September 26, 2016

Why Do I Blog? pt. 2

I mentioned in a recent post that I've been thinking about why I keep blogging. The post started getting longer than I felt comfortable with. So, I decided to break this part off into another post to come back to finishing later.

Over the years, I've found what works for me and blogging. I started back in 2001. I thought I'd offer what I've found as a spring board for you. This is my process. Not intended to be yours. But nonetheless useful, hopefully.

Why ...
In that other post, I mentioned that I thought you should start a blog. I really do. Why? Because your voice is important. A blog is a great place to develop it. Twitter, Facebook have their benefits but also significant limitations. If someone has internet access, they can read a blog. Social media companies automatically ensure that other boundaries, limitations are in place between your content and an audience. Blogs are less constrained. The point is this: a blog offers a platform that never existed before. Anyone can have a voice, a platform, share their work, their passion. There's no entry fee, no username or password required. It's your opportunity to share the world what you have to offer ... that's my perspective, at least.

When ...
I tend to get up earlier than the rest of my household. Typically, I'm up before 6am. On my good days, I go for a run and then make some breakfast and coffee. I listen to the Bible using this app. It's at this point that I sit down to write.

Like I mentioned in the other post, I treat this a bit like "morning pages." I simply start to write out my thoughts. I write as thoughts come to me and then I stop when it feels done. Sometimes, I delete it. Sometimes, it just doesn't feel like it's something to share. Other times, I've got nothing to say but I've found something online worth sharing.

When I do write and decide to share, usually it sits in a folder waiting for me to look at it again. I will come back to it at one or two points: late morning–after my morning family and work duties are accomplished or that evening. Clean it up a bit and schedule it to post.

What ...
I've always written about the Christian church, primarily leadership, missiology, ecclesiology and ethics. Other stuff comes and goes but at the end of the day, I write about what I'm most concerned with. Beyond my family and personal interests, this is what has occupied my thoughts and has, for the last few years been my occupation as well.

I started doing the weekend music shares because I go in fits and starts with music hunting. When I have a couple spare hours on a Saturday night, or whenever–and about once a month, I'll spend time looking through the blogs and sites I go to for music. I'll pile up a bunch of songs I like, put them in a playlist and then schedule posts. I usually schedule about two months worth of weekend music posts from a couple hours of searching stuff a month.

How ...
I've used a few different platforms over the years. A couple don't even exist anymore. I've tried out most. I've always come back to Blogger. After so many years using it, I just like it. It's comfortable. So, I stick with it. The layout tools are easy to use and I like the traditional blog format (i.e. main post column, side bar column), which is what Blogger does fine. I know just enough code to make a few small tweaks for the aesthetics I prefer.

Now, here's the kicker: I want to do this more regularly. I go in and out of blogging because it's never been the highest priority of my time. By throwing this out there, I hope to get better about regularly posting. I hope you do as well. Please share your blog with me if you do.