The Life of Bon: Why I Blog

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why I Blog


Admittedly, there are times I want to quit this blog.

I started blogging five times a week in September of 2011.  It has been two years and two months.  Every weekday for this 26 month span I have written a post.  At first it was mostly nonsense post and not many people were reading. At first it was pretty easy.  It got harder.

There are lots of things that make blogging difficult.  For me the most difficult things are:

1)  Responding to criticism.  I like to think I am getting better at it, but I am still not great.  Some critics are complete strangers and they say hurtful things on anonymous internet sites and it stings, but only for a minute because I know they really don't know me and have no idea who I am.  Some criticism is from friends and family... people I love and trust very much, and naturally that is the criticism that hurts the most.  Learning what to listen to and what to ignore, what is hurtful and what is helpful takes good judgment and lots of prayer.

2)  Writing about events and people accurately and honestly.  A blog is in real time in real life so if I get my details wrong on how something happened there are lots of people to let me know immediately.  Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to write about people knowing that those people will most likely read what I write about them.  I can not possibly explain everything that is a person in a blog post.  I have often worried especially when posting about my parents or my in laws or even my students.  I am only showing one very small slice of who this person is.  Are they going to be offended by what I chose to share?  Will they feel misrepresented?  Will my readers get a good idea of who the person is and what they are about or will they judge and criticize not only me but loved ones whom I have chosen to write about?

3) Knowing what is appropriate to share while still trying to be an honest and open writer.  I often don't know what is too personal.  To me everything is fair game on the internet.  When I write a personal post about Greg or marriage I have to have him preview it before I publish it.  He is usually fine about it but there have been times where he has told me point blank that he doesn't want me to post any of what I have written.  Some things are too personal or sacred, and for me the line is often very hard to discern.

These thoughts have been swirling around in my head a lot as my blog has gotten me in a bit of hot water recently.  This isn't the first time my blog has gotten me in trouble so it's nothing too new, but it does have a tendency to jolt me a bit and cause me to reexamine my reasons for blogging. This past week I have even felt a little resentful toward my blog and have wanted to distance myself completely from it, almost as if I felt my blog was a traitor to me and responsible for all my troubles in my life.

Even as I felt these things, the anniversary of my dad's death was fast approaching and if nothing else the blog is my own selfish way of coping with my own feelings.  For the past two years I have grieved, celebrated and lived with the help of this blog.  I don't know how I would wade through the grief or pain of the day without writing about it.  I process my emotions through this blog and as much of a mess as I am, I think I'd be ten times worse without this blog and my readers to help me sort it all out.


And so I wrote about the anniversary of my dad's death even though I was kind of mad at my blog and wanted space from it.  I had let my blog know personal thoughts of mine before, and it had turned on me so I guess I was kind of scared.  But I wrote on and shared the tough stuff and wondered in my head if this blogging thing is worth it.

The outpouring of love I received on that day and the days following have been absolutely humbling and inspiring.  So many people left comments- on the blog, on facebook, on instragram.  Some emailed me directly.  Others called or sent text messages, and overall the day was a day of amazing peace and happiness.  The blog certainly played its part in that.

I think overall I realized that the reason I blog is exactly what C.S. Lewis figured out years ago when he said "we read to know we're not alone."   I write, I read, I blog, I comment to know that there are others out there who understand me.  I thank everyone who has left a comment on this blog, who has let me know in some way that I am "not alone"-  who has shared the load with me.  Thank you for being with me as we share our suffering, our grief, our happiness, our excitements, our worries.

Blog on.

19 comments:

  1. I totally get this. It is always comforting to know that I'm not the only one feeling a certain way, especially when it comes to those feelings of loss. I love that quote though. It is just perfect. We aren't alone friend. So many people come here every day because they care about you...even the people who like to criticize. Hope you have a great Friday and an awesome Thanksgiving week.

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  2. I feel ya! Some days I just want to completely give up on blogging, and I've only been at it (consistently) for almost five months. Thanks for sharing those awesome quotes--it's good to try to remember why we do things, before we give them up for good.

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  3. You are one of my favorite blog writers. So, so gifted. Sorry to hear your blog turned on you - but we grow from our past. I just heard a quote the other day, I'll misquote it for sure - "You shouldn't stay tripping over the hurdles that are behind you." Or something like that. Keep on keepin' on. Have a great weekend, Bon.

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  4. I totally get this, too! My blog is just a baby and sometimes I feel like just giving up, but I know that it's something I really enjoy and that I want to take the time to make into something real. I also struggle with what to share/what not to share and what's appropriate for consumption at large. You are one of my favorite bloggers/writers, and I'm so glad that your little corner of the internet exists. Thank you for your posts!!

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  5. Such a great post Bonnie! As a new blogger it really helps to hear from more seasoned bloggers and how they have evolved since starting their blogs. It really can be hard - I'm still learning what to share and what to keep to myself - thanks for putting this out there!

