Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Have you started your blog yet?

I got an email yesterday from someone I care very much about. She said essentially, "I can see that I'm not a very deep thinker at all. You have the knack of putting down on paper what drifts around in my brain, but I just can't grasp." I thought about that, and realized maybe there are others like her out there - people who have tremendous gifts and skills, but don't feel they have anything to offer to others. Here are some of the thoughts I sent her in response; I hope they will be helpful to someone else.The truth is that I have been thinking about the particular issue I blogged about this morning for several weeks now - and it still took me well over an hour to get the wording right. Writing forces me to think more carefully about things. That's one reason why I wanted to blog - even if only a few people read it, it helps me clarify my own thoughts. As far as your own thinking goes, you are most likely a much deeper thinker than you believe you are. But there are things that make you different from any other blogger. What you have thought deeply about is different from what other people have thought about, because your background is very different from theirs. When I taught writing last year, I realized as I read my students' papers that every person is unique, and has their own tremendously valuable insights to offer because of their own unique experiences. Not all my blog posts will be so philosophical as the one I did this morning - I'm planning to blog about growing up in Central America, about homeschooling, about politics, about writing, about anything else that comes to mind. And when you are ready to share your experiences with other people, the Lord will bring the opportunities to you, and will give you just the words to reach out to the people who need to hear what you have to say (or write, or blog, or . . . ). The experiences you have are preparing you for a ministry to others who need what you have to give. Don't let your current situation or the negative messages you've gotten in the past keep you from the ministry God has for you. If you're not yet at the place in your life when you can write, then just wait, and tuck your thoughts away quietly in your heart. Pull them out once in a while during a quiet moment and think about them, or bring them up when you're talking to a good friend and discuss them, then put them away again. Eventually the time will come to share them, and by then they will be well developed. But if you've been thinking about it, wondering whether you have something to share, and if you are at a good place in your life to start writing: maybe now is the time for you to start a blog or write a book. Write about what you know and what you have experienced. Summon the courage; take the plunge. Think carefully both before and while you write - reread your post several times before you actually post it - proofread - but go ahead and DO IT!!! The things you have to say may well be things no one else can say but you.

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