thoughts that have kept me from really engaging on my blog.

So I thought to myself, why not put all this out there and see what happens. These are the things on my mind.  And I thought that maybe by putting this out there I may get some feedback that will help me move to the next level in my writing, wherever that may be.  What I would really love is to write a kind of memoir or even a fictional story based on my experiences.  I just can’t figure out a story line for either genre.

An interesting side note, when I started blogging, my hand written journaling decreased dramatically.  Over the last 3 or 4 years I have not filled up ONE journal. This year, however, I have been writing in my journal A LOT more and am 3/4 through one of those super thick Barnes and Noble leather bound journals.  The conversations have been more personal, prayers between God and me. These times have been good.  And I don’t have any problem sharing my journal here, I am just struggling to identify the purpose or the goal of my blog and if all that even fits here anymore.

This has been a very “stream of consciousness” blog post.  I would love any ideas or thoughts from my friends on this.  A new blog title? A new approach?  Just delete the whole thing and call it a day?

My heart in all of this is that I love to write. I want to write more.  I want what I write to have meaning and Lord willing, impact the world around me with the message of Jesus.

I want to be free to write truthfully about the deep and meaningful experiences the Lord has taken me through… testimonies of His healing and sanctifying work in my life… And about the random, seemingly meaningless, happy little bright sides of life, like sprinkles on a cupcake you don’t really need them but everyone loves them.

Searching for the point…  if you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Love,

ALW

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13 thoughts on “On Blogging… and Writing in General

  1. Stephanie Norris says:

    I think you should write about the new seasons of your life. Fragmented blogs are some of my favorites, because they give me a taste of the writer’s life. None of us do the same things day after day, and quite honestly, those who blog about the same thing all the time tend to fall off my “reading” list quickly. I, too, get bored easily! 🙂 I love blogs that give book reviews, glimpses of home life (and baby life!), lots of photos, recipes that have been tried, struggles and accomplishments, etc…all in ONE place. Keep doing what you are doing…it’s all good!

  2. seaofgeek says:

    I struggled with this same idea shortly after starting my blog. My problem was with keeping my topics more technology focused versus moving towards social media. After thinking about it I realized that for me, blogging my ideas was an extension of the conversations I was having. If I was talking about in person, it was worth writing about online.
    The thing to remember is that there are different types of blog readers. Some people are post specific. They run across your post, not your blog. They are looking for something on topic. The other type of reader wants to know what YOU have to say. They are reading your blog, not your post. I say this because when you stop worrying about your audience you can more freely share your idea, it is your’s after all.

    • AnnieLaurie says:

      Thank you so much Matt for the comment! This is all really helping me find clarity and meaning in all this … and I love your points about people reading specific posts verses entire blogs. good insights!

  3. Owen says:

    It seems to me that the days of a lone person blogging their life are passing away. The blogosphere has been taken over by massive, consolidated blogs in all spheres from politics to business to mom-blogs.

    I keep track of certain individuals blogs because I want to know what’s going on with them personally, not because I’m looking for information. But then, how does that relate to Twitter, can I learn just as much in several 140 character updates? Sadly, probably.

    I definitely understand your position. I stopped regularly blogging a few years ago. I moved over to Facebook, and have found much more meaningful discussions and relationships there. People will comment on Facebook, but almost nobody comments on blogs anymore, and for me, the relationship/community aspect is the most important – which is why I switched platforms.

    I think it’s worth it to develop discipline in writing and to get your ideas down on “paper.” Plus, it will be pretty neat for our kids to have a running commentary on our lives 🙂

    Let us know how your thoughts on this are playing out!

    • AnnieLaurie says:

      Thanks Owen!! I totally agree about moving things to Facebook I definitely have more interaction there than on the blog. I need to figure out what is most important to me and what I am trying to get out of this experience too!

  4. Kathryn says:

    I hear you! I STILL don’t know what my blog is supposed to be… When I started it was just little observations about life… Then there was a DIY element that started. Then a cooking element. And then a few weeks will go buy and I’ll realize that even though I’ve posted consistently, I haven’t written a single substantive entry and I feel like my blog doesn’t represent who I truly am… Anyway, I’m still riding the ebb and flow of my inspirations and trying to discipline myself to not follow through on the temptation to make my blog like someone else’s. I say, you just keep writing. Your living canvas can still be about faith and marriage and babies and cooking and discipleship and…. You could create different pages to organize your posts, so when you write on marriage, link up to your “All things marriage” page, and so on… And you could do a little blog make-over to give yourself a new look to mark a new beginning? Whatever you do, don’t stop writing!!

  5. Sheresa says:

    Hi! I just ran accross your blog while doing a google search for life verses. I haven’t had time to read it all, but I’d definitely say, “keep writing!!!!” I’d say that with a blog, people want to have insight into you personally, so if your life is going different directions, then your blog can too. And, I have some friends who blog and send the update to Facebook when they do…that may get more people reading/commenting. Just my two cents…

    PS – looked you up on FB b/c I knew someone named AnnieLaurie growing up and though you’re not her, turns out we have a friend in common…small world!

    • AnnieLaurie says:

      Hey Sheresa! I just looked you up and I see we have Blaire in common! That is so funny, small world indeed! Thanks for commenting and for the good word! I am adding you as a FB friend now!

  6. JennyRain says:

    I love that you blog for you and don’t attach external “reasons” for it. That is important. It is an important part of who you are 🙂 I wouldn’t change a thing 🙂

  7. Tara says:

    I too stumbled upon your blog when I did a search for some versus – I actually found your other blog – 10lbs from normal. I am really curious if you’ve ever thought about posting an update?
    I haven’t spent a lot of time on your blog but I too have found my blogging style changes as my circumstances change. Unfortunately, my blogged dropped off dramatically after I had gotten a few comments from my mother-in-law about one of my posts. I started writing for my audience of readers instead of the audience of one who was giving me my content to begin with! So I started another private blog where I could voice more personal thoughts, prayers, complaints :), and just life in general without the fear of others opinions. However, I now find I don’t know where to blog things because of this almost “double life”. I’d definitely suggest you stay true to who you are and what God gives you to write about. As it was already said, some people will continue to follow your blog because of who you are and how you connect them to your life via your blog. Others, like me, will find your blog via a search and be encouraged by something you have to say, and then move on. You will never know who’s life you will impact with a simple post!
    Be blessed! And enjoy that baby!!! Congratulations by the way! 🙂

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