I’ve always been a writer. From the plays my best friend and I co-authored at a young age through college papers that I drafted, wrote, and re-wrote, suffering with anxiety over whether or not the professor would like it. Recently, though, for a raft of rather bad reasons, I’ve stopped writing entirely, except for my 2nd grade classroom’s weekly newsletter, and, of course, the Dreaded Report Card Comments (I teach at a charter school, and unlike regular public schools we are required to write, if not a novel, at least a short pamphlet on each student at report card time).
This idea of self-publishing my thoughts for others to read has been popping into my consciousness lately. I spoke of it rather sarcastically at first, then wistfully…finally, I thought, why not? I could certainly list reasons why not, but instead, my dratted stubborn brain kept bringing up reasons why I should start a blog. I’ll not bore you with all, but here are my top five (moderately) good reasons that I will begin blogging.
1. A Lenten Discipline. As a former member of multiple independent-fundamental type churches recently converted to Anglicanism, I still find a strong fascination in Lent. It strikes me as a period of slowing yourself, of stripping down to bare essentials, of setting aside distractions in favor of God. Writing has long been a prayer for me, a way to draw closer to God. Thus, my hope in this blog is make space for Him in a kind of soul spring houscleaning.
2. A way to write well, but not perfectly. Though not a first-born, I got a fair dose of perfectionism in my genes and struggle to move beyond its bonds. Since that first teacher told me that I was good at writing, it became a contest of sorts — ever trying to make what I wrote better, to get more applause, to get an A+, not just an A. Fear of hitting a wall in writing was one of the bad reasons I stopped writing. I hope this venue will be a chance for me to lighten up on the self-judgment while still honing my skill.
3. To use a gift without coercion. I mentioned earlier my fundamentalist upbringing. The damage there was a continual urging, browbeating if you will, that gifts from God were not to be wasted. If you wasted them, there would surely be consequences, etc., ad infinitum. I wanted to use my gift, but was unsure how I might do that. I had not leisure to pray and seek. I felt pressure. Solution: pretend it didn’t exist. I feel God leading me gently back to my gift and showing me how to use it.
4. To be nor not to be — like everyone else. Blogs are everywhere these days, and I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I have something unique to say. I suppose I would like to try it and see.
5. Procrastination and Lack of Commitment. I am a queen of procrastination and will put something off until A. Someone does it for me or B. I come upon it in a pile of other neglected things and say to myself, “Now why did I never do that?”. I also do not like to be boxed into things that I will regret committing to later: I enjoy keeping my schedule open. (This may sound like a reason NOT to start a blog, but bear with me). Beginning this as a commitment for Lent only (with the possibility of carrying on afterwards) suits my lack of commitment, and knowing the short amount of time I have to work on this will hopefully remedy my procrastination (we shall see — I set the blog up 3 days ago and am only now getting around to writing my first post).
I am intrigued by the possibilities of this — like trying a new recipe: it may flop, or be a thing of beauty and incredibly delicious. I shall but wait and see.