Blog on Blogging

powerquote_nMy blog is two years old this week and I’m still a happy writer. The subscriber base is at 250. While that readership isn’t what I hoped for, it is definitely more than I expected.  I love the instant gratification of blogging. On the other hand…

I have always been impatient. Being in a hurry runs in my family, so I suppose it is in my DNA. Or maybe we were just birds in a flurry who flocked together and called ourselves the Whitaker-Claypool species.

All I can tell you is that nothing I do is ever enough at the same time I’ve always enjoyed every job I ever had. I find work fascinating. When I followed my bliss it turned out to be more work.

In my lifetime, I’ve had excellent jobs in fashion sales, teaching, folk-art shopkeeping, real estate, writing and the ministry. Work was always a source of enjoyment for me and probably will always be. I am especially happy writing my blog although I’d hoped to sell more of my books off the blog bookstore than I have so far. My plan was that if readers liked my for-free blogs, they’d love my for-sale books. Ah well, the best laid plans of mice and writers.

So far, my business plan hasn’t exactly worked. But, it really isn’t about the money. It’s about connection – connection to God, to you, and to myself. Work is about expressing my God-given nature – Love. Every job I’ve ever had was of use to others or I had to move on. I could not imagine only helping myself.

Retirement frightened me. When I moved into the Minister Emeritus position at church, I wasn’t well. Actually, I was very ill and I got better. I taught a few classes and spoke some but I still had a lot of free time and it scared me. Does free time frighten you?

In the beginning of my semi-retirement, I read a lot of silly novels and watched a lot of silly movies. That was fun but then it wasn’t so much fun anymore. I wanted to be useful again.

I did start a book on Spiritual Practice and, once again, I was impatient. The project seemed like a big commitment, and I was busy helping other people write their books. (My Spiritual Practice book really is almost finished and I’m telling myself not to be impatient.) Books are not short adventures – they are a serious undertakings.

In contrast, blogs are pure fun. My blog has been well received. After a bit of practice, I can write and publish a blog in four to six hours. That’s a good day’s work for a retired person.

I know there are more readers than those listed as subscribers. I get nice comments and people they tell me they enjoy the essays. At our recent CSL Conference at Asilomar, several people I didn’t know complimented my blog. Recently, a few ministers asked me questions about writing a blog of their own. I definitely encouraged them.

I believe everyone can enjoy blogging. It is a chance to help others and learn more about yourself. It is useful. The time involved and the subject matter are optional. I am fussy and I write long  posts. Many people write only a few daily lines.  Nearly all of us have used journaling as a self-discovery tool.  A blog is only a couple of steps away from journaling. Blogs can also be a spiritual practice.

One difference stands out. Your journal is personal while a blog is intended for others to read. The writer must offer something that amuses, inspires, instructs, or connects with his readers. That said, no topic is for everyone but there is someone for every topic.

Are you interested in writing a blog? The first step is to imagine what your might like to write about and who you think your audience may be. Freedom to write whatever I wanted was important to me. I decided I could include memories and opinions about political and social issues as well as spiritual principles. I would aim for twice a week but give myself permission to skip once in a while.

Blogging  is a great if you have something unique to say. Whoever you are, no matter what you know, you must plan before you begin. This stage will be short for some  and take a long time for others but it must be done.

Your chosen topic should also be something that will hold your interest and something you know about. Simply musing about the good old days will bore your readers unless you are as clever as Andy Rooney. I do write about them sometimes, but I attempt to make the old days relevant to my reader’s current life.

Whether you are interested in blogging or not, you might enjoy perusing other blogs on the internet. Individual blogs have “tags” so you can run searches easily. Keep your searches current and subscribe to the ones you enjoy.  I subscribe to several blogs about books and history. What topics would you like to explore?

If you are personally interested in blogging ask yourself what topics you know about. Why not spend  time for a few days making list of subjects  you know about as a part of your spiritual practice?

Topics for blogs are fascinating but they don’t have to be rocket science. There are blogs on cooking cassarole dishes, grammer, Greek history, raising triplets, aiding the elderly and losing weight, and thousands of other subjects.

