Friday, February 11, 2011

One Year in Blogland

January 31, 2010 was the first day of posting for my new blog. It was dull and un-momentous for everyone except me. My second post was not very exciting either. Gradually my wings started to spread and here are some things I’ve learned about me and blogging in one year (in no particular order).

The going advice for bloggers is to find your own voice. I’ve thought this kooky over the last year, but the more I write, the more it is true. And really the companion advice should be, don’t compare your blog to another’s. I read a variety of blogs, some which are listed on the side, but there are actually only a couple I might think I should try to be like. In reality though, I’m never gonna be the Pioneer Woman (we live in the middle of Iowa, my husband’s sexy alright, but I don’t get to take pictures of his butt while he’s engineering at 3M, etc.). I also love Meg Duerksen from Whatever, but again, I’m never gonna be her. My voice is my voice.

Amazingly, I can be okay with no regular scheduled features. I love to plan, but carrying out that plan is a different story. It’s a lot of work to write a blog (I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me) and those that post a recipe on Monday, craft on Tuesday, cute kid pic on Wednesday, etc., go to extra lengths to make that happen. That is not what mine is about.

I’m glad I decided up front that I would write when I could and not feel obligated in anyway. I titled it Best Energies Best Affections because I knew that this along with everything else in my life must be balanced carefully. When I spend lots of time preparing music for students, something else doesn’t get done. If I spent lots of time on here, writing about every little detail, LOTS of things would go un-attended to. And in never apologizing to you, I don’t have to meet your expectations of my blog. I can write more freely.

I’m also glad I chose the name for my blog that I did. Our pastor, Paul, was teaching from Philippians and he drew out the point that you share most easily what you are most excited about. That is what I find has happened here. I write about food because I just like to eat. I write passionately about music and piano because it is what I do. I write about my kids because I love them more than I can even describe. I write my thoughts on my time in the Word and my walk with God because I cannot deny Him, not even to the blog world. It all comes at you randomly and maybe you don’t like that. But here’s the thing. I kind of don’t care. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to embrace it.

Particularly when I write about my walk with God, it often comes by inspiration alone. I hardly ever start to write, put it away to edit or finish later. I’m not saying I’m highly spiritual at all. In fact, some might find me handling Scripture too lightly. But I do know I am careful to put out here what I do say. I’m often compelled and then it just comes rolling off my fingertips. And at times it may feel a little like my heart is on my sleeve/blog and you’re uncomfortable. Again, not sorry.

I love the fact that I’ve somewhat chronicled a year of my family. I’ve taken more pictures than ever. I’ve never really written down all the things we do until now. This has turned into almost a “count your blessings, name them one by one” thing for me. My grandparents met on a blind date. That is romantic. The cousins manage to make memories together quite a bit actually. I would gloss over the small events and miss them. It has also allowed me indirectly to be more celebratory with my kids than before. Just writing about it and sharing pictures makes each time more eventful to me. I get to reflect and I realize this is my life and it is pretty darn great!

The word “blog” drops from the lips of my family regularly. It’s funny. Starting out from (imagine yelling this) “Grandma, it’s a blog. B-l-o-g. You can see pictures of the kids on it.” To “Hi! We read your blog today. Praying for you guys.” Both sets of grandparents are Google followers, by the way. Sometimes though, I think to myself, “If you mention your blog one more time, people are going to throw you out the door!”

That being said, I still don’t write about everything we do. I just don’t have time. And there are plenty of things that get left unsaid and not shared. Our time with Victoria has taught me a lot of things but blog writing takes a good chunk of time to say it. And, I’m discovering, often an initial thought take time to develop and mature. And what seems like a good topic for a post doesn’t always mean it’s necessary. It’s Best energies Best affections. But I do know, blogging can be powerful. I have read many posts, especially by Janel and Lisa that encourage me in my life. I want to best take advantage of this communication medium to encourage others.

I don’t have to “have” things in order to blog. Blogger is free. I don’t have to have Photoshop. Picasa is free. For once in my life, I’m trying to keep it simple. I am not going to compare. I’m going to learn and do as I can. I am not going to be obsessed about building a readership. 

I’m looking forward to another year of blogging. It is a lot of fun. I might add a couple of extra things here and there. I waffle back and forth between all sorts of options: should I feed each post into Facebook? should I make a button? All will tell in time. For now, I’m working to keep balanced. I have many affections to pour my best energies into!

Thanks for being along with me this past year!


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