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  6. It's a whole process. It's really hard for me since I also have a little shop but I do try my best to keep it up :)

    Cathy Vargas
    Vintage Girls
    www.vindiebaby.com

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  7. Well said... you have a fantastic way with words! :) I know there's a site that's strictly for bashing certain blogs... don't visit it! I know I never will. That's the reason I don't have anonymous commenting on my blog... if you want to say something grow a pair and just say it... don't hide behind "anonymous."

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  8. Amen to everything that was said in this post, your own words plus the words of our wise writing veterans! I'm currently taking a Creative Nonfiction class at my university and we've had some pretty prestigious authors come to speak to us in class. Some of the most common topics that they tell us they struggle with are the very same things you mentioned above. It's an ongoing battle within your own mind, but I trust your judgment!

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  9. Isn't that the damn truth... I write because I want to share my story. I want something I write to influence people and to share my story.
    And that's the same reason I read blogs day after day.

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  10. What a great post, Bon. Your honesty is inspirational. I love reading because I feel like I know you, which is why you've been so successful. I think there will always be a hard defining line for those of us who are like what you were describing because sometimes we just say things not everyone will like or wants to hear (that's alright, we all have those things!). But at the end of the day, it's a beautiful thing so don't give up. I think it encourages other to be honest with others and themselves than it does to discourage them.

    Sue from Climbing The Fences, merisue.com :)

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  11. I love how honest you are, that's what makes your blog entertaining and keeps people coming back. But I work at the McKay School of Ed at BYU doing public relations and I kind of freak out for you a little bit sometimes on some of the privacy stuff (in my pr classes we learn stuff like NEVER post about your boss/co-workers). When we post pictures of minors we have to get permission slips from their parents so we don't get in trouble. I love your blog and your honesty but I'm glad you are watching out for yourself too!

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  12. I love your blog and it's honesty. Thank you for making the sacrifice(s).

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  13. So I haven't read this post yet, because I have been meaning to tell you ( and the title of this post totally fits!) You have re inspired me to start blogging again! I quit blogging about 3 months ago, After my daughter was born I was trying to find a balance and was only doing monthly updates on Adeline, and felt like I lost all my readers, so I just stopped. I was sucking at weight loss, and sucking at being a mommy blogger, etc. So I just stopped. But i love your blog. I love the honesty in your blog, I love how I feel like I truly know you, and your personality. When I think about starting to blog again, I want to display who I am as well as how you do! (does that makes sense) I just wanted to say, as a blogger you are motivating, as a person, I want to be your friend. :) You make me smile and I totally would want to be friends with you! :) Except I am totally just a stalker, since I quit my blog. :) www.tugboatphotography.blogspot.com is my personal blog :)

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  14. Great quotes, I loved this post!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  15. You are far better than I am. I had a blog but kept it secret from those I knew in real life, so when someone discovered it and told me they'd been reading it (even though I knew I hadn't posted anything remotely bad about them or my family), I gave it up. I miss writing and, like you said, knowing I'm not alone. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs, not only because you are so genuine in your writing, but also because of the way you write. Even though you have SO many followers, I don't feel like you're writing just to please everyone but simply because you enjoy writing. I say all this so you know for sure, you aren't alone. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  16. what a beautiful post girl. Thank you so much for sharing. You are such an encouragement me to me. and yes we blog to share our thoughts, but I blog to shine a light for Jesus :) Blogging is my ministry and I so enjoy encouraging others and bringing joy to others. Thank you for doing the same for me and for so many others. we flock here because we love how honest, real and true you are. Thank you and keep on keeping on girl. your amazing! <3

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  17. The honesty here is heartwarming and inspiring. I go through those period with my blog... Feeling thankful then feeling frustrated and wishful for something different -possibly privacy, possibly more connections. I guess that's the trick with emotions and writing... They change and we have to flow with that change. :)

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  18. You're definitely an inspiration Bon:) And your blog is great!

    Anna xo

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  19. This reader appreciates your blog so very much. I've wavered for a few weeks, wondering if I should share how I came across your blog.

    In January last year, we lost my uncle after a very short fight with his kidneys. Just when we started recovering, we lost my grandpa, two months to the day after my uncle's death. I was nursing my son in the mother's lounge at church when my aunt called with the news. My mother flew out to help with arrangements and help my grandma. I was unable to attend the funeral due to several circumstances at the time. I felt so very alone in my grief. My dad left the following morning to make the three day drive to Utah to be there for my mother and grandma. My husband had never met my grandpa and was doing his best to help my cope and stay sane.

    I was crushed, lost, confused, and depressed. I came across your blog the two days after finding out that my grandpa had left this world behind. I started reading. I read all day, all night, and all of the following day until I had finished every entry you had posted at that point. Reading your posts give me something to smile about and something to think about.

    After those two days, I was able to start functioning again. I used your blog as a crutch for a long time to help me make it through the day. Reading your posts gave me something else to think about during the day and I was able to grieve at night after putting my son to bed. I was able to grieve without shutting the world out. For that, I can never say thank you enough.

    If you ever decide to stop blogging, I'll understand. But, know that you will be fondly missed and remembered by this reader.

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