If you are in the Louisville, Kentucky area, TONIGHT I begin a three-week class on Hearing God Speak in the Midst of Chaos. It will be at New Life Church from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Childcare is available. I would love to see you there! If you cannot make it, recordings are available for free MP3 download. I will post the link tomorrow.
I thought it was time to address this issue, since I haven’t written a viable blog post in over a week. If you are a blogger, you totally get it and have long since forgiven me. If you are not a blogger, you are perhaps mildly irritated with me at this point—first for lack of decent reading material and second for returning from my brief hiatus with a post about blogging.
But hold your horses just a cotton-pickin minute, there lil’ buddy. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can extract some good stuff from this post. See, blogging is my thang. So if you have a thang, then you can apply my stuff about my thang to your stuff and your thang.
The longer I write the less this makes sense.
For me, blogging is more than just a hobby. More than just a way to keep my family updated with recent photos of the kids. More than online scrapbooking or journaling. Which is why I was a little irked last year when I told another mom-acquaintance about my blog and she quipped, “I’m convinced that women who blog must not do their laundry.”
The fact that I don’t do my laundry has absolutely nothing to do with my blogging, thankyouverymuch.
If you blog as a hobby, I’m totally cool with that. I think it’s an awesome way to let the creative juices flow. But if it’s a hobby, then finding time for blogging probably isn’t as intentional for you as it is for me.
For me, blogging is a large part of my ministry. It’s how God uses me during this season of raising small children to go and teach all nations. It provides an avenue through which I can use my gifts of writing and teaching without having to leave my house. It simply blows my mind that I can sit in my kitchen in the wee hours of the morning to craft a post, and a few hours later people from every continent will have read it.
Just fifteen or twenty years ago, this was not possible. If a writer wanted to use her gift of writing to reach the masses, she had to use some form of printed media, like newsletters, which cost money and time to produce and distribute. Or she had to submit her writing to a magazine or book publisher, which is a slow and tedious process, riddled with rejection—not that I know anything about that. What an amazing opportunity and responsibility we bloggers have! Literally, millions of readers at our fingertips.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Which is why I make my blogging time a high priority. If you are a serious blogger and you are wondering how other serious blogger/Christian/busy people balance it all—here’s what I do:
1. I make my blog and its content a matter of prayer. Even Fitness Friday. Even the silly posts with no apparent purpose or meaning. To me, it’s all part of God’s plan for me and my ministry.
2. I pray for my readers. The ones who comment and the ones who do not. The ones who click on my blog by accident and the ones who linger for an hour. The ones who read it once a month and the ones who read it every day. If you read my blog in any way, I pray for you.
3. I commit to publish only my best work. I know that may shock you, since many of my posts aren’t very good. But I’d rather have no post than a poorly written post. I treat every post as a “first impression” of my blog—since, for someone, it is. If this is the only post someone reads on God Speaks Today, what will it say about God? About me?
4. Because I won’t just slap something up there to say “I posted,” each post takes at least two writing days for me to create. The first is where I get all my ideas down. The second is where I work out all the bugs, add and delete text, and try to fix all my typos. Emphasis on “try.” I always have a typo. What is up with that?
5. I look at simple, everyday experiences and try to find a way to create a post with it. Therefore, blogging takes up a lot of my thought-life.
6. I read books and articles about hearing God’s voice and fitness—my two main blogging topics. This keeps me fresh and current with decent material. And also dictates what I read for leisure.
7. I carve out time daily, or almost daily, for writing. At first, I blogged in the evenings after dinner when Jon was putting the kids to bed and on the weekends while Elliana napped and Jon took the older kids out to play. That worked well for about a year.
Then, evenings and weekends started getting more chaotic and inconsistent, and my kids didn’t like that mommy was always on the computer. So I tried to blog only during Elliana’s nap while the two older kids were at shcool. That worked for a little while, but I often found my brain too full of the day’s responsibilities at 1:00 pm to suddenly halt and be creative.
For me, the best solution is to write first thing in the morning before anyone else wakes up. Right now, that is 5 am. I know it sounds crazy. And if you knew me and how much I absolutely adore sleep, it would sound even more crazy (crazier?). But I need to get my children up for school at 6:30 am, so any writing needs to take place before that time. This means that I must also discipline myself to go to bed no later than 10:30-ish.
If I am almost finished with a post, I may finish it up in the mid morning after I drive the kids to school, but that is my exercise and prayer time, so I try not to do that.
On the weekends, if everyone is lounging in front of the TV, I will steal away and write—because I personally loathe the television. Other than American Idol, which was quite good last night, by the way. But I try not to do any blogging while my kids are home and awake. When I sit on the computer, it’s like I’m wearing a big sign that says, “Please come talk to me right now. Better yet, ask me to get you a snack or wipe your bottom.” Similar to when I’m on the phone. It must be electronics. I don’t know.
There are other aspects of blogging that I didn’t even touch yet…like reading other blogs, responding to comments, keeping the sidebar updated and taking time to make cute little pictures like the one one of my lady spinning plates. All of that is a vital part of blogging life. But as I look at the clock, 6:30 am is quickly approaching. So I’ll save that for another post.
In the mean time, I’d love to hear how you balance God and YOUR thang—whether it be blogging or some other thang. How do you make it a priority in your schedule?
And more importantly, what typos did you find in this post? I’m sure there is at least one.