Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why I Dreaded Blogging: I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m Found (and even more so, conveniently found on the internet)

There is something in me that hated blogging and all the trappings of social media. I considered starting a blog for years, but always concluded, that the last thing the world needs is another opinion posted on the internet. Or worse, I would create a blog in which I revel in self-glory, posting glossy selfies, a little online portal dedicated to my own coolness (a mirage I could only sustain for about two posts). 
Recent Selfie

But in all my scoffing, there was something much deeper at stake for me. Blogging scared me. I hated the idea of putting my thoughts and feelings out there for all to reject or accept. What if my writing, thoughts, and feelings were all too stupid to share? What if no one read me? What if they wrote me nasty letters and comments?

A few months ago, I was blessed to snag a literary agent to represent my novel, God’s Refugee: the Story of a Lost Boy Pastor, based on the amazing life of my friend, the Rev. John Chol Daau. It is a step toward publishing and it feels great. My agent and a few other literary savvy types encouraged me to blog and so I did. 

Over these few months there have been things about blogging that have surprised me. It’s not as bad as I thought. You might even say I am a blog convert and here’s why: 

1)      You have to put yourself out there. Whatever your passion is in life, it is best done in the community of others. God gave us good gifts to share and sharing those gifts, even when we feel awkward and vulnerable, is a deeply Christian thing. 

2)      Blogging is not just about you, it’s about community. Now that I am blogging, I am reading blogs, theology, novels, and more. It’s a way to participate in a greater literary dialogue. This is why I have a monthly guest blogger, just to increase the conversation.

3)      Blogging connects us with others and creates relationships. I often run into people and they say, “Hey, I saw from your blog you were interested in this…let’s talk more about that, or let me send you this article, or I had an experience just like yours.” Blogging doesn’t have to be one-sided, but rather it can start conversations.  Even international conversations. I am always amazed and delighted to have readers from such places as the Ukraine, Belize, and Cambodia. 

4)      Blogging can actually bless others. I know I am as shocked as you are. When we share something of ourselves, our faith, our knowledge or love of God, others are built up. Recently, I wrote about how I struggle going to church. It was hard to publically admit that, and I was so nervous when I hit the publish button. A day later, I got a note from another clergy spouse who said that she had always felt that way, and it was good for her to know another clergy spouse did as well. It is that type of small reward that is so fulfilling.

5)      Public failure is not such a bad thing. There is no way to write a post every week and not say something stupid. You are human, it is literally bound to happen and once it does, you discover you can learn from it and move on.

6)      Blogging can be a witness to the goodness of God. I find the Christian blogs that are most meaningful are the ones that are deeply rooted in Jesus, those geared toward sharing his love with others. This last point is the most essential. With prayer and direction, a blog can be a place to testify to just how wonderful Jesus is.

I’d like to thank everyone who has visited my blog. It is really a work in progress, so it is an honor when you stop by. I love it when you reach out to me, so please send your comments my way, or hit the “follow me” button to be in more communication, and by all means, send me links to your blogs, websites, or pages.
Your Devoted Blogger,
Lilly “Bloggster” Sanders Ubbens    

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