A phrase from a parenting book I found useful, The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, sticks with me. “Start as you mean to go on,” Tracy Hogg wrote. She was talking about stylistic parenting decisions (co-sleeping; feeding; babywearing, etc), advocating thinking through goals at the outset and then taking action from that basis. But it’s good advice throughout life.
I’ve been pondering the phrase with regard to blogging, since it’s been two months now since I kicked off with heartpondering — and became more engaged in the blogging community in general. It’s been a tremendously positive experience for me overall… I’m an ‘ideas’ person; I enjoy reading, studying, and community (all part of the blogging world); I love words and writing. I’ve been inspired and encouraged by dozens of blogs written by women whose ideas have edified me and whose examples inspire me. And I’ve enjoyed having a regular spot to work through parenting ideas and thoughts. But I can see challenges too (and could easily see myself getting carried away and falling victim to some negative trends):
- Where I used to find Facebook somewhat addictive in a negative way (as I’ve written about), I now find the “blogosphere” has largely filled that role. Time suck.
- I struggle with the ‘stats’ /measurement component of blogging and frequently need self- and God-reminders of why I’m doing this and what success really means
- I can compare myself to other bloggers and come away from reading others’ blogs feeling inadequate or insecure (“they are better writers – or mothers – than me;” “their ideas are better;” etc.)
- The sense of urgency that blogging can bring (following and writing) is unhelpful and, frankly, ungodly.
A number of blogs I follow and respect have recently voiced related thoughts that I’ve been noodling:
–“I enjoy blogging but I’ve also experienced first-hand just how much blogging, computers, and the internet can pull us women away from what is much more important–our relationship with the Lord, our marriages, our children, our homes, and ministering in our own communities… There is a great danger that we can become so sucked up into reading about others’ lives, following blogs, staying up with the latest blogging trends or discussions that we miss out on real-life and the pressing needs and ministry opportunities right around us… Anyone can be a pretty good blogger or pretty good business owner, but there’s only person who is mommy to your children and wife to your husband. Don’t let all the good things out there take precedence over the best things.” (Biblical Womanhood post)
–“There is undendiable part of blogging that feeds a part of me that is, perhaps, not the most sensible part: the part that craves to “measure” ourselves, the part that is naturally drawn to a false sense of urgency… I look back and wonder if I’ve contributed to the “noise level” that seems to be wearing out me and so many of the women I know… The best words are the ones that are punctuated with enough silence between them…; I clearly do not have much of a track record with silence.” (Rocks in My Dryer post)
–“If there’s one concern I have for this generation of mothers, it is the potential for distraction… Blogs, facebook, twitter and texting allow moms at home to stay connected with the outside world like never before; the Internet makes it possible for women to contribute skills and gifts to the church and the marketplace, while at home with their children… But we must be watchful that these ‘other things’ don’t distract us from our primary task of mothering.” (Girl Talk post)
–“Blogging is a funny medium, really. For all of it’s joys and blessings, such a way of sharing also comes as quite the curse. Your words can be twisted and misunderstood. Time sometimes need to be spent tending to bruised feelings and egos that you never meant to hurt, but unfortunately did nonetheless. As readership grows, the time you used to invest into commenting on other’s blogs or other e-activities, winds up being used up while you answer emails and monitor debates.” (Clothesline Alley post)
I want to learn from these godly and more experienced blogging women… From the outset I want to use prayerfulness, discipline, humility, and a Christ-focused spirit to guide what I do here. Toward this end I’m setting up some parameters in my “blogging life.” I began with some in mind but I’m in the process of writing them out now and praying over them. Maybe I’ll share some of these in due course (perhaps at the 3-month mark?)