Blog subjects are so creative they amaze us. One writer wrote a blog for my local paper about living on the State’s food subsidy money. There was a movie about Julia Child and a young woman who set out to cook every recipe in Child’s cookbook. It was based on her blog.

What do you know about?  It will be a great spiritual practice for improving your self -esteem to list topics. You will be surprised how many activities and interests you are proficient in when you do this.

Before you begin to actually write your blog, learn from every writing class I’ve ever taken by imagining your ideal reader. Who is she?  What do you know that she doesn’t? That’s a great way to find your  topics for posts.

The next writing lesson I can pass on is to ask yourself what you enjoy reading . That may give you a clue about what you should write.  F/Y/I  I read two spiritual blogs every day and although my blogs don’t resemble them, they inspire me. These blogs are from Dr. Carol Carnes and Dr. Maxine Kaye. You can access them by going to ccinlove@aol.com and drmaxinekaye@constantconnections.com .

Just for fun, pretend you believe you have something to say and you know you are powerful . Your pretense or   “acting as if”  will be exciting and instructive. Go through the suggested blog planning steps and see what happens.

Ask Yourself

Do I journal now?

Would I like to blog?

What blogs do I read?

What do I know about?

Who would like to read about my knowledge?

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Radio Days

 

I’m on the internet radio and all you have to do to hear me is go to IDareYouRadio.com. I will be featured for a couple more days and then you can find me in the archives. Isn’t life the Information Age interesting?

The Information Age is upon us and mostly, I find it is very, very good. Certainly, it is difficult to sort out what to read, hear or see first, in a new world where time seems to have grown tighter. On the other hand, the may be myriad but theya re also wonderful.

Many experts predicted that these new technological devices  would be the beginning of the end of civilization. As usual, the doomsdayers were wrong.

People who fear the future are usually wrong. Remember how people laughed at the idea of  24 hour news channels on TV? I love being able to find out what’s happening at my convenience. I also love being able to tape something and watch it later.

Back in the late 70’s, I read about the computer age that a friend gave to me. I don’t remember the title or author but I do remember that the book’s predictions were terrified of the coming computers.

The author predicted that the news would arrive on our computers from one place and it would be so managed that we would only know what our government wanted us to know. For this author, the future would be a starkly managed dictatorship. We would lose our freedom because our information was going to be so managed.

What has actually happened is that we have so much information our heads are swimming. Even the nations that are currently dictatorships are losing their grasp because of the information age changes.

These days, anyone with an IPhone is a reporter. Traditional news stations such as CNN depend on instant amateur videos. Instead of managed news, we have only the problem of deciding who to believe.

In my parents’ time, people were dependent on the one newspaper in town and the few radio stations they could get on their little round topped radios. During World War Two we would get news of battles three days later. Now we get information, with photos, right in the midst of battles from places such as Syria.

Whether you or not choose to watch the news is your decision. My point isn’t just about the news –  it’s about all information. My daughter and her stepfather used to have discussions at the dinner table and they’d jump up to get the encyclopedia to find the answers. It made our family a bit eccentric but she learned a great deal. Most families we knew didn’t even have encyclopedias.

In these days, just about everyone has a computer and access to Wikipedia and while it may not be one hundred percent accurate, I’ve certainly relied upon it a great deal for general information. We truly do live in the information age.

We may not be noticing it but the information age is hitting the New Thought world in a big way. It used to be you could find Science of Mind in church on Sunday if you lived in a few places. There were also books if you knew enough to find them. Now anyone in the world with a computer can find excellent Science of Mind blogs, talks, and classes on the internet.

I start my days by reading blogs by my favorites, Dr. Carol Carnes, Dr. Maxine Kaye and when available, Dr. Dennis Merrit Jones.

I’m always telling some out of town guest to look for our New Thought speakers who put their talks on line. Now I’m telling you to listen to me on a radio show that would have disappeared into the ethers in the old days but will live a long time in the archives.

We live in new times and they are better times. We need to be grateful for all the opportunities the Information Age is bringing us. One way we can do that is bless our machines and use them to make our lives better by selecting the uplifting messages that New Thought offers. This is a world in which we have choices and I am happy to be a part of it.

Ask Yourself 

Do I suffer from the disease of nostalgia?

What do I believe about the future?

Am I grateful for the convenience of the modern world?