It seems odd to consider blogs archaic, but it’s the word I’ve heard attached to them more than once. Have they run their course? They definitely aren’t in their prime. Is it time to stop blogging? I think that’s more of a personal pondering than systemic. I subscribe to a couple blogs, but I read several in a week. There are some commonalities in the ones I read, but I don’t revisit the same one over and over. I don’t follow the person as much as I follow some discussions, reflections, and trends.
Every now and then, I wonder if it’s time to archive it all and move on. But move on to what? In the past, every time I’ve considered stopping or pausing, the timing of people reaching out to connect, discuss, and ask questions spurs me to continue. I’ve recently found myself reflecting on the blogging experience, not so much to consider stopping but to consider the journey and how it’s changed through the years.
I started blogging in 2010. I was writing more, and it was a way to share and encourage in short, accessible bits. There weren’t as many voices and conversations going on at the time. Social media was active but not consuming. It definitely wasn’t a place people got the majority of their information or interactions. The advice of the day was to blog to build a platform. I almost didn’t start blogging because of that advice. I didn’t want to build a platform. My articles and resource contributions were growing, and my first book released the same year, but I didn’t want any of it to be about me. It was a tension I carried for quite a few years—how to encourage and equip people without promoting myself. It’s why my blog site and several social media accounts did not include my name. They were designed so people could find them if they searched my name, for those I met when traveling and speaking, but I wasn’t the primary identity. Perhaps it wasn’t wise by marketing standards, but I didn’t want a brand. I wanted to be obedient.
I still do. But even when I consider the umbrella of obedience, there are many motivations that fall under it. Sometimes I write to encourage and equip others. Sometimes I write something bold that will challenge people to reconsider something. Sometimes I write to reflect on everyday life. Sometimes I write to capture a joy or frustration or other emotions attached to an experience. Sometimes I write about a lesson I’ve learned or am learning. And sometimes I write for the discipline of writing, for reflecting on my faith and sharing with authenticity.
Writing is a risk. It bares the soul and challenges the mind. It keeps the heart in check. It’s daunting and freeing.
I know many people who started blogs shifted to podcasts. I’ve considered it, but it wouldn’t be structured like many others. I would still write, and the podcasts would simply be audio of what I write in order to give people another format. I get it. Listening sometimes fits into our schedules more easily than reading. (But many people read better than they listen, and reading is an important skill, so we absolutely should not try to replace it.) And people still write, usually in a long Facebook post. And people still read, including those Facebook posts and articles. Wait, but do they? How often do we read the article title or who shared something and come to our own conclusions before discerning and filtering and exploring and knowing the sources and their reliability? I am not going to rant on Facebook or other social media streams. There’s enough of that.
Why share all this? Who cares? Well, remember my mention of the discipline of writing and the importance of reflecting on my faith and sharing with authenticity? This is it. This whole blog journey began in faith. Faith is what drives it. I will continue to blog—for now. Not because I think a blog is important but the process is. As my faith grows, I need to consider what that means to my conversations and relationships and everyday life. I need to loop back on some things while moving forward. I need to keep my experiences in the context of who God is and what he says about me and you and the world he created. I hope you’ll do the same as you read, whether it’s this blog or anything else. And it includes what you’re listening to, also. Let’s be disciplined about the healthy stuff of faith.