18 September 2008

Jill's 5 Ways blogging has changed my life: Part 2

To understand the context or the challenge presented, see the companion post on 16 September.

Conversations@Intersections began in May of this year, 2008

1. Blogging regularly has caused me to create some order to my thoughts and ideas. I usually take my thinking to a certain point, further if I’m speaking and having to include others in those thoughts. Blogging has meant that my thoughts could be written down, read and then thought through with deliberation. That process makes me think better, more thoroughly, and then to try to write in a way that I cannot be misunderstood by those who read at a later date and distant place. My awareness and appreciation increases as I attempt to record some of what God is doing all around me.

2. The diverse community that my blog is creating is exciting. Old friends have found me, my father is a regular, non-churchy friends peek in. I meet some very interesting people. I hope their stories are enjoyed by my readers. My blog creates a bit of a bridge and hopefully is of some encouragement or enlightenment.

3. I have long collected quotes and clever ads or bits of art. They get filed away in the darkness of a drawer, smashed between financial papers and study materials, doomed to never be shared or exclaimed over again. Because I now have an outlet, a venue in which to share the best of what I discover, I am more intentional about my curiosity. In fact, the mixture of content in my blog reflects me, which means it is not all Sunday School material. I like gardening, travel, nice writing instruments, art, words, culture, clever ideas and good thinking . . . . so I blog on variations of those themes. Does variety repel regular readers or attract diversity? While I’ve struggled in thinking that a blog should be a package, a consistent topic or focus prevailing, I’ve tried to be true to my original reason for blogging and that is to write.

4. Much of what I do involves Christian ministry. Too much of anything can dull our intellect or taste buds. Yet I know many of my readers are not church goers or believers. Blogging causes me to take my faith out of the box for my readers who are not churchy. It causes me to reframe my faith in ways that make sense outside the narthex. On the flip side, writing about my experiences far from church might enrich or extend the thought processes of many of my churchy friends who rarely meet Muslims, Buddhists or happy pagans. Maybe some Christians will be encouraged to drop their defensive guard and to engage in conversations.

5. I love to write. But I don’t unless I have a project or a deadline or an audience. Blogging gives me structure; it’s got me writing again! Writing regularly improves how I use words, how I think of words, the quality of the way I string them together. This blog may be, in and of itself, enough of a reason to write. It may, on the other hand, be a launching pad to somewhere else. Conversations@Intersections may lead to new relationships, new opportunities or merely my own personal enrichment, as conversations at intersections tend to do.

Read more of this conversation on A Place For the God Hungry and Seedlings in Stone, where the challenge began.


Jim Martin said...

Your responses are great! I did not find this wordy at all.

I like what you said regarding the use of quotes, etc. That really had not occurred to me before but I do much the same.

The line below caused me to think. You are right, blogging has the same effect on me as well.

"That process makes me think better, more thoroughly, and then to try to write in a way that I cannot be misunderstood by those who read at a later date and distant place."

You are a good writer and express yourself very well.

L.L. Barkat said...

Enjoyed these very much. Favorite things here... that blogging makes you think better, encourages your curiosity, compels you to reframe your faith. And of course writing, writing, writing (I'm a writer, what can I say? : )

Jill said...

Thanks for the encouragement & challenge. Cross-pollination is a good thing! Will enjoy further conversations via your blogs too. Cheers.