Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blogging question-and-answer time

At times, I need to remind myself why I'm blogging. You see, I'm not a blogger, at least I don't like to call myself one. Ok, so I am in once sense, undeniably, part of the worldwide web of bloggers. But I didn't start writing because I wanted to be one of the roughly 126 million bloggers out there; I started blogging because I needed an outlet for sharing my writing.

When I tell people I'm a writer, naturally they ask, "What do you write about?" It's hard for me to answer that question. "Uh, I like to write nonfiction." Well, they ask with raised eyebrows, what exactly does that mean? "I like true stories, real life stuff. You know, memoir-style..." But that feels so, vague. What is it I actually blog about?

If any of you are wondering, the answer to that question is two-fold: 1) This concept of "beautiful rubbish" (i.e., God's redemptive artistry in the rubbish in our stories), and 2) Living fully in the present moment. I have a lot of grief pieces woven into my writing as well, since that has profoundly shaped my story in the past several years.

So, who am I writing for in this blog? Anyone who struggles with making sense of "the ugly" in life and longs for some redeeming quality to their story; anyone who desires to fully embrace today and not hang out too much in the past or the future; and anyone who is dealing with, or has dealt with, or is affected by someone who is dealing with grief. If you're looking for a lot of humorous, light-hearted stories, I'm afraid you'll have to check out one of the other 126+ million blogs out there. I like to think I can be pretty funny and charming at times, but I know realistically that I lean more toward the intense and raw, with some humor thrown in here and there.

And finally, why am I writing this blog? As I've already stated, I had no intention of being a blogger. That's not my end goal, for sure. But it's not a bad starting point. I'm well aware that, like it or not, a great deal of writing is happening online now and that's what's most readily accessible to most people. My big dream when I grow up is to share other peoples' stories. To travel to other parts of the world and encounter the lives of others, to enter in as much as they'll invite me, to hear them, and then to help them tell their stories (obviously with their permission and desire). I want to write to raise awareness, to inspire passion and critical thinking in others about important issues affecting people and animals and the environment. I want those stories to point to a larger, more beautiful and complex redemptive story, one that I believe we all play a unique part in. I want to write to inspire hope and faith in something (Someone) bigger than ourselves.

But for now, the story I have to tell is my own, since I'm the most willing and available subject around at the moment, and since I know I could use the practice. And I happen to believe that when we're faithful with the littler assignments in life, we'll be more faithful and capable with the bigger ones. So I'm content to start with my little self and see where it goes.


  1. I dont know about you, but sometimes I struggle to figure out what to blog about. I often wonder if my life is interesting enough to read about, can i offer some advise about this beautiful county i choose to call home, is anybody reading my stuff? I really love writing our story. One day maybe my JJ and Leah will share it with their little rugrats, forever embedded into blogger history

  2. Yep, I struggle with that, too. I often wonder if what I write is interesting or worth reading to others. But you know, if you find other people's "mundane" lives interesting, then I have no doubt in my mind that others (such as myself) find yours interesting as well. I happen to think you guys have a very fascinating and adventurous story to tell from your point of view in Mexico. And I think it will be a special piece of your history to pass onto JJ and Leah's kids someday. Keep at it, Erica :)