It’s Hard to Blog in the Wilderness

I miss blogging . . . kind of.

I remember when I started: my friend sent me this random link, and it led me to a story she had written on what seemed to be a public sort of journal. The story was funny; she wrote well; and I knew I wanted to be like that, too.

So I started off small, writing thoughts and stories and useless facts at the same site she did; this also coincided with me a) quitting my job, 2) giving birth, iii) having the majority of my conversations revolve around “you’re hungry again? then why did you yarf on me?!” and “sleep: i need sleep” with a person who had yet to make a full trip around the sun, so it was a great way to connect with others while tied to the nursing chair/napping schedule.
But then I wanted something more: I wanted to go to the next level. Sometimes my writings consisted of how many sticks of butter Paula Deen used in her last episode, but sometimes there was something more: something that used a part of my brain that was trying to break free of hormonal-survival mode. But those thoughts got lost in the ramblings about yarf rags and exploding diapers.

So I split: I had two places I wrote, and I wrote regularly. When something funny would happen, I’d mentally make a note of “oooh, this is so blogworthy.” Oftentimes my showers would take too long simply because I was composing a post in my head, weighing when to reveal thoughts so as to make the most impact.

My writing needs were being met, but then came that ugly monster: the comments. My screen was refreshed often to see who thought I was witty, who had a clever comeback, who affirmed the fact that I was funny/a writer/a worthy person. But sometimes, ever so often, comments were cranky: folks didn’t agree with me or they misinterpreted something I wrote as a flippant remark. Something I meant to be hilarious was taken seriously and was hurtful. People might not always believe that I’m funny/a writer/a worthy person.

Which causes the withdrawal. Sometimes with a slam of the computer and a “why don’t people just get it?!! What’s wrong with them?!!”; sometimes with a “nononobadbadbad: that’s not what I meant, and I don’t know how to fix this!”; sometimes with a “I’m done.” But the writing and questing bug lingers.

Having read blogs for some time now, a sense of the Nature of the Blogosphere becomes secondhand, just like knowing when your husband’s had a bad day at work within seconds of walking in the door or when your son needs some cuddle time even though his actions say he’s more intent on bodyslamming the dog. When “blog” was not the word of the year, bloggers toddled around mostly in anonymity, writing to their heart’s content, commenting on others, connecting and affirming and enjoying this new way of communicating. But now more folks know about blogging, and many of them are cranky: rather than focus on putting positive things out there, they comment and critique and tear down. I’ve seen a number of seasoned bloggers say the negativity isn’t worth the positive aspects of writing publicly, and they give it up. Which makes other bloggers a) sad or 2) defensive. The open, free nature of writing on a blog has changed.

Part of me thinks it’s somewhat like a relationship in that when it’s new and shiny, everything seems perfect. The first fight or bump in the road makes you a little more cautious. And then when you’ve hit that “three year slump,” you realize you’ve changed, and they’ve changed, and are you really in this for the long haul?

I’ve been gone from my blog lately. Part of it is due to lack of time. Part of it is healing up some wounds of “being public.” Part of it is evaluating whether this is a good way to communicate with others right now. And part of it is just where I’m at.

I’ve been listening to Graham Cooke talk about being in the wilderness, how God woos us into the wilderness so that He might show us who He is. And if you can talk about/explain/write about this process, then you’re not deep enough in the wilderness.

So I think God’s got me squirreled away. Which doesn’t mean I can’t write about other things. But being a communicator, it’s hard when you can’t really write about what’s going on, cause really I don’t know: it’s not a Quaker thing or emerging thing or feminist thing or writer’s thing or mother thing. It’s a churning/leading/burning/comfort/healing/love that I take around with me as I run my errands and chase my son and walk my dog and facilitate my bible study and connect with other mamas and hug my husband and live my life in this present moment. Not very defined: but very real.

If you don’t hear from me, like *really* hear from me, at least I hope to catch a glimpse of you in the wilderness.

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