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.