Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Purpose Driven Blog: The Blarb

Last Sunday I wrote part one of this post about my blog and the purpose of it. I'm retitling it "The Purpose Driven Blog: The questions" as it lists questions that I had begun pondering as a result of fumbling all over myself when asked about my blog. If you didn't read last weeks post, I highly recommend doing so, so that you can join me in laughing at myself. I realize that this post should have come Monday or Tuesday at the latest to be a true follow up, but I have honestly been reflecting on and praying about these questions all week.

I guess the best place to start is by defining the "blarb." A hard thing to do, as I sort of just made the word up, or spoke it mistakenly on the spot. What did I mean by blarb? I really do wonder. Perhaps I meant blurbs "basically it's just a bunch of blurbs," but that doesn't really make much sense either. Malarkey seems like a good fit. Just a bunch of malarkey. What exactly is malarkey then? Other than being a fun word to say.

Noun: Slang: insincere, meaningless, or deliberately misleading talk; nonsense
also ma·lar·ky
Exaggerated or foolish talk, usually intended to deceive: “snookered by a lot of malarkey” (New Republic).
 Oh, ummmmmm, okay maybe not. My blog certainly might occasionally be nonsense, foolish, and exaggerated (from time to time) but it is most sincerely sincere, and most definitely not intended to deceive. Which brings me back to calling it the blarb. What is it about my writing or about my site that would cause me to dub it as something so meek, and insignificant?

This is a really hard question for me to answer. I truly can't figure out what to write and have started this paragraph about 6 times now. I think the main issue comes down to self worth and confidence in my passion and ability to write. That same inkling of doubt that kept me from writing much of anything over the last several years springs back up and makes me question certain posts I'm working on. Which has lead to several drafts that end up in my post list and stay there indefinitely. Usually when my posts have stretched to a week between or beyond, that's when there are likely one or two drafts floating in the middle of nowhere. Reasons posts don't make the cut include: I'm lacking confidence, I'm not sure they fit in this space, I'm either afraid it's too preachy or too irrelevant, or I've run out of space, or time.

One of my main hang ups with this blog, and my identity, my purpose, my posts, is comparison to other bloggers or blogs. I often look at a post and begin to think it's getting to be too long. Not because the writing isn't relevant or flowing well, but because Bloggers X Y and Z are excellent at keeping their posts concise and to the point, short and yet eloquent and thought provoking. A few weeks back I read some blogging advice that claimed "in order to increase your readers, make sure that your posts are well written, short, and to the point so that readers know they can pop in for a minute and then be on there way." Well, I thought there was some truth to that, and yet that very sentence made me wiggle with anxiety, and truthfully it threatened to stifle my ability/desire to write blog posts.

I mentioned that I have trouble keeping my posts short to my friend and she said simply "yeah, well your a writer."

I hesitate to give myself such a title, feeling like maybe I haven't earned it, like a pilot has to earn his wings, or a cop his gun. But she's right. I don't write as often as I'd like because of time, but when I do sit to write, time ceases to exist. I no longer worry about what the next thing on my to do list is, but instead focus on making sure that what I'm working on is perfect. Not in a grammatical sense per say, but in a heart sense. Each thought needs to flow succinctly into the next, even this post about posting, I've been tweaking and perfecting.

I think some of the "blarb" on this site comes from that desire to post just to post, in order to keep my statistics up, or posting something shorter in order to meet the audiences supposed demands. Even my husband just mentioned that people look at an article to see how long it is before committing to reading it, so yes there is some truth to my concerns. However, if I don't commit to writing what's in my heart and staying true to who I am, then my writing is going to continue to feel insignificant to myself, and therefore I'll write stuff that's insignificant in the grand scheme. 

Of course I want my readership, my followers, and my statistics to increase, but I want that to happen because people see my heart for what and Whose it truly is. If I continue trying to write in order to fit into a blogging norm or ideal, then I'm not allowing the Lord to use my writing to it's fullest capabilities. If I continue to focus on Bloggers stats and the Internets standards for a successful blog, then I'm forgetting that the Lords standards are different than ours and that even one lost sheep was more significant to Him than 99 others.

In my next post I plan to share my top five favorite posts that I've written to date, and my top five highest views. What are your favorite blog posts? What brings you back day in and day out to see what I've been up to? Join me next time when I work through my subject matter, my audience, my passion, I'll share your thoughts and hopefully find a suitable answer for "What do you blog about?"